MAUREPAS – A family has a lot of questions after their toddler left the dentist with a mouth full of metal. They tell 2 On Your Side they didn’t agree to what happened, were given no warning and it’s caused the child distress.
It all started with a trip to the dentist, who found a few cavities. The child’s family thought those cavities would be filled, but that’s not what happened.
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Kimberly Bennett says she’s distraught over what happened to her 2-year-old grandson, Michael.
“We’re horrified. We don’t know what to do at this point,” she said.
Bennett, affectionately known to her grandson as Grammy, says she’s not happy and has a lot of questions.
“We have tried to contact the dentist, as well as the hospital. No one will speak with us,” she said.
There are 18 silver caps covering his teeth. His family says they never agreed to what happened. Bennett and Michael’s mother brought him to New Orleans Children’s Hospital earlier this month to get four cavities filled by Dr. Bryan Frichter.
Frichter has a practice in Hammond but sometimes works out of the New Orleans-area hospital.
“The dentist told us that those were going to be filled with an opaque tooth-matching, you know, being front teeth,” Bennett said.
The child’s mother and Bennett took the child in for the fillings. The family was not allowed in the dental room with the child. Michael was sedated.
A couple of hours into the procedure, his mother was contacted on the phone by the nurse. The dentist has found a couple more cavities.
“They said that they had gone on and done some back X-rays on his molars, and they had found a couple of cavities and did she want them to be taken care of,” Bennett explained.
The mother asked how long it would take, considering the child had already been under anesthesia for a couple of hours. Bennett recalled the conversation and said the nurse didn’t know how long it would take, but they’d let them know when they were finished. The child’s mother agreed to a “couple” more fillings, thinking that her son would be getting six cavities filled. That’s not what happened.
“His whole mouth is metal now,” Bennett said.
The family has a lot of concerns and a lot of questions. They say they have no idea why the procedure went the way it did and why their toddler has 18 out of 20 teeth fully encased in silver.
Bennett fears, since Michael is a Medicaid patient, that he was taken advantage of.
“I almost feel like it’s a padding of the bill, that they were looking to get as much work done as possible,” she said.
Michael’s family is worried about how the caps will impact his jaw and speech development.
“My grandson is going to have silver teeth all throughout his mouth, including the front of his mouth as he goes to school, as he grows up,” Bennett said. “Physically, I don’t know how this is going to affect him, emotionally…”
The family wants the best for the toddler and says someone has some explaining to do.
2 On Your Side has reached out to Dr. Fichter’s office. The woman who answered the phone said on Wednesday that Dr. Fichter was unable to come to the call because he was filling cavities.
Thursday, Dr. Fichter was at New Orleans Children’s hospital doing dental work. The dental office told 2 On Your Side that they have attempted to contact the family for Michael’s follow-up visit and had not heard back.
On Fridays, both offices are closed.
The family tells 2 On Your Side that they haven’t heard anything from the dental office.
LCMC Children’s Hospital says they reached out to the dental office and asked that the family be contacted to address their concerns.