Greedy Dentists Busted in California
“It’s all about the money,” was the operating creed of Hatch Dental, as described in a 42-count felony complaint filed by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on September 22, 2004. The complaint describes how 20 defendants affiliated with three Hatch Dental clinics let greed rule their practice at the expense of patient health and safety.
In spring of 2002, when Brian Kanarek, DDS asked defendant Kyon Maung Teo (the alleged ringleader) why he over-diagnosed treatment, Teo told him, “Something has to pay for this practice.” After Kanarek diagnosed only 2 fillings for a patient whom Teo diagnosed 26, Teo told him to leave Hatch Dental “and don’t come back.”
Kanarek was not the only dentist to question practices at Hatch. When Tarlochan Singh, DDS, questioned Teo’s diagnostic methods, Teo replied, “It is so hard to make a living by practicing dentistry these days.”
“You won’t make any money by noting ‘observe’ or ‘watch’ on the charts, or by recommending sealants,” Teo told another dentist.
The complaint alleges that Hatch dentists enhanced their income by performing unnecessary services (including as many as 28 fillings on a patient in a single visit), billing for services not provided, offering kickbacks to patients, and using unlicensed assistants to provide services.