Two Broomall women have been arrested following an investigation into an after-hours unauthorized dental practice at Smilz 4 Life dental office in Bryn Mawr, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and Lower Merion Police Department announced Monday.
Cheryl Laing and Jessica Gullickson have been charged with Corrupt Organizations, Criminal Conspiracy, multiple counts of Theft by Deception, Unauthorized Practice of Dentistry and Recklessly Endangering Another Person, according to a press release.
Smilz for Life is operated by a licensed dentist, and the dentist and owner of Smilz For Life was unaware of Laing and Gullickson’s after hours work, the release states.
During regular office hours, Laing worked as a dental assistant at Smilz For Life and Gullickson worked as a receptionist. According to the District Attorney’s release, after hours, Laing “set up her own dental practice at Smilz 4 Life while holding herself out to patients as a licensed dentist.” Gullickson, who has no dental training, acted as Laing’s dental assistant.
Laing advertised through word of mouth in Bryn Mawr that she could perform virtually all dental procedures for uninsured patients at a drastically reduced price. Laing and Gullickson only accepted cash payments and kept no patient records of their activities. Laing and Gullickson did not take patient histories, such as past dental procedures and did not check whether the patients had drug allergies before performing treatment. Laing and Gullickson performed the gamut of dental procedures including but not limited to: the taking of X-rays, injection of numbing agents, root canals, tooth extractions, the installation of both crowns and braces, and the dispensing of medications.
One patient indicated that he was in excruciating pain for the 45 minutes it took Laing to extract his tooth. Another patient indicated that during her root canal, Laing left the room and told Gullickson, who had no medical or dental training whatsoever, to “find the root.”
Police have identified three patients that Laing and Gullickson treated after regular business hours of the dental practice, and "analysis of the computer logs for the X-ray machines used by Laing and Gullickson after hours show the existence of dozens of as yet-unknown patients," the release states.
The police are asking for the public’s help in identifying other patients Laing and Gullickson treated after hours:
If the defendants, Cheryl Laing and/or Jessica Gullickson performed a dental procedure on anyone in the community at the Smilz 4 Life Dentistry Office outside of regular business hours, please contact Detective John Mick of Lower Merion Township Police at 610-645-6229.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.