May 19, 2011
At first glance, the room looks like any other dentist’s office. Reclining dental chairs with lights swiveling above. Dental instruments are neatly organized and sparkling on a tray next to the chair. There is even an X-ray machine in the corner. The only difference between this dentist office and any other is that the person cleaning your teeth, is not a dentist.
Jeff Cole, an investigative reporter for Fox News uncovered the story of a woman practicing dentistry out of a South Philadelphia home with no license. The team staked out the home and day after day saw people coming and going. Several individuals left the residence swishing what appeared to be mouthwash. At that point, the team sent an individual in undercover asking about root canal work. The woman running the practice brought the undercover individual in and told them that X-rays would need to be done in order to determine if a root canal was needed and stated she could do any work another dentist could.
It is illegal to practice dentistry without a license in Philadelphia and is a misdemeanor in the third degree punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. At least two state agencies are now investigating the case.