A state agency has received a complaint from a Fort Worth woman who says she was shown out a door while still groggy and she passed out on the parking lot of a North Richland Hills dental clinic after having a dental procedure.
Paramedics rushed to the scene on a March afternoon after someone reported that there was an unconscious person near a car in the 6200 block of Rufe Snow Drive in the parking lot of Jefferson Dental in North Richland Hills.
“My car was directly at the front door,” said Sheila Anthony Brown in a recent interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Left me there on the ground from the procedure I had.”
Brown was rushed to a hospital where she was treated for a drug overdose, and she has since had to spend more than $7,000 on additional dental care and a surgery, she said.
Officials at Jefferson Dental Clinic in North Richland Hills did not return return telephone calls to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is conducting a preliminary investigation on the complaint and it has 60 days to complete it, according to a letter Brown received from the state agency. Staff members will determine whether to officially proceed on the complaint, meaning an investigator will be assigned to the case.
If found in violation, Jefferson Dental could face disciplinary action that ranges from an administrative penalty to the revocation of a license.
The state agency may not order a licensed dentist to pay damages or restitution on a complaint beyond the actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred during treatment, according to the board of dental examiners’ complaint form.
Executive Director Casey Nichols of the state dental agency said in an email that staff members could not provide specific information on complaints because they are confidential.
In fiscal year 2020, the agency received 713 jurisdictional complaints from residents across Texas, and 622 complaints resulted in disciplinary action, according to TSBDE statistics.
Documents from Medical City North Richland Hills hospital, North Richland Hills Fire Department, North Richland Hills police, Jefferson Dental Care, and Keller Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics in Fort Worth gave this account of the incident on March 8:
Initially, Brown was told she had a cavity, and went to Jefferson Dental Care in North Richland Hills for treatment. At the clinic, she was told she needed a crown on her tooth and it would cost $476, which she paid.
Brown said a dentist continued drilling on her tooth during crown work on March 8 even though she cried and screamed that it was painful.
“I told them, ‘Please stop, it hurts too bad,” Brown said in a written statement.
Brown agreed to have laughing gas, but that cost her another $100.
At some point, Brown said, an assistant held her forehead and chin as a dentist worked on her.
When the procedure was done, the 56-year-old woman said she had blurred vision and was woozy as she signed a medical release form.
Brown made it to her car, but she passed out, awakening as paramedics worked on her and she was taken to Medical City North Richland Hills.
A North Richland Hills Fire Department report indicated that paramedics treated her as though she had a drug overdose.
Brown said she has been unable to work since that dental visit and has spent more than $7,000 in additional dental work and a dental surgery to correct the work done on March 8 at Jefferson Dental.
Brown reached out to North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino for help.
“The City of North Richland Hills does not have any regulatory authority or influence over dental practices unless there is a potential crime and that would need to be reported to the NRH Police Department,” Trevino wrote to Brown. “Your story sounds very unpleasant and I am sorry that you had this experience with a dentist located in NRH.”
North Richland Hills Assistant Police Chief Rick Scott agreed with the mayor.
“I am in receipt of your email and I will echo the Mayor’s comments in that I am sorry you had to endure such an unpleasant and traumatic experience,” Scott wrote in an email to Brown. “I have contacted our police patrol resources to have an officer reach out to you and collect information of the incident for our records and to take a closer look to see if there are any avenues to pursue an investigation.”
Jefferson Dental, which has been in business for more than 50 years, is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. It has more than 70 offices in Texas serving more than 200,000 families each year, according to Jefferson Dental Clinics website.
“I deserve better treatment from Jefferson Dental than I got,” Brown said. “They never cared.”