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One patient out $1,400 after Topeka dentist closes office following arrest

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -A woman reached out to 13 NEWS concerned the provider doing her dental work was closing its doors after she’d paid them hundreds of dollars.

Her dentist at the Family and Implant Dental Office recently was arrested.

Amanda McConnell told 13 NEWS that the Family and Implant Dental Office canceled her appointment scheduled for Wednesday.

She went to the private practice on April 19th for a consultation appointment.

“I asked about the cash I had paid for a refund and they informed me they had no record, that I had made a payment and they didn’t have any money to refund me even if I had,” McConnell said.

“I went in the first time and had half of my teeth deep root cleaned. They had canceled a previous appointment a couple of weeks ago where I was supposed to have the other half done, and then my appointment for tomorrow was for an image of a crown, and a bridge for one side of my mouth. McConnell explained. “I had another appointment in the future that they were going to do the other side.”

McConnell paid them $1,400 to cover the full cost and set the follow-up for Wednesday, but she says the recent arrest of the dentist, Brian Newell could have changed things.

Newell was arrested on April 19th and is charged with harassment and weapons violations.

McConnell said she tried to call the dentist’s office and got the private practice recording saying, “thank you for calling Family and Implant Dental Dr. Brian Newell Office this Thursday, April 22nd. Unfortunately, at this time we are closing our doors to this practice. we are unaware when we’ll be reopening.”

“I was extremely upset that they were closing the office because I was able to make payments to them in cash because I’m on medicare, and medicare does not pay for dental,” McConnell emphasized. “So everything that I’m paying is coming out of my own pocket.”

McConnell says the office did call her Monday, to cancel her appointment. When she asked about a refund, she says they told her they had no record of her payment, even though she showed us the receipt they gave her.

McConnell says she hopes something can be done, “I’m hoping that I will at least give it my full amount of money that I paid them back. Since I can’t get a hold of my record or my x-rays or any of that.”

“How am I supposed to get the rest of this done when I can’t even pay somebody else the money that I’ve gave them!” she added.

The Kansas Dental Board, the licensing entity for dentists in Kansas, said it is aware of the rapidly evolving situation regarding Newell’s recent arrest and activities within his dental facility. While it said it is unable to discuss an ongoing investigation, it did say that displaced patients of Newell’s may file a complaint with it.

“We are able to confirm that, with the approval of the Board office, other locally respected dentists and their dedicated staff have been designated as the recovery team for Dr. Brian Newell’s dental facility,” said the Kansas Dental Board. “The recovery team has already secured Dr. Brian Newell’s dental facility and protected patient records.  The recovery team is working diligently to mitigate the treatment challenges of each displaced patient and, when necessary, providing patient referrals to alternative dental facilities in and around the Topeka community.  The protection of patient records and continuity of care for displaced patients are of the utmost importance at this critical juncture.”

The Kansas Attorney General was not familiar with this specific case but he said anyone having issues getting refunds or records from a business that’s closing should file a complaint with their Consumer Protection Division, so they can investigate.

To file a complaint with the Kansas Dental Board, click HERE.

To file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division, click HERE.

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