Washington Co. Mother demands answers, dental records after all smiles shut down – CBS Pittsburgh
WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – A Washington County mother wants answers from All About Smiles regarding her 19-year-old son’s braces.
He has beaten cancer before, but now he says he’s against the local All About Smiles company. The family contacted KDKA in hopes of obtaining a solution and the 19-year-old’s dental records.
“It would be so much easier if they just returned the phone calls and just explained to people. It’s professional, ”said Michelle Paulina, mother of Zach Dyer.
From oral surgery and teeth cleaning to dental exams and braces, All About Smiles operates seven locations in the Pittsburgh area. Dyer put his braces on at the Washington site in August 2019.
“Just about every bump in the road you might come across, I’ve fallen,” Dyer said.
He claims he was only supposed to have them for about a year before he left for school in Cleveland. Now he’s 19, stuck in braces, and doing his own dental work.
“I pulled my cheek so I could look at it in the mirror, then cut it. The only time it was stuck in my cheek, ”Dyer said.
He’s cutting his own thread because the Washington location closed, locking his dental records inside. No record means that no other practice will touch his teeth. Her mother said she had called and left messages for months without success.
“We have this interview because we have been trying for seven months to obtain his medical file which is not even legally theirs. They are hers, ”said Paulina.
The journey up to this point has not been easy. Dyer struggled with cancer most of his childhood and it took its toll on his teeth.
“We had to do all kinds of research in the first place,” Paulina said. “With some chemotherapy and radiation, you have to enter a hyperbaric chamber to get dental treatment.”
KDKA investigator Meghan Schiller contacted All About Smiles and got in touch with Shaun Heckmann, the company’s new COO. He said he was trying to do good for the patients.
Schiller put Heckmann in touch with Dyer and his mother via Zoom.
“The place I was going, they just didn’t get the job done and I’m pretty much in pain,” Dyer told Zoom to Heckmann.
“I would like to talk to you afterwards to see what has happened and what is happening and what we can do to make things right for you,” Heckmann replied.
Heckmann joined the company and quickly worked to save it from bankruptcy, recently securing a vital PPP loan to keep the offices afloat.
“Honestly, we are in a volatile situation that we are trying to get out of, and the owner could have very easily walked away. … They didn’t and they held on and I think we’ll get back on track here soon, ”said Heckmann.
He wants all patients, including Dyer, to know this:
“I know several patients have been in limbo. My job is to provide them with the care they need and should have received. “
Heckmann asks all affected All About Smiles patients not to call, but rather to email him at [email protected].