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Posted: 6:15 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2013
GASTONIA, N.C. —
A company that runs local dental officers is accused of putting people through procedures that they didn't need. Channel 9 went through a lawsuit filed by Dental Works. The state dental board said Dental Works violated state policies and went too far by putting profits ahead of patient care. On Monday a federal judge a ruled that this suit should be moved back to state court -- a big win for the state dental board.A dentist in Gastonia is one of 14 that went to the state dental board with their concerns, which led to a flurry of legal action. The suit filed by the state dental board claims Dental Works took advantage of trusting patients. "Normally I believe what the dentist says," said resident Bob Hass. The suit claimed Dental Works instructed their workers tell patients they needed an aggressive gum cleaning treatment that the state called "unnecessary, unsupported, and unwarranted." The state dental board said Dental Works did this to "increase revenues and profits." "They should not be doing what they should not be doing," said Hass. But the state said Dental Works made a practice of improperly charging patients by using this process. Eyewitness News called Dental Works. They instructed us to call an attorney that has not returned our calls. The 14 dentists that who blew the whistle are now suing their management company. Those 27 offices named in the suit are still open. The state medical board said they didn't want them close because of the public service they provide. Eyewitness News asked how they can be sure patients are not being overcharged now. They said they are once again relying on the whistle blowers.
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