WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — One Washington County mother wants answers from All About Smiles regarding her 19-year-old son’s braces.
He already beat cancer, but now he says he’s up against the local company All About Smiles. The family reached out to KDKA in hopes of securing a solution, and the 19-year-old’s dental records.READ MORE: Gateway Athletic Director And Head Football Coach Tells Coaches Not To Apply For Pine Richland Job
“It would just be so much easier if they would just return phone calls and just explain to people. That is professional,” said Michelle Paulina, mother of Zach Dyer.
From oral surgery and teeth cleanings to dental checkups and braces, All About Smiles operates seven locations across the Pittsburgh area. Dyer got his braces put on at the Washington location in August of 2019.
“Pretty much every bump in the road you could hit, I’ve fallen over, said Dyer.
He claims he was only supposed to have them on for about a year before heading off to school in Cleveland. Now he’s 19, stuck in braces and doing his own dental work.
“I’d pull my cheek out so I could look at it in the mirror and then cut it. The one time it was stuck in my cheek,” Dyer said.
He’s cutting his own wire because the Washington location closed, locking his dental records inside. No records mean no other practice will touch his teeth. His mother said she’s called and left messages for months with no luck.
“We’re having this interview because we’ve been trying for seven months now to get his medical records that are legally not even theirs. They’re his,” said Paulina.
The journey to this point wasn’t easy. Dyer battled cancer most of his childhood and it took a toll on his teeth.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
“We had to do all kind of research in the first place,” said Paulina. “With certain chemo and radiation, you have to go into a hyperbaric chamber to get any dental work.”
KDKA investigator Meghan Schiller reached out to All About Smiles and made contact with Shaun Heckmann, the company’s new chief operating officer. He said he’s trying to do right for the patients.
Schiller put Heckmann in touch with Dyer and his mother over Zoom.
“The location I was going to, they just did not fulfill the tasks that they had to do and I’m pretty much just suffering from it,” said Dyer over Zoom to Heckmann.
“I’d like to speak to you afterward to see what happened and what’s going on 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’re in a volatile situation we’re trying to get out of, and the owner could have very easily walked away. … They didn’t and they stuck it out and I think we’re going to be back on track here shortly,” Heckmann said.
He wants all patients, including Dyer, to know this:
“I know several patients have been out there in limbo. My job is to get them the patient care that they need, and they should have been receiving.”MORE NEWS: Newly Remodeled Downtown Carnegie Library Reopens
Heckmann asks for all concerned All About Smiles patients to not call, but rather send him an email at Sheckmann@padentalsystems.com.