Dental office workers nabbed for after-hours activities

Two women in Pennsylvania -- neither of them dentists -- have been arrested for allegedly treating patients after hours in the dental office where they worked.

Cheryl Laing and Jessica Gullickson, both of Broomall, PA, were employed at Smilz 4 Life in the Bryn Mawr section of Lower Merion Township. Laing worked as a dental assistant and Gullickson as a receptionist at the practice, which was operated by a licensed dentist. After business hours, authorities allege that Laing set up her own dental practice in the office, telling patients she was a licensed dentist. Gullickson acted as Laing's dental assistant.

Laing advertised through word of mouth in Bryn Mawr that she could perform virtually all dental procedures for uninsured patients at a drastically reduced price. Laing and Gullickson only accepted cash payments, kept no patient records of their activities, did not take patient histories, and did not check whether the patients had drug allergies before performing treatment, according to authorities. They allegedly performed a variety of dental procedures, including taking x-rays, injecting numbing agents, performing root canals, extracting teeth, placing crowns and braces, and dispensing medications.

To date, police have positively identified three patients that Laing and Gullickson treated after regular business hours at the dental practice. Analysis of the computer logs for the x-ray machines used by Laing and Gullickson after hours show the existence of dozens of other patients.

Laing and Gullickson have been charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy, multiple counts of theft by deception, unauthorized practice of dentistry, and recklessly endangering another person.

The dentist and owner of Smilz 4 Life was unaware of Laing and Gullickson's illegal activities and has cooperated with authorities in this investigation, the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney noted in a press release.

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