The parents of a 6-year-old girl in Pennsylvania face criminal charges for neglecting to get dental care for the child, who had 14 abscessed teeth and a severe infection that could have put her life at risk.
Kenneth Wanamaker Jr., 36, and Jessica Hoffman, 31, who live in Lehigh Township, were charged on June 24 with endangering the welfare of the child, according to a Morning Call story. The girl was supposed to have surgery for the severe caries in March, but the couple failed to bring her in, investigators said.
A dentist who examined the girl, Eugene McGuire, DDS, told authorities it was the worst case of dental disease he had ever seen. He said the infection was so severe that it could kill the girl, according to court records. Dr. McGuire gave pictures of the girl's teeth to authorities.
Police were contacted this month by a child protection agency about abuse allegations, the Morning Call reported.
Authorities said the girl had been diagnosed with severe dental disease by Dr. McGuire, who saw her in late February. Dr. McGuire told authorities the girl was supposed to have surgery on March 1, but Wanamaker and Hoffman failed to bring her in for a preoperation exam.
Wanamaker became upset and left the dentist's office when he discovered that child abuse officials had been contacted and said he would seek a second opinion.
Dr. McGuire had recommended a procedure to prevent the caries from traveling through the gums and into the girl's secondary teeth. Only four of the girl's teeth were unaffected, and she would need a device in place because of the number of teeth that needed to be extracted, according to the article.