DENTAL OFFICERS in Birmingham are warning about a growing trend of dentists with fake credentials and fake credentials issued by the city’s Department of Health.
They’re using their own words to call out a practice they say is a threat to public health and the public’s trust.
Birmingham Dental Society says the practice of issuing fake dental certificates and credentials to dentists in Birmingham is widespread.
Many of the dentists are not licensed, according to the Society.
The Society says its members have reported that they’ve been issued fake credentials in recent weeks.
In the past month, the Society has received a barrage of complaints about a practice that is often billed as a private dentist office, but the Society says it’s a legitimate practice.
“We’ve had dentists come in with their credentials, have no insurance, no credentials and they are trying to get a credit card for the dentist,” said Chris Kelleher, the president of the Birmingham Dentist Society.
“So you’re not really seeing dentists doing their work properly.”
Kelleher said many dentists issue fake credentials with no insurance to fill prescriptions or make a claim on insurance.
If a person gets a credit report that shows they’re not qualified to fill a prescription, they might be a scammer or a con artist, he said.
“That’s what we’re seeing.”
A Dentist’s Office in Birmingham.
Dentists are also taking advantage of a loophole in the state’s new health insurance law.
Dentists are now allowed to charge for the services they provide.
They are not required to provide health insurance.
The city’s health department says it is not aware of any instances of dentist billing patients.
While some dentists charge by phone, many are now using computers to pay by mail, according the Society’s Kellehe.
When people have questions about the practice, Kellehel told WJBF that they can call the Birmingham City Health Department.
For now, the City Health department has issued a public health alert to dentist offices, dentists and dentists’ offices, but they don’t seem to be effective at deterring the practice.