Whitby, Ont., resident Melissa Lopez says she was surprised when she brought her daughter Elianna to a new dentist last year and was told the 10-year-old had nine cavities.
The mother of three said she was told the child would require thousands of dollars in dental work. Because the family doesn’t have dental insurance, they would have to pay for the work themselves, so Lopez decided to get a second opinion.
Another dentist in the area told her Elianna had fewer cavities, so Lopez decided to get the fillings completed at that clinic and said she didn’t notify the other dentist that she had made the switch.
In June, she received a call from the Children’s Aid Society, saying the first dentist had reported her for possible “oral neglect” of her daughter.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Lopez told CBC Toronto in an interview this week.
Lopez wonders why a dentist would be allowed to report a parent without knowing all the facts, and why she now has a permanent case file with the CAS — even though she provided them with evidence of her daughter’s dental work and was told the case was quickly closed.
Accusations of neglect ‘absurd,’ mom says
“As a mother, you pride yourself on how you raise your kids. I have three kids — they’re healthy, they’re happy, they do great in school, they have lots of friends,” Lopez said.
“For someone to turn around and try to accuse me of neglecting her, it’s absurd.”
Lopez said that, while she didn’t notify the first dentist or respond to the office’s reminders about booking appointments, that shouldn’t be a red flag given how frequently people switch dentists.
“There was no sort of letter stating they’re concerned for her health … We’ve switched dentists before and never notified the previous one,” she said.
After providing proof to the CAS that her daughter is in good hands, she said the society dropped its request for an interview and closed the case.
But the file, Lopez claims she was told, is permanent.