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YOU ASK, WE INVESTIGATE: Dental records in trash

Posted at 11:37 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 03:09:20-04
Social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses.
All of those were among the hundreds of patient records found in a recycling bin outside a Las Vegas dental office.
The dumpster shared by other businesses, including two restaurants, was almost completely filled with the manila folders.
Those records are believed to have come from Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry near Rainbow Blvd and Patrick Lane.
The discovery has also triggered an investigation by the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners.
Keith Judy’s name, phone number and social security number were among the hundreds of records, because his daughter was a previous patient.
"They could sell it to somebody to do whatever they want with it," Judy said. "There are hundreds and hundreds of people's personal information on there and it's shocking what they could do with that."
The father says he is more worried about what could happen with his daughter’s information since it will be years before she has to apply for credit.
"Five years could go by and somebody could create a whole new person with that information," Judy said.  "I don't even know what I would have to do to protect it and get ahead of it as far as my daughter, because she doesn't have credit."
Judy’s file was among nine boxes of records 13 Action News managed to remove from the dumpster and hand over to the State Board of Dental Examiners.
Most of the record seemed to be from older patients with many showing the accounts had been inactive since 2011 or before.
The dumpster was emptied before the NSBDE could make it back to the location.
Getting answers from the dentist’s office was like pulling teeth.
13 Action News placed 7 phones calls and left several messages at the office.
The first attempt to visit the office was met with a locked door, 45 minutes before the office was scheduled to close.
On the second visit an employee told us the dentist at the office wasn’t available because she was with patients.
When asked about the records in the dumpster, the employee said they had no comment.
That was the same response 13 Action News received when we visited the office of Carla LaLande.
LaLande is the owner of the record for Little Smiles according to the NSBDE.
The board is now preparing a investigation in the records found in the dumpster.
"It appears, we don’t know for sure because we still have to conduct the investigations. That these records were improperly disposed of," John Hunt, general counsel for the NSBDE said.
State law requires children’s dentists to keep records until the patient is 23 years old, and even then the records are supposed to be shredded or destroyed.
Hunt said dumped records do not happen often, but it is important to investigate to send the message to others in the industry.
"Other dentists need to know," Hunt said, "this is a very serious issue."
The NSBDE is starting an investigation.
If the dentist is found to have violated the rules, they could face fines and possibly have their license revoked.
If you believe your child’s records or your own records could be among those recovered, you are asked to contact the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners at (702) 486-7044 or nsbde@nsbde.nv.gov
According to the NSBDE records Carla LaLande took over Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in September 2015. 
The previous owners are listed as William Dahlke and Michael Nelson.
Little Smiles website lists Chris Hemphill as the only dentist currently working out  of that office.