Children’s Dental Group has sold eight of its dental offices to Orange-based Western Dental; the Anaheim location, where 73 children were sickened by an infection outbreak last year, was not part of the deal done late last month.
On Thursday, Sept. 7, Western Dental announced it had also acquired 14 Kids Dental Kare locations, with all but two offices located in Los Angeles County. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The recent transactions bring the number of Western Dental’s California offices to 190, including 24 pediatric and orthodontic offices, the company said in a news release.
The purchase of the Children’s Dental Group offices closed Aug. 24 for an undisclosed amount. Western Dental did not purchase the Anaheim and Baldwin Park offices, but declined to say why not. Children’s Dental Group, based in La Palma, did not respond to requests for comment.
So far, the Children’s Dental Group clinics have not changed names. They are in Carson, Eagle Rock, Norwalk, Santa Ana, South Gate, Whittier, San Jose and Sunnyvale.
Children’s Dental Group, Kids Dental Kare and Western Dental see large numbers of patients covered by Denti-Cal, which is part of the state’s Medi-Cal program for low-income residents.
Attorneys who have filed lawsuits on behalf of young patients who underwent pulpotomies, also known as baby tooth root canals, at the Anaheim Children’s Dental Group clinic said they don’t expect the sale to impact the litigation. The lawsuits have named Children’s Dental Group as well as dentists and company executives.
“It does raise a brow,” said Claremont attorney Alexander Napolin, who has filed seven suits. “What’s going on here? Whether or not we’ll get an explanation, we’re not entitled to it.”
The children, who range in age from 2 to 11, were infected with serious mycobacterial infections after the water supply became contaminated at the Lincoln Avenue clinic. The county’s Health Care Agency twice shut down the office. All but one of the 73 children required hospitalization and some underwent months of intravenous antibiotic treatment.
Napolin said Children’s Dental Group’s malpractice insurance would handle any potential payouts, so he doesn’t expect the sale to affect the cases.
The Kids Dental Kare offices are located in: Huntington Park, Hollywood, East Los Angeles, Panorama City, Lynwood, El Monte, Paramount, Norwalk, Crenshaw, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Pasadena, Oxnard and Fresno.