MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Three people were charged with child abuse after a dentist operating out of a home left a 14-year-old girl with permanently disfigured teeth.
And now the victim’s mother is speaking out, urging others to use licensed dentists and never trust anyone who is performing dentistry out of their home.
“The message is that people have to be careful with what they do,” said Claribel Agramonte, the victim’s mother. She told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I was just trying to help my daughter and look what happened.”
Miami police on Wednesday busted a couple and their daughter at a home-operated dental office at 1039 SW 11th Street in Little Havana, according to Miami police spokeswoman Officer Kenia Reyes.
Humberto Perez, 81; Maria Perez, 69; and Odalis Hernandez-Perez, 41, were arrested and were charged with performing dental services without a license and two charges of child abuse, said a statement from Officer Reyes. Maria Perez and Odalis Hernandez-Perez bonded out of jail late Wednesday night.
The child abuse charges came after the 14-year-old’s mother reported her daughter’s teeth were permanently disfigured following work at the clinic.
“My daughter was crying all the time and they didn’t stop,” said Agramonte. “They just gave her more anesthesia. I feel really bad because my daughter is suffering and she’s going to stay suffering.”
“Because I heard my daughter crying and crying, I couldn’t take it anymore,” she said. “I had to go outside so I couldn’t hear it anymore. I hope no other family goes through what we went through.”
“We are from the Dominican Republic where it is common for dentistry work to be done in a home,” said Agramonte. “We thought we could trust this person.”
When the girl’s mother and grandmother took her inside the home-based dental clinic, they saw a fully operational dentist office, the police statement said.
The girl described the room as being small, with pots, medical instruments and teeth, according to the arrest affidavit for Humberto Perez.
Major David Magnusson of Miami Police described the room as “everything a dentist’s office should not be.”
As Humberto Perez conducted dental work on the girl, the young girl said she felt weak and sick.
According to Humberto Perez’s arrest affidavit, he injected a syringe of prescription medication into her mouth to help, then immediately started filing down her teeth.
That’s when, according to the affidavit, the girl told Perez she felt uncontrollable pain.
According to the statement, Perez continued with the dental procedure anyway.
Agramonte told D’Oench the painful procedure went from 10:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
The arrest affidavit for Perez’s daughter claims the 41-year-old told her dad, “Dad, I hate when you work on children. They always put on a show with the crying.”
The girl lost four teeth during two visits to the office and left with an infection that caused her teeth to separate from her gums, leaving them permanently disfigured.
“That’s what happens when someone practices medicine without a license,” Magnusson said.
Agramonte’s daughter, who is now 15, is being treated by a qualified doctor.
“The licensed dentist said that in his 30 years of experience, he has never seen anything as horrible as what they have done to this girl,” Magnusson said.
Detectives believe there may be additional victims that have yet to come forward. It’s not known how long the illegal clinic had been operating.
To report unlicensed activities, contact the Florida Department of Health at 1-800-HALT ULA (425-8852).