Stealth dentistry charges bring in millions for NHS

About half of NHS patients pay for their dentistry

Hundreds of thousands of patients are paying a “stealth tax” when they have an NHS dental checkup, making the government millions of pounds a year.

Within five years NHS patients at a third of surgeries will be paying more than their treatment costs as dental fees continue to rise, an analysis has shown. This will raise £20 million for the government, leading to claims of a “rip-off” tax on treatment.

Just over half of NHS patients pay for their dentistry, with children, pregnant women and those receiving low-income benefits exempt from the charges, which are considerably lower than private treatments.

After charges rose at the weekend, a checkup costs £21.60, fillings and teeth extractions cost £59.10 and complex work such as crowns and bridges costs…

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Dentist Threatens to Report Parents Who Don’t Bring Kids in for Regular Checkups

(Getty Images)

Dental care is important for kids. No one is really going to dispute that claim. While young children are going to lose their baby teeth at some point anyway, setting the habits for good oral hygiene is vital.

However, imagine how you would feel if your dentist essentially threatened to report you for neglecting your child if you don’t come in for cleanings according to their schedule? For Trey Hoyumpa, that threat slapped her in the face when she received a letter saying as much.

Hoyumpa then posted it on Facebook for the world to see.

Hoyumpa accuses the practice of some pretty awful things, things which are sketchy enough I’d refuse to let my kids go back with them. Then there’s the letter, which, in part, reads:

According to law, failure to bring your child in for dental care is child neglect. Pennsylvania Act 31 (Child Abuse Reporting and Recognition Requirements) states that health care providers must report your failure to bring your child to the dentist for evaluation and care. A copy of Act 31 is enclosed for your reference. Smiles 4 Keeps has not reported your child’s outstanding treatment as of yet. Since this law is in effect, we hope this letter encourages you schedule an appointment to follow through with needed dental treatment for your child.

Now, let’s take a step back on this for a moment.

Yes, dental care is important. It’s especially important when we’re dealing with something like an abscess or potentially threatening condition, but it’s also important for routine care. I get that. I really do.

However, here’s the text of Act 31. It’s clearly about mandatory reporting, but there’s nothing at all defining neglect to include missing dental cleanings or even routine checkups. It’s merely saying they’re required to report signs of abuse.

Have they seen any?

While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does consider the failure of a parent to provide dental care as a sign of child neglect, even they acknowledge that kids can do just fine without such treatment for some time. What we’re missing here are a couple of key data points. Namely, how delayed the treatment is.

The fact that Smiles 4 Keeps hasn’t actually called the authorities indicates it hasn’t been that long. If it was of a sufficiently long time, they’d be bound by Pennsylvania state law to make a call. They haven’t. They explicitly state they haven’t.

Instead, it looks like they’re just using Act 31 to bully people to come and see them more often, threatening to call child protective services of that county. That’s a problem Considering the other practices alleged, something is seriously amiss.

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March 25 arts and entertainment calendar

Second Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise noted: Greenwood’s Coloring (adults only) hosted by Dohnna Boyajian at Aromas Village Coffee, 7-9 p.m. Bring coloring pages, colored pencils and markers.

April 11-16, Friends of Greenwood County Library Spring Book Sale, 864-941-4654. Opening day, 1-8 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, during regular library hours, final day, through 1 p.m. Thousands of titles available for purchase. Proceeds benefit library programs for children, teens and adults.

April 21, Rock ‘n’ Roll Cruisers cruise-in at Uptown fountain in Greenwood, 6 to 9 p.m.

May, TBA, Keith Jamison, opera tenor, Greenwood Performing Arts at GCT, 7:30 p.m., 864-227-8744.

May 13, Pan Harmonia Chamber Ensemble, described as “eclectic and genre-smashing” part of the free Festiva series at First Presbyterian Church of Greenwood, 4 p.m., 864-229-5814.

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10 Questions With Dr. Dimassi Of BridgeMill Dentistry

BridgeMill Dentistry has been committed to providing excellent dental care to individuals and families in Cherokee County for more than 15 years. From expert cosmetic dental care to implant restorations and repairs, the team at BridgeMill Dentistry guarantees personalized treatment in a friendly environment.

Dr. Matthew A. Dimassi was recently welcomed to the BridgeMill family in 2017 and has quickly immersed himself in helping valued patients achieve confident smiles. Providing care for veterans, volunteering and going on several mission trips are just a few items on his résumé — not to mention his impressive snowboarding hobby! Read on to learn more about Dr. Dimassi and how he always "puts himself in the patient’s shoes."

Patch: As the newest member of BridgeMill Dentistry’s team, how have things gone so far?

Dr. Dimassi: I’ve just started my sixth month with the practice, and things couldn’t be better. We have a phenomenal team that is uniquely qualified and committed to really loyal patients. I haven’t seen this level of personal relationship with patients anywhere I’ve practiced, and it makes the job fun every day.

Patch: What did you do before joining BridgeMill Dentistry?

Dr. Dimassi: My most significant work came at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, where I had the honor of providing care to men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. I also practiced in two other small dental offices before joining the BridgeMill Dentistry team.

Patch: What made you want to practice dentistry in Cherokee County?

Dr. Dimassi: It’s a growing area, which is always a positive when it comes to personal career goals. But this area is such a family-oriented place, where people really care for their neighbors and go out of their way to make others feel a valuable part of the community. You really can’t beat that in a community.

Patch: Why did you become a dentist?

Dr. Dimassi: There are many reasons, but one of the big ones for me is the challenge involved in dentistry. Every patient’s needs vary at least a little bit, and sometimes, significantly. Being able to customize a treatment plan and achieve positive results is a great way to spend the workday.

Patch: What’s the biggest challenge or most difficult moment you’ve faced in your job?

Dr. Dimassi: I would say seeing people that are really held back by the aesthetics of their smile. High-quality dental care and technology are more accessible to our younger generation than ever, which is excellent.

However, many middle-aged to older Americans didn’t have the benefits of great dental care in their youth, and many struggle today with smiles they aren’t happy with. It’s hard to see folks who are unhappy with their appearance, but also rewarding to be able to help them feel more confident.

Patch: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given and who gave it to you?

Dr. Dimassi: "Imagine it is you." A mentor once told me to put myself in the shoes of every patient I treat, and I’ll never lose sight of what the practice of dentistry is all about. I believe that’s very true, especially when it comes to medical care.

Patch: Are there any new projects or endeavors you’re working on that you’re extra excited about?

Dr. Dimassi: Our practice is scheduled to participate in Love Loud again this year, which is a two-day program that provides free dental treatment to community members with limited means. That will be a highlight of our 2018 I’m sure.

Patch: Tell our readers something about you that may surprise them.

Dr. Dimassi: I really love to snowboard. That’s not the most common hobby for someone who lives in Georgia.

Patch: How can Patch readers learn more about you and your practice?

Dr. Dimassi: The BridgeMill Dentistry website is a great resource for new and existing patients.

This Patch article is sponored by BridgeMill Dentistry.

Image Credit: BridgeMill Dentistry

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews Saddles Up with Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double and The Grand Brie Burger

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., March 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ the only thing to look forward to this spring! For a limited time, now through June 24, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews (Red Robin) guests can wrangle up a Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double and The Grand Brie at restaurants nationwide. The southern-inspired Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double is a flavor-packed burger that features two fire-grilled patties, topped with bourbon-infused Whiskey River BBQ Sauce, ranch, crispy onion straws, American cheese and lettuce on a sesame seed bun. The Grand Brie, an award-winning burger from the 2017 South Beach Wine and Food Festival making its grand entrance to Red Robin’s Finest menu, features a fire-grilled, half-pound Black Angus burger with melted Brie cheese, balsamic fig jam, crispy bacon, fresh arugula and mayo on a brioche bun.

"Experimenting with new flavors and pushing burger boundaries is what defines Red Robin," said Dana Benfield, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Red Robin. "The addition of the Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double and The Grand Brie showcases our menu innovation and versatility at both ends of the spectrum, from our value-focused Tavern menu to our elevated Finest menu!"

Red Robin is also elevating its popular milkshake lineup with the addition of two new, indulgent offerings. The Chocolate Hazelnut Bliss is a blend of chocolate hazelnut spread and cocoa crisps topped with velvety, chocolate whipped cream and dark chocolate Fruffles . The Silver Spoon S’mores blends crispy, toasted mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream and decadent fudge-dipped graham crackers.

A new appetizer springing into Red Robin restaurants is the sweet and spicy Island Heat Wings, tender and crunchy all-white chicken wings tossed in sweet mango chili sauce, topped with seared pineapple, fresh jalapenos and minced parsley and served with Yukon kettle chips. Red Robin is also introducing a Strawberry Basil Lemonade, to pair with any of the new spring menu offerings, as well as a Strawberry Basil Margarita and White Spanish Sangria for Guests 21 and over.

For more information about Red Robin’s spring promo menu items or to find the nearest Red Robin restaurant, visit To sign up for the Red Robin Royalty loyalty rewards program, visit<

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (RRGB)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (, a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc.,and under the trade name, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews,is the Gourmet Burger Authority , famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries in a fun environment welcoming to guests of all ages. At Red Robin, burgers are more than just something guests eat; they’re a bonding experience that brings together friends and families, kids and adults. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts and signature beverages.Red Robin offers a variety of options behind the bar, including its extensive selection of local and regional beers, and innovative adult beer shakes and cocktails, earning the restauranta VIBE Vista Award for Best Beer Program in a Multi-Unit Chain Restaurant. It’s now easy to take Red Robin anywhere with online ordering for to-go and Gourmet Burger Bar catering pickups through Yummm2Go. There are more than 560Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including Red Robin Express locations and thoseoperating under franchise agreements. Red RobinYUMMM ! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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SOURCE Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.

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The Broncos just converted a huge chunk of Von Miller’s salary

John Elway is on the move.

Eagles created $5.407M in cap space in 2018 by converting $7.21M of TE Zach Ertz’s $8M base salary into a fully guaranteed roster bonus, per @FieldYates.Broncos created $12.375M in 2018 cap space by converting $16M of LB Von Miller’s $18.5M base salary into a signing bonus.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2018

This morning, the Denver Broncos converted the lion’s share of Von Miller’s 2018 base salary into a signing bonus: $16M out of a total $18.5M. That decision frees up $12.375M of the 2018 salary cap.

Elway has clearly chosen to pursue a major free agent, but who? Possibilities might include defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.

Updates to come as more details come out.

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Michigan women make NCAA Tournament as No. 7 seed, will face Northern Colorado

Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty (3) dribbles down the court on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at Crisler Arena. Jack Zellweger | Ann Arbor News(

Michigan women’s basketball’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013 will begin in Waco, Texas.

With the announcement of the 64-team field Monday night, the Wolverines are a No. 7 seed of the Lexington Region and will face No. 10 seed Northern Colorado (26-6) at 5 p.m. Friday (ESPN2).

Northern Colorado won the Big Sky Conference and enters the tournament on a 13-game winning streak.

Michigan (22-9) entered the final week of the regular season on the tournament bubble, but it earned a crucial 71-65 victory over then 13th-ranked Maryland in its final game on Feb. 22.

The Wolverines, ranked 39th in RPI, opened the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6 seed and defeated No. 11 seed Penn State 77-48 in the first round before losing to No. 3 seed Nebraska 61-54 in a quarterfinal.

The team enters the NCAA Tournament with one of the best duos in the country. Senior guard Katelynn Flaherty, the program’s all-time leading scorer, ranks fifth in the nation at 23.2 points per game.

Junior center Hallie Thome is averaging 17 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 61.5 percent from the field, which is third-best in the Big Ten.

Michigan accepted an invitation to the WNIT the previous four years since last earning an NCAA Tournament berth in head coach Kim Barnes Arico’s first season.

The team, which won the WNIT championship last season, was on the bubble last year after losing three of its final four games in the regular season. It dropped its conference tournament opener to Michigan State, costing the team a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

This season, the Wolverines appeared to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament in January with a program-best 18-4 start and a No. 13 ranking in the country.

However, they sputtered down the stretch, losing four of their next six before upending Maryland.

UAB knocked off Iowa State as a No. 14 seed in 2015. (David Stephenson | AP Photo)
Michigan players celebrate as they are shown on the bracket during the TBS Selection Sunday show at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Michigan will be traveling to Wichita, Kansas, to take on Montana.

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Blaze at Denver Construction Site Kills One Person, Another Still Missing

The three-alarm blaze destroyed the Emerson Place Apartments under construction on East 18th Avenue in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.

Image courtesy of Denver Fire Dept.

One person is dead and another missing after a three-alarm fire erupted at a construction site near downtown Denver on Wednesday. The mid-day fire, which destroyed a partially completed apartment building and burned hot enough to damage at least 40 cars in the area, forced construction workers to leap to safety from second and third floors. Some were hurt when they jumped; others injured trying to catch them.

Nearly 50 construction workers were on site when the fire broke out. Some tried to extinguish the blaze themselves but were unsuccessful.

Fire officials have not identified the person killed, but Denver Fire Captain Greg Pixley said in an afternoon news conference that a body was found in the debris. The search for a second person is ongoing, he said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. People in the area reported hearing at least two loud explosions several seconds apart as the blaze started.

Pixley said that the fire spread quickly because of exposed materials on the jobsite. “The building had nothing to protect the wood,” he told reporters at the scene. He noted that officials have no immediate indication of any deviations from city building codes or permitting violations at the site. A progress inspection of the electrical system, conducted earlier in the week, revealed no problems with it.

The fire occurred at the Emerson Place Apartments on East 18th Avenue in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood, near the city’s hospital district. The five-story, 84-unit complex, estimated construction cost of $15 million, featured all studio apartments. The developer is Allante Properties, Greenwood Village, Colo., and the contractor is Vertix Builders, Frederick, Colo. Neither company could be reached for comment.

The project was scheduled for completion this summer.

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