1. Health

Pasco dentist reopens office after several allegations are dropped

James Reynolds, 72, received a pair of dentures at Smiles and Giggles Dentistry, a practice that was shut down and recently reopened after the dentist was arrested on charges of Medicaid fraud and improper practices. Reynolds went back six times, he said, and his dentures don’t fit and cause sores.
James Reynolds, 72, received a pair of dentures at Smiles and Giggles Dentistry, a practice that was shut down and recently reopened after the dentist was arrested on charges of Medicaid fraud and improper practices. Reynolds went back six times, he said, and his dentures don’t fit and cause sores.
Published Jun. 17, 2014

SPRING HILL — A dentist whose license was suspended last month after allegations of Medicaid fraud and pulling patients' healthy teeth is back in practice.

An administrative law judge dismissed several charges related to unacceptable standards in operating her office and an appeals court granted a stay of the license suspension, allowing Miranda Smith to reopen her practice on June 9.

Still pending is a criminal case against Smith, 46, who is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud. An affidavit filed in Pasco court details horror stories about patients' healthy teeth being pulled needlessly, children being told they had cavities that didn't exist and dentures not fitting after they were made. Smith went to jail and was released after posting $20,000 bail.

The state Attorney General's Office is prosecuting that case. No hearings have been set, and it's not clear how the criminal case might be affected by the administrative proceeding.

The 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee granted the stay on the license suspension that the state Department of Health's Board of Dentistry had imposed. She was accused of aiding unlicensed dental work by other employees in her office, not keeping her office up to acceptable standards, deceptive practices, diagnosing unnecessary work, and fraud and deceit. An administrative law judge dismissed all of those counts, according to court documents.

Smith operates Smiles and Giggles Dentistry on County Line Road and still faces two counts: an allegation she delegated her responsibilities as dentist to her employees and another she used anesthesia on patients without a permit.

She is allowed to practice until the appeal is ruled on.

"The ruling is going to be a while," said John Terrel, the attorney who represents her in the administrative case. "A briefing schedule takes months."

He expects a decision near the end of the year.

According to Terrel, who is representing Smith's appeal of her license suspension, the patients' stories in the administrative complaint were not substantiated. He said he interviewed all of them, and their testimony contradicted information in the allegations.

"As far as standard of care is concerned," he said, "every allegation listed in the administrative complaint was unfounded. There are clearly issues with the Department of Health's case."

The Department of Health did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Terrel said the genesis of the complaints, and Smith's subsequent arrest, are two racist ex-employees. Those employees, he said, were ultimately dropped as witnesses.

In a written statement to the Times, Smith said the allegations against her are all three years old and false, and added that her license suspension has already caused many insurance companies to remove as a practitioner.


  1. 7/6/01 Coleman, Fl.   Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fl. in Sumter County. The prison's women's camp has confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease [CLIFF MCBRIDE  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Gail Franklin, 55, with her daughter Fahran Franklin, 28, at he Emerson Straw PL law offices 1101 MLK Jr St North, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 in St. Petersburg. Gail's husband, and Fahran's father, died after an operation for his knee. They are now suing the doctor for malpractice. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt. speaks at a campaign event in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 22, 2020. [CEDAR ATTANASIO  |  AP]
  4. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute purchased 775 acres in central Pasco County for a planned expansion. TIMES [VYCELLIX, A SWEDISH CANCER THERAPY RESEARCH COMPANY, IS SETTING UP ITS U.S. HEADQUARTERS NEAR THE H. LEE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER & RESEARCH INSTITUTE IN TAMPA. (TIMES FILES]
  5. A therapeutic dance class held for Parkinson's patients at the 2019 Parkinson's Expo. The Sarasota Ballet will teach ballet moves at this year's expo. [Courtesy of Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s]
  6. A view from inside the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. The university is taking its turn in the spotlight Tuesday as a legislative committee continues its investigation into China's involvement with Florida research institutions. [University of Central Florida]
  7. Nadia King, 6, is smiles for a photo. The special-needs student was taken from school Feb. 4 and placed in a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act, and now her mother and a team of attorneys are asking why. [The Cochran Firm]
  8. In this image from a video taken on Monday, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess and officials wait for the takeoff of a Kalitta Air airplane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP) [AP]
  9. University of Florida students walk through Turlington Plaza in between classes on Thursday afternoon, February 13, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. [[Justin Bright | FRESH TAKE FLORIDA]]
  10. Thomas Sellers, a former director at Moffitt Cancer Center, has filed a lawsuit saying he was unjustifiably forced to resign. [Moffitt Cancer Center]
  11. Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, San Petersburg.
  12. Regginald Jackson, 30, was arrested on a sexual battery charge Monday after Hillsborough deputies say a nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital saw him sexually abusing a 75-year-old patient. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]