Krista Szewczyk is the Georgia woman arrested twice within two weeks for allegedly posing as a dentist. She has been accused of performing dental procedures for several years, despite never obtaining a medical license. Multiple patients have come forward to complain about improper care.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Szewczyk Was Ordered to Stop Performing Dental Procedures as Far Back as 2013
Szewczyk, 47, initially operated the company County Dental Providers in Paulding County, Georgia. She opened the business in 2011. In 2013, investigators began looking into the practice after getting an alert from the Georgia Board of Dentistry. According to an indictment, Szewczyk would hire independent licensed dentists for short periods. When she did not have any employees, she performed the dental work herself.
A case was brought against her in 2013, but the district attorney in Paulding County ultimately decided not to pursue a criminal charge for performing dental services without a license. Szewczyk’s husband was a sheriff’s deputy in the county, and prosecutors decided it was a conflict of interest. Instead, Szewczyk’s was ordered to complete a pre-trial diversion program in exchange for investigators dismissing the charge.
People quoted district attorney Dick Donovan: “This was the only instance of which we were aware at the time, so we just said, ‘Don’t do this anymore. I got a notice saying she had completed the program about the same time I heard from the Board of Dentistry that she was back at it again.”
2. Szewczyk is Accused of Continuing to Work as a Dentist Despite Not Having a License and Now Faces Dozens of Criminal Charges
Krista Szewczyk did not close up her dental business after the initial investigation. Instead, she eventually moved it to the city of Marietta, in Cobb County. County Dental Providers is registered under her name with the Secretary of State’s office.
Investigators accuse her of continuing to perform procedures including tooth extraction, applying braces and installing crowns. All of these are delicate procedures that require extensive education and training, of which Szewczyk has none. In addition, she is accused prescribing dangerous prescription drugs to patients.
Szewczyk was first arrested in late August. She posted bond and was released. A grand jury in Paulding County piled on dozens of charges against her, including:
• 40 counts of practicing dentistry without a license
• 3 counts of unlawful prescription
• 1 count of forgery in the first degree
• 4 counts of insurance fraud
Szewczyk has denied the allegations.
3. Krista Szewczyk Is Expected to Face More Charges in the Separate Cobb County Investigation
A second investigation has been underway in Cobb County, since Szewczyk reopened her practice there. On the morning of September 6, 2018, police obtained warrants and searched both her home and her Marietta office.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution shared pictures of police outside the office. They seized a computer from County Dental Providers and removed boxes from her house in Paulding County.
Szewczyk was not at either location at the time of the searches. She was arrested later in the day after she was pulled over for driving with an expired tag. The deputy saw there was a new warrant for her arrest related to the Cobb County investigation. She was booked into jail but quickly released on $5,000 bond. Jail records show Szewczyk is charged with practicing dentistry without a license in Cobb County, but investigators say more charges are expected to be filed.
There was also reportedly evidence that after being arrested in Paulding County, Szewczyk continued to work as a dentist anyway. WSB-TV reporter Nicole Carr shared on Twitter that a patient claimed to have been treated by Szewczyk in the days between the two arrests.
4. At Least One of Szewczyk’s Patients Said He Had to Receive Emergency Surgery to Repair Damage Done to His Mouth
Investigators in Paulding County originally identified at least 18 victims who allegedly received inadequate care from Szewczyk. District attorney Dick Donovan said more than a dozen additional people have come forward since the original indictment was reported. Investigators in Cobb County are also encouraging possible victims to speak up.
One patient, identified as David Marsh, said he was a patient of hers in Paulding County. He spoke to ABC affiliate WSB-TV about what happened to him after Krista Szewczyk pulled two teeth from his mouth. He said an ulcer the size of a tennis ball formed on his neck, and was making it difficult to breath.
Marsh’s wife took him to the emergency room. The doctors there immediately rushed him to a hospital for emergency surgery. Marsh said the doctors put a tube down his throat to drain everything out, and cut the abscess. He told the TV station, “Sad to say I did not check the credentials, but you’re in pain, need a tooth pulled, it’s a reputable company. I’m amazed that she was even able to pull this off as long as she has.”
5. Szewczyk Says She Believes the Investigations Are Personal and Denies the Accusations
Krista Szewczyk has denied the charges and told TV station WGCL that she believes the case against her is personal. “It’s definitely a personal vendetta for the D.A investigator. Sad situation… and I’m confident it will be handled in a timely manner.” She was referring to Paulding County District Attorney Dick Donovan.
On her company’s website, Szewczyk is neither named not pictured. County Dental Providers currently promotes a “Dr. Johnson” who is “eager to meet your dental needs.” In fine print at the bottom of the home page, it is explained that County Dental Providers is NOT a dental service, but rather an administrative organization that connects patients with affiliated dentists. The fine print reads:
“The Company is solely a business service organization, which means we don’t do dentistry or get involved in the decisions made between dentist and patient. Our affiliated dentists spend most of their time with their patients delivering high-quality patient care, while our highly-trained business professionals manage the business aspects of their practices. Dentists choose our organization because they still love dentistry but no longer want the burden of daily business and administrative services.”