MORRISTOWN (WATE) — A local couple owes a Morristown dentist nearly $20,000 to have their teeth fixed. But six months later, he still hasn’t finished the work and they’re still in pain.
6 On Your Side began investigating reports about Dr. Paul Muscari in December 2006 when Andy and Amanda Jarvey called to say they paid him nearly $20,000 for extensive dental care.
Dr. Muscari claims his job is done, but when Amanda prepares a meal for her husband, Andy, she’s very careful. He has to eat soft food. If he chews anything hard, it hurts his mouth.
Amanda’s situation isn’t much different. She says her mouth is often in pain.
On July 22, 2006, the Jarveys began undergoing their dental work at Dr. Muscari’s office in Morristown.
“He agreed that he was going to do all the work in my mouth and all the work in Amanda’s mouth for the price of $19,500,” Andy said.
The Jarveys took out a loan for the work with Care Credit, a credit company for dental services. Andy’s billing records show he owes $12,000. Amanda’s total is $7,500.
“We’re still no further than we were after July 22, as far as my mouth is concerned, and Amanda’s mouth is nowhere near what was supposed to be done,” Andy said.
Amanda said Dr. Muscari hasn’t finished a root canal and a filling he started. “He did four fillings,” she said.
The fillings are finished, but a tooth was extracted and now there’s a hole where her tooth was.
Amanda says the other work is incomplete. “He was supposed to put false teeth here and up here so I could chew.”
But it’s still difficult for Amanda to chew. “Do you hurt right now?” 6 On Your Side asked. “Yes, in the lower left,” she said.
Andy’s situation is even worse. His dental work is far from being finished. “Up on top, these are all temporary,” he said. Crowns were supposed to be fused there, but they haven’t been.
On his bottom jaw right molars were never finished, and on the other side is a jagged tooth, apparently left to rot.
Andy said that as his mouth healed, he called Dr. Muscari’s office for appointments to complete his dental work. “Every time I contacted him after that month-and-a-half, the answer that I got was, they’re still at the lab.”
“Where are your teeth today?” 6 On Your Side asked. “I don’t know,” Andy said. “They’re not in my mouth. I wanted to be able to smile for my children. And I wanted to be able to eat a decent meal without swallowing it whole.”
Wanting to get the dentist’s side of the story, Andy Jarvey signed a HIPPA release form, giving 6 On Your Side the okay to discuss his case.
6 On Your Side also wrote a letter to Dr. Muscari, asking for an interview or an explanation of the situation. We didn’t receive either.
So as he arrived at work recently, 6 On Your Side tried to ask Muscari questions in person. “Dr. Muscari, can we talk to you about discrepancies with the Jarveys?” We got no response from him at that time.
Three weeks ago, Muscari’s attorney called and said the dentist wants to comment about the Jarveys’ case but can’t because of a pending court case.
But late Monday, Muscari called and talked very briefly. “I have been in touch with the state medical boards and the state district attorney general’s office and I just cannot say anything at this time, pending other things that they have going on.”
6 On Your Sided asked Muscari why he hasn’t finished the Jarveys’ dental care. He said, “We have offered to send them to another dentist. I have offered to put them in. He has had the offerings and he has refused.”
In December, the Jarveys filed a complaint against Dr. Muscari with Care Credit. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Jarveys claimed charges for Muscari’s services were not delivered.
But in a response sent in mid-January, Care Credit rejected the couple’s claim. That was after Care Credit received a document from Muscari claiming he had completed all dental services for the Jarveys.
6 On Your Side showed video of the Jarveys’ dental work to a leading dentist in Knoxville, who asked not to be identified, and asked for his opinion.
He wondered where the bridges are that are missing from Andy’s mouth. He also said the upper teeth don’t look like porcelain crowns.
And in Amanda’s case, the expert said she appears to have a temporary filling. Yet, Dr. Muscari told Care Credit he finished her root canal and all her fillings.
Andy Jarvey is surprised that Care Credit never sent anyone to examine him or his wife. “I think I’ve really gotten taken for a ride by this dentist.”
The Jarveys have filed a complaint with the state dental board. The board won’t comment on whether an investigation of Dr. Muscari is under way. But Andy Jarvey said a state investigator came to their home several weeks ago.