DESLOGE — Almost every day, Dr. Michael Correale’s office gets a call from one of Dr. Troy Vanopdorp’s former patients who is just finding out the Desloge dentist closed his office.
Dr. Vanopdorp, who is awaiting trial for three counts of child molestation and one misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge, was evicted from his building in Desloge this spring.
Connie Thurman and his other staff members had already quit by then. Thurman and two of the other staff members now work for Dr. Correale in Leadington. She said Dr. Correale’s office is getting a lot of calls from Dr. Vanopdorp’s patients who are just finding out he shut his practice down.
His landlord, Darrell Thurston, said he gave the dentist an extra 30 days so he could have time to notify his patients. Thurman said Dr. Vanopdorp did not notify his patients that he was leaving. She believes the doors were locked and he was just gone.
Since then, the dentist had his bond revoked and is in jail awaiting the charges.
Thurman said some of the patients are complaining that Dr. Vanopdorp put in a temporary crown and hadn’t put in the permanent one. There’s others whose insurance has paid for something he hasn’t finished.
One patient had an appointment with him on April 8 to have a tooth pulled but his office was closed. At the time, she didn’t know if the closure was temporary or permanent. She called several times about getting her medical records but didn’t get an answer.
“He has really messed up the work he did and I wanted to get my records so I can go to someone else …” she said.
Thurman said Dr. Correale wants to help these patients, but doesn’t know what to do. They need their dental records and no one knows where they are.
Thurston believes the records might be in a storage shed. Or they could be in Illinois where Vanopdorp has family.
The Missouri Dental Board recommends filing a written complaint with their office — P.O. Box 1367, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1367. For more information call 573-751-0040 or visit http://pr.mo.gov/dental.asp
To complain about physicians, visit http://pr.mo.gov/healingarts.asp
Dr. Vanopdorp was contacted by jail staff who said he wanted to talk to the Daily Journal but needed to talk to his attorney first. Calls to his attorney, Scott Rosenblum, were not immediately returned.