Police: FD dental service wasn’t licensed

Local Smile Labs also being investigated for theft and fraud

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Smile Labs sits vacant at its former location at 201 S. 12th St. The Fort Dodge Police Department said the business did not have a valid state license when it was operating as a dental whitening business. Police are also investigating the business, which may have been involved in theft and fraud.

A now-closed Fort Dodge teeth whitening business may have been operating without a license, according to the Fort Dodge Police Department, and may have been involved in theft and fraud.

Smile Labs of Fort Dodge LLC, which was formerly located at 201 S. 12th St., has been the subject of an investigation since September, according to Capt. Ryan Gruenberg, of the Fort Dodge Police Department.

That’s when the Webster County attorney’s office was contacted by the Iowa Dental Board and its legal counsel, which informed prosecutors that the dental office was providing services without proper state certifications and licenses.

Gruenberg said, at that point, the FDPD began its investigation, which included multiple search warrants that were conducted at both the now-closed business and one at a local residence.

The investigation led police to learn the dental office had been practicing without certification and licenses, Gruenberg said.

“It’s estimated that prior to the business being closed, the owner/operator had been performing services to numerous individuals for almost one full year,” he said.

In addition, the investigation revealed that there have been complaints of theft and fraud against the business.

No charges have been filed, and Gruenberg said the investigation is ongoing.

Smile Labs of Fort Dodge LLC opened March 1. It was owned by Nick Myers and Jennifer Pechanec-Myers.

The business offered cosmetic teeth whitening through the use of a self-applied gel and a special LED light.

In April, Nick Myers told The Messenger, “People will sometimes ask what our qualifications are, but we aren’t practicing dentistry. This isn’t a substitute for good dental hygiene.”

Myers and Pechanec-Myers could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Iowa Dental Board did not return a phone call from The Messenger by press time.

Detectives with the Fort Dodge Police Department want to speak with anyone who received services from Smile Labs of Fort Dodge. He said it’s likely that somebody could be a victim of a crime and might not even realize it, which is why they want to talk to anybody who was a customer of Smile Labs.

Anyone who received services from Smile Labs of Fort Dodge or who may have information on them is asked to call Detective Tom Steck at 573-1426 or Webster County Crime Stoppers at 573-1444. Tips can also be sent online at wccrimestoppers.com or by texting “LEC” and the tip to 274637.