Lehigh Valley

Police: Parents charged for failing to get dental care for girl

Police: Parents charged for failing to get dental care for girl

WALNUTPORT, Pa. - A Northampton County couple is accused of letting their daughter's teeth decay so badly, her dentist said she could potentially die. 

In an exclusive interview with 69 News, the girl's father told a very different story.

Parents Ken "Chip" Wanamaker Jr., 36, and Jessica Hoffman, 31, of Lehigh Township, are now charged with endangering the welfare of a child. 

Both are out of jail on $40,000 bond.

The six year-old's dentist told police this was "the worst case of dental disease he has ever seen" and "there is enough dental disease to kill the child," according to arrest warrants. 

The girl has 14 abscessed teeth and needs "baby root canals" to keep decay from traveling through her gums, court papers claim.

Dentist Dr. Eugene McGuire said the surgery was supposed to take place in March, but the parents missed a pre-surgery appointment and ignored attempts to reschedule, even hanging up on his office.

Wanamaker tells a different story.

He claims McGuire never told them the issue was serious or potentially life-threatening. 

He said the girl was already scheduled for oral surgery on July 28 when police arrested him and Hoffman this week. 

Wanamaker said he waited so long because he was nervous about performing root canals on a small child and wanted a second opinion. 

When asked why he waited four months to get one, Wanamaker again claimed the dentist did not indicate the problem was severe.

McGuire would not comment on specifics of the case Thursday. 

He and police declined to release photos of the girl's teeth.

The couple's three children are now staying with Hoffman's mother, according to Wanamaker. 

Child welfare authorities are attempting to get custody of all the children, according to court papers.

Wanamaker and Hoffman are scheduled for a preliminary hearing next Wednesday.

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