Woodbury dentist speaks out after abrupt clinic closure leaves patients in limbo

Woodbury dentist speaks out after abrupt clinic closure leaves patients in limbo

Woodbury dentist speaks out after abrupt clinic closure leaves patients in limbo

A Woodbury dentist accused of leaving patients stranded without dental help after accepting full payments is speaking out.

Woodbury Dental Arts patients have been demanding answers ever since the clinic suddenly closed up shop last week with no warning.

Dr. Marko Kamel, Woodbury Dental Arts owner and dentist, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he abruptly closed his practice because his license was suspended and he ran out of money.

He said he was not practicing on patients while his license was suspended.

“I ran out of money to run the practice without being able to practice myself anymore,” Kamel said.

Kamel is the dentist former patients have been looking for to get answers.

“It’s not fair to just leave us hanging like this,” April Luera, Woodbury Dental Arts patient, said.

Nearly a year ago, Luera started a dental replacement process at the practice. Currently, her teeth are temporary implants.

“My appearance and my smile is everything to me,” Luera said.

She was due for another appointment, but she found out about the sudden closure.

Patients were met with an unexpected message on the door reading, “Woodbury Dental Arts is temporarily closed. Please contact your dentist with more information.”

Patients have to pay upfront out of pocket. Luera dished out $37,000 and her procedure is not finished.

“The partials are not strong at all. It broke and it’s literally broke right now,” she said. “I have no one to call. Nowhere to go. Who’s going to even help me in this situation? I can’t even eat.”

Public records led 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS to Kamel’s home where the interview was conducted.

State records show his license was temporarily suspended twice for “incompetence.”

It happened first in May 2023 and again in November for the same reason.

“They suspended my license for minor reasons,” Kamel said. “The Board of Dentistry of Minnesota was very slow to give justice and give me directions on what to do.”

He explained he didn’t get a chance to notify patients about the sudden closure because “when he couldn’t pay the payroll, he closed the office.”

“I’m so sorry,” he said. “It came to the point that I’m broke and I don’t have enough money to survive my family. I don’t have enough money to pay my employees.”

His patients said they want accountability.

“How dare you? Like, how dare you leave your patients like this? Untreated, not finished. It’s not right. It’s not fair to us,” Luera said.

Another Woodbury Dental Arts patient, Mark Doree, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he started the dental implant process in early 2023 and is due for another appointment.

“I am up against a wall without completing this procedure. I basically have plastic teeth in my mouth,” he said.

He paid over $25,000 for the process that still isn’t finished.

“You ever have that feeling when you’re going down the roller coaster and you lose your belly? That’s how I felt,” Doree said. “I’m at a loss. The feelings are all over the place.”

Kamel’s real estate broker told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they’re in the process of selling the practice and employees and patients will be first on the list to be reimbursed.

He said the goal is a couple of weeks, but he is “not making any promises.”

Kamel added his attorney is writing a letter so patients and employees have more information about what’s next. He explained he’s in the process of getting referrals from dentists in town so his patients can continue treatment.

The attorney general’s office has received numerous complaints about Woodbury Dental Arts, and they strongly encourage anyone who believes they were scammed to file a complaint with the office as well as with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.

“Attorney General Ellison takes allegations of consumer fraud very seriously and our office is extremely interested in hearing from consumers about their experiences with Woodbury Dental Arts,” Brian Evans, attorney general’s office communications representative, said in a statement.