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Federal agents, police raid NW Ga. dental office

ROME, Ga. (AP) — Federal agents and police raided a children's dentistry practice in a northwest Georgia town, saying they were responding to complaints that patients were improperly restrained.

Authorities executed a search warrant at the Rome dentist's office on Thursday to obtain records in an ongoing criminal investigation, Rome police said.

The search was done after numerous complaints regarding "the improper use of restraints as well as the improper and/or unnecessary performance of dental work on minor children," police said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was also involved in the search.

The investigation began in May 2011, when the mother of a 3-year-old girl told police her daughter was tied down and injured during a dental appointment, a search warrant affidavit in Floyd County Superior Court states.

The probe then widened, and now includes several other families and children. Records of more than 300 patients with Medicaid are being investigated, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Rome police Det. Joe Costolnick wrote in the affidavit that he has probable cause to believe that cruelty to children has occurred, though police say no charges have been filed in the case.

A phone message left with the dentist's office by The Associated Press on Friday was not immediately returned.