A Texas dentist with a bold social media presence faces accusations of sexual harassment and bullying from multiple women who claim to have received inappropriate messages from his official social media accounts.
Dr. Kenneth Wilstead’s Unconventional Social Media Persona
Dr. Kenneth Wilstead, known as @DrKennySmiles on Instagram and @DrKennySmilesOfficial on TikTok, is a dentist renowned for his unconventional and edgy humor on social media. He boasts hundreds of thousands of followers and frequently showcases his “smile makeovers.”
Social Media Stardom Undermined by Allegations
Wilstead’s videos, which feature patients discussing their dental issues before unveiling their transformed smiles, have gained immense popularity on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. However, allegations have recently surfaced regarding his treatment of female patients and those seeking dental assistance.
Multiple Women Share Their Disturbing Experiences
In an interview, four women spoke about their encounters with Wilstead. Two prospective patients reported receiving sexually explicit messages from his account without any in-person meetings. Another woman received bullying messages on social media from his account, while a fourth woman filed a complaint against him after he allegedly used profanity and dismissed her dental concerns as psychological.
A Pending Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Within the past year, one of Wilstead’s patients filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against him, alleging inappropriate physical contact. A jury trial for the case is scheduled in the 14th District Court docket.
Dentist’s Practice and Social Media Persona
Wilstead appears to be the sole dentist listed on the “About Us” page of his Smile Again Dental practice. It remains unclear if other dentists work there.
Dentist Responds to Allegations
In a lengthy email statement to media, Wilstead attributed some of his actions to his staff handling his social media presence. He acknowledged that his online persona can sometimes be misconstrued, leading some to believe he crossed the line. He defended himself against the pending lawsuit, stating he is innocent of the inappropriate touching accusations.
Platform Responses and Community Guidelines
Meta, the company behind Instagram, removed two of Wilstead’s videos, citing violations of community guidelines. Additionally, they placed a temporary ban on Wilstead from using Instagram Live due to repeated rule-breaking. TikTok did not provide a comment regarding Wilstead’s content to NBC News.
Allegations Spark Outcry and Examination of Previous Content
The allegations against Wilstead have sparked a reexamination of his previous content, with some viewers finding his conduct problematic.
Disciplinary Actions by the Texas Board of Dental Examiners
The Texas Board of Dental Examiners lists three disciplinary actions on Wilstead’s license page, dating back to 2015, 2019, and 2021. These actions include issues related to prescribing controlled substances for non-dental reasons, failing to provide the minimum standard of dental care, and abandoning a patient.
Wilstead’s Response and Perspectives
Despite the allegations and disciplinary actions, Wilstead suggested that some individuals may be using social media to join a vocal minority and engage in negative behavior. He expressed his disheartenment with the situation.