Recent Cases of Dentist Assistant Sexual Assault During Wisdom Teeth Removal

In the past some cases of sexual assault occurring during surgery to remove wisdom teeth has been discussed, see for example the post Dentist Who Groped Patients Sentenced to Jail and
http://www.teethremoval.com/sexual_assault_under_anesthesia_for_wisdom_teeth_removal.html. These cases typically involve the dentist or oral surgeon as the ones making the sexual assault. However, a few cases in recent years have involved a dental assistant as the one making the sexual assault.

The first of such cases occurred in 2015 and 2016 in San Diego, California. It was believed the dental assistant assaulted 13 victims over this time with most of them being younger patients who were assaulted while having wisdom teeth extracted. In each case the women were placed under anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal and the sexual assault occurred after the surgery when the dental assistance was supposed to be cleaning up the room where the surgery just took place. The dental assistant admitted to inappropriately touching nine women and penetrating one woman. What is unique about this case is that most of the sexual assaults were captured on security cameras that had been installed since 2009. The dental assistant was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Many of the victims are reported as suffering from things like depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, post-traumatic stress disorder since the assaults took place.

The second of such cases occurred in 2017 in Silver Spring, Maryland. In this case a 17 year old woman was assaulted by the dental assistant after having her wisdom teeth removed under sedation. The woman recalls waking up from surgery with blurry vision and a hand touching the inside of her pants and underwear. The dental assistant also placed the woman’s hand on his genitals. The woman was reported to have cried after experiencing this sexual assault.

female patient dentist - Recent Cases of Dentist Assistant Sexual Assault During Wisdom Teeth Removal
This image is from Pixabay and has a Pixabay license

Both of these two cases are troubling in addition to all the other known cases. It has long been suggested on this site that a nurse or other chaperone should be present in the surgical room if a patient is under sedation to remove any wisdom teeth. However, it appears this nurse or chaperone also needs their own chaperone. Thus it would be wise to have at least two sets of eyes on a patient at all times before, during, and after wisdom teeth surgery at any time they are present at a surgeon’s office or hospital. The first case shows that even with video surveillance it could take many months before any misconduct is discovered.

Sources:

  1. Monica Garske, “This Has Ruined Me: Victim of Sexual Assault by San Diego Dental Assistant,” NBC 7 San Diego, Aug. 26, 2016, Updated Aug. 27, 2016,
    https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Luis-Ramos-San-Diego-Dental-Assistant-Sentencing-Sexual-Assaults-of-Patients-391407941.html.
  2. Abigail Constantino, “Dental assistant found guilty of sexually abusing minor during surgery,” wtop, May 17, 2019,
    https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2019/05/dental-assistant-found-guilty-of-sexually-abusing-patient-during-surgery/

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