Dentist Who Groped Patients Sentenced to Jail

A Melbourne Australian dentist who groped his patients was sentenced to jail for seven years in late 2018. The 60 year old dentist plead guilty to indecent assault of eight patients and one staff member over a period of nearly 20 years. He must serve at least four and a half years before being eligible for parole. The dentist had actually had his registration suspended due to a patient who died after having wisdom teeth removed in August 2017. The dentist had been prevented from treating women since November 2016 as complaints from women began to come in 2014. He first denied three complaints but then as additional complaints came in he was forced to go to trial. In one case the dentist ran his hands against a woman’s hips and breast and mouthed “I love you” to her. In … Read more

How to Address a Patient who Had an Interrupted Treatment Plan

An interesting article titled “Following up with a patient whose treatment has been interrupted” appears in the November 2014, JADA, and written by Michael H. Halasz. The article discusses a patient who received a complex treatment from a military dentist. The treatment started but because of deployment of a large number of troops in Iraq the treatment was interrupted so that the dentists could attend to other troops. The article addresses if the patient was abandoned during this time. The American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct states “Once a dentist has undertaken a course of treatment, the dentist should not discontinue that treatment without giving the patient adequate notice and the opportunity to obtain the services of another dentist. Care should be taken that the patient’s oral health is not jeopardized in the process.” The … Read more

The Ethics of a Dentist Leaving a Practice

An interesting article written by William Walton, appears in JADA December 2014, titled “Addressing the ethics of leaving a dental practice.” In the article, a discussion of what a dentist should ethically do when they are at a current dental practice and are moving to a different dental practice. It is stated that the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct provide guidance on what should be done in such a situation. It is suggested that once a dentist knows they are moving to a different practice they notify their patients of this and the departure date. Further, if a patient is in the midst of a treatment plan, then discussions should take place regarding if the treatment can be finished and if this is unlikely then other options for completing the treatment should be discussed. … Read more

Infection Control Lapse in Hawaii at VA Dental Clinic

The U.S. department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has said that 20 patients treated on May 23 and May 27 in Hawaii may have been exposed to viruses due to instruments that were not sterilized. The dental instruments used were believed to be clean, but the VA monitors said they were not sterilized. Only a single load of dental equipment, which was typically sent from one medical center with a dental clinic to a different medical center for sterilization was not performed. It is believed that the risk of contracting anything like HIV or hepatitis is low but patients at risk are recommend to be tested for viruses. The source of the story is over at khon2 titled Veterans Affairs apologizes to dental patients for unsterilized instruments written by Nestor Garcia on June 27, 2014, and located over at  http://khon2.com/2014/06/27/veterans-affairs-apologizes-to-dental-patients-for-unsterilized-instruments/. Staff … Read more

More Dental Patients Warned of Potential HIV and Hepatitis Exposure in Pennsylvania

Back in July, 2014, I discussed a case in Pennsylvania where dental patients where made aware of possible HIV and hepatitis exposure due to infection control lapses by a dentist. This led to a 74 year old dentist having his license suspended. A video interview of several students who were treated by the dentist said that sometimes the dentist didn’t wear gloves and didn’t wash his hands between patients. See the blog post located over at http://blog.teethremoval.com/dental-patients-warned-of-possible-hiv-and-hepatitis-exposure-in-pennsylvania/. An additional case of infection control lapses has also occurred in Pennsylvania. The dentist had his license temporarily suspended due to an investigation by Pennsylvania’s department of health. A press release issued said the dentist “…did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect, or sterilize dental tools used at his…office.” The investigation showed the dentist admitted that he and his staff do not … Read more