An Arizona dental malpractice lawsuit was filed on December 7, 2018 against the plaintiff’s dentist, alleging that the defendant dentist falsified his credentials regarding his ability and authority to administer anesthesia during dental procedures, which the plaintiff first learned about shortly after the defendant had to abandon the plaintiff’s dental surgery before completing the procedure due to the plaintiff experiencing breathing problems during the surgery. The plaintiff included a count for consumer fraud and for negligent sedation in his dental malpractice lawsuit.
The plaintiff first learned of the alleged fraudulent credentialing when he saw a news report regarding his dentist on July 6, 2018. The July 6, 2018 news report allegedly reported that the defendant dentist employed false documentation, including false degrees and forged signatures, when he obtained a 1301 General Anesthesia Permit (the highest Arizona Dental Board-issued anesthesia certification), which authorized him to administer general anesthesia and deep sedation to patients. The news reported that one of the defendant dentist’s false degrees was created using a Microsoft Word template.
The defendant dentist was reportedly arrested within days after the news report aired, and was charged with two felonies: forged written instruments, and fraudulent schemes and artificies. His criminal trial is scheduled for March 2019.
The news also reported that the Executive Director of the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners had received multiple warnings regarding the dentist’s credentials over a period of years but failed to investigate or to take action. The news organization reported that it had obtained emails and documents “that show board officials intentionally looked the other way, silenced staff, and even helped the dentist continue to practice.”
The Executive Director of the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners, who had served in that capacity since 2009, abruptly resigned from the Board ten days after the news report aired.
A search of the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners website shows that the dentist’s license is still active and expires on June 30, 2019, and that his Dentist Anesthesia 1301 Permit expired on December 31, 2017.
On June 30, 2015, the dentist had signed a Disciplinary Consent Agreement and Order with the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners that found that he had committed unprofessional conduct associated with the root canal treatment of a patient in 2011. The dentist agreed to complete 6 hours of continuing education with regard to record keeping with an emphasis on informed consent, and an additional six hours of continuing education with regard to diagnosis and treatment planning of complex restorative cases.
The Arizona Board of Dental Examiners did not report any other disciplinary actions regarding the dentist.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries (or worse) due to possible dental malpractice in Arizona or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a dental malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your dental malpractice claim for you and file a dental malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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