Dentist uses Paper Clips to Perform Root Canals
Just the thought of the dreaded root canal procedure at the dentist makes many cringe. It’s a process with a painful reputation that repairs and saves a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. It’s a common treatment that is performed frequently at the endodontist’s or general dentist’s office.
However, this typical procedure was being done in a very different and harmful way in Fall River, Massachusetts. Dentist Michael Clair pleaded guilty last month to a list of charges, including assault and battery, defrauding Medicaid, illegally prescribing medications, and witness intimidation. The unlawful dentist also used PAPER CLIPS when performing root canals!
According to the Huffington Post, prosecutors said Clair sometimes used sections of paper clips as root canal posts in an effort to save money. Posts are used to fortify the tooth after the nerve and pulp are removed. Some of his patients reported infections and other problems.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said Clair billed the Medicaid program for the costs of stainless steel posts, and also submitted false claims using other dentists’ provider numbers.
“The defendant physically and emotionally harmed his patients by taking advantage of the trust they placed in him as their dentist,” Coakley said in a statement. “Mr. Clair brazenly cheated the Medicaid program and defrauded taxpayer dollars, billing for health care services he did not provide.”
Clair will serve one year in jail. Dental Geeks, what are your thoughts on Clair’s punishment?