Dennis the Menace was an early 1960s TV show about a cute annoying/loveable kid and his neighbor, Mr. Wilson. On the other hand, Dentist the Menace is a blog that has nothing whatsoever to do with TV or comics, but everything to do with today’s PopTort. Although the word “menace” may be a bit too kind.
Dentist the Menace and several other outlets are telling the story today of Michael Clair, is a dentist who used to practice in Massachusetts at a friendly looking place called Harbour Dental at the New Harbour Mall. Among the many things he did to his patients was use paper clips during root canals. Something Dennis might do with his funny dentist set over there.
He’s been criminally charged and will soon be sentenced “on two counts of assault and battery, three counts of larceny, five counts of Medicaid fraud, three counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances and one count each of tampering with evidence and witness intimidation.”
Interestingly, his license to practice had been "previously revoked in Maryland, Florida and West Virginia” but Massachusetts let him practice even though he had “been prohibited from doing work on Medicaid patients.” (This allowed him to hire dentists and use their Medicaid identification to file claims.)
Mr. Clair has been free on bail since his arraignment April 8, 2010, and how he’s moved to Maryland – one of the states where his license was revoked. And it’s a good thing too, cause Maryland doesn’t need any more bad dentist publicity since the tragic death last year of a teenager who died during routine wisdom tooth surgery. The family has now sued the oral surgeon and the anesthiologist for medical malpractice.
The family is hoping “to highlight the surgery's risks and the need for better emergency training among dentists and oral surgeons.”
According to Jay Friedman, a California-based dental consultant and author:
American dentists and oral surgeons pull 10 million wisdom teeth each year -- an effort that costs more than $3 billion and leads to 11 million days of post-operative discomfort, according to the report.
“At least two thirds of these extractions, associated costs, and injuries are unnecessary, constituting a silent epidemic of [dentist-induced] injury that afflicts tens of thousands of people with lifelong discomfort and disability.”