Friday, January 25, 2013

The Morning Drill: January 25, 2013

Good Friday morning!

On to today's health and dentistry headlines:

State board report: Bakersfield dentist accused of incompetence, negligence
In 2007, Bakersfield dentist Dr. Robert Tupac reassured a concerned patient not "to worry about a thing, I wrote the book on (dental) implants," according to an accusation filed on behalf of the California Dental Board. But according to that newly filed document, Tupac was negligent in a litany of painful-to-read ways.
Submitted by the state Attorney General's office, it details the complaints of two patients and a dentist who stood in for Tupac while he was on medical leave. "Treatment rendered on the majority of (Tupac's) patients was well below the standard of care in his community and in my opinion any community in California," the other dentist, referred to as R.R., wrote in his 2009 complaint. The dentist also reported that one of Tupac's employees said Tupac was altering records because he was being sued by at least two patients, according to the accusation. The accusation filed Jan. 10 is the third revision of a document first filed Feb. 1, 2012. Tupac's license is still current, according to the Dental Board's website. Tupac's Stockdale Tower office was open Thursday afternoon, but a woman at the front counter said the dentist is not speaking to anyone about the accusation.
Former patient says local dentist left her disfigured
17 News has fielded a series of calls from unhappy patients after first reporting Wednesday night that the Dental Board wants to suspend or strip the license of local dentist Dr. Robert Tupac.
The patients' stories are similar: botched dental implants that left their mouths disfigured. One former patient we spoke with says she sued Dr. Tupac and settled with him for $80,000.
But, that's nothing compared to the dental bills she says, she's racked up trying to fix her mouth.
"I start out with Advil then i go to Vicodin." Patty Hicks has a basket full of pain pills and a world of dental problems.
"I probably cry at least five nights out of the week," she said.
Pictures show Patty's upper gums were left swollen and red after several of the posts used to anchor the artificial teeth in her mouth became infected. She says part of the bone rotted away.
"That's why I don't eat," said Hicks. "I don't eat. That's why I've lost 35 pounds. I just went to the doctor the other day."
Hicks says Dr. Robert Tupac implanted her artificial teeth in 2008.
Dr. Tupac hasn't returned 17 News' repeated calls or responded to an e-mail message from 17 News.
But, Patty isn't alone.
The Dental Board seeks to suspend or revoke Dr. Tupac's license after a chorus of complaints flooded in over the last four to five years, not just from patients, but from several of Dr. Tupac's colleagues.
Melbourne dental worker sacked over porn
A MELBOURNE dental worker has been investigated after allegedly using a public dental clinic to shoot pornographic photos and for circulating a patient's confidential medical records.
A Southern Health dental hygienist ceased work a day after being told dozens of images of her posing explicitly in the Clayton clinic were posted on a members-only internet porn site.
The Herald Sun has seen the images, which show the employee posing nude in the clinic and using dental equipment as props. Some shots show the Southern Health logo in the background.
Plano Man Arrested For Practicing Dentistry From Home
A Plano man was arrested on Thursday for running an unlicensed dental practice in several makeshift offices inside his home. Police told KRLD that the man, 63-year-old Jose Santiago Delao, advertised through word of mouth and targeted those who did not have dental insurance. Investigators were initially tipped off to Delao s illegal business by a patient who felt he had improper work done on his teeth.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners actually sent a couple of investigators down to assists us, said David Tilley with Plano Police. And we were able to determine that basically, he s operating a full blown dentist office out of his personal residence. Investigators say that Delao often performed complicated surgeries, though it s unclear if he had previous dental experience in any country. Delao was taken to jail on Thursday and charged with a third degree felony for not having a license to practice dentistry.
Enjoy your morning and weekend!

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