Monday, July 23, 2012

The Morning Drill: July 23, 2012

Dentist, Dr. Henri Duyzend

Good Monday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Why no one stopped dentist accused of massive overtreatment

Fifty-four-year-old Dan O’Neal of Mill Creek says that in the construction business, your work is your reputation.

"People expect quality out of me; I expect quality out of them,” said O’Neal.

O'Neal thought he was getting quality work from his family dentist—Dr. Henri Duyzend.

"All the way from my front teeth, all the way across the front is all root canalled,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal pointed out 12 of his front teeth that did not get root canals. He said Duyzend did root canals on the rest---20 total.

“I was thinking it was just normal business and that’s what I needed done to keep my teeth,” O’Neal said.

That changed when Duyzend retired in 2007 and sold his Shoreline practice.

According to a sworn affidavit, the new dentist was alarmed by the large number of root canals Henri Duyzend had performed.  After reviewing x-rays and patient charts, that dentist concluded Duyzend had done “fraudulent root canals on almost every patient in the practice” and that many were done poorly.

More than 200 patients have filed malpractice claims against Duyzend. The State Department of Health said 62 of those cases settled and were reported to them by the dentist’s malpractice insurance carrier.   There are more than a hundred pending.

One Step Closer to Growing a Tooth

To build a tooth, a detailed recipe to instruct cells to differentiate towards proper lineages and form dental cells is needed. Researchers in the group of Professor Irma Thesleff at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki, Finland have now found a marker for dental stem cells. They showed that the transcription factor Sox2 is specifically expressed in stem cells of the mouse front tooth.

Despite the development of new bioengineering protocols, building a tooth from stem cells remains a distant goal. Demand for it exists as loss of teeth affects oral health, quality of life, as well as one’s appearance. To build a tooth, a detailed recipe to instruct cells to differentiate towards proper lineages and form dental cells is needed. However, the study of stem cells requires their isolation and a lack of a specific marker has hindered studies so far.

New law blocks corporations from taking over dental practices

Much to the delight of local dentists, Gov. Bev Perdue on Thursday signed Senate Bill 655, also known as the dentistry management bill.

Filed in April of last year, the bill is designed to protect the public from receiving inappropriate dental treatment from large dentistry management firms. The bill protects practicing dentists from being overpowered or manipulated by corporate management companies armed with Wall Street cash.

Both the House and the Senate passed the bill with unanimous votes. The North Carolina Dental Society and Old North State Dental Society also supported the legislation.

 “I think the vast majority of the dentists of Gaston County supported this bill,” said Rep. Bill Current Sr., who represents House District 109, which includes Gaston County.

The bill was opposed by dental management corporations who believe they should have control over the professional decisions of dental practices. Some corporations argue their business expertise is of great aid to dentists, who have little knowledge of the managerial aspect of running a practice.

“It protects the present law by saying that only a dentist can own a dental practice,” said Current, who is himself a retired dentist. “What it means is that the dentist must make the clinical decisions, not some corporate executive.”

Muncie dentist's license could be suspended

A Muncie dentist’s license to practice is in jeopardy after his conviction on drug charges in Kentucky.

Eric Scott Browning, 610 S. Tillotson Ave., who also maintained a dental practice in Lexington, Ky., was indicted on Aug. 4, 2011, in Kentucky federal court on drug charges.

The charges were filed after Browning documented in patients’ charts that he administered 10 mg of Versed, which induces sedation and amnesia before medical procedures, when in fact he administered only 5 mg and administered the other 5 mg to himself during five months in 2010.

This past December, Browning pleaded guilty to the charges, for which he was sentenced to five years of probation and fined $10,000. The terms of probation require him to participate in a substance abuse treatment program and to submit to periodic drug testing.

Browning’s license was suspended by the Kentucky Board of Dentistry in December of 2010 after it determined he had used the restricted drug for personal use, and after he was witnessed practicing or trying to practice dentistry on Nov. 23 of that year in an “intoxicated state and while under the influence of one or more mind altering substances.”

In November 2010, Browning surrendered his U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency registration.

His license to practice remains suspended in Kentucky, where Browning’s actions were deemed to constitute an immediate danger to his patients.

Enjoy your morning!

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