Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Morning Drill: September 25, 2012

Florida Dentist Conrad J. Kusel Jr

Good Tuesday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Port St. Lucie dentist sued by former employee for brandishing gun

A former employee of a Port St. Lucie dentistry office filed a lawsuit Monday in St. Lucie County circuit court alleging her former employer brandished a firearm during a staff meeting.

The lawsuit filed by Sunday Jean Sack alleges assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress by Dr. Conrad J. Kusel Jr. of Kusel Family Dentistry. Also named as defendants are Kusel's brother and partner, Dr. Brian M. Kusel, and the brothers' practice.

Sack claims that at a Feb. 3 staff meeting, Conrad Kusel held the gun over his head, appeared to cock it and said in a loud voice, "So everyone is going to sit down now, and I'm sure everyone is going to stay in line for the rest of the meeting."

At a news conference Monday morning outside the St. Lucie County Courthouse, attorney Stuart Address, who filed the lawsuit, said employees later learned the gun was not loaded; but Sack said she felt "pure panic" during the incident.

"I totally went into shock mode," she said. "I thought I was going to die."

A receptionist at Kusel Family Dentistry said Monday the Kusels were "not interested in speaking about" the lawsuit.

Conrad Kusel said staff members had given him a gift certificate to buy the weapon and "he wanted to show everyone the present that they got him for Christmas," according to a Port St. Lucie Police Department incident report.

Sack went on a previously arranged vacation after the incident and "did not return to work thereafter due to work-related stress and emotional anguish caused by this incident," according to the lawsuit.

She received a letter dated March 1 indicating she had been terminated.

Coalinga dentist to stand trial in son's morphine death

A Fresno County Superior Court judge decided Friday that a Coalinga dentist should stand trial for killing his son with excessively high doses of morphine.

The Coalinga dentist accused of killing his son with excessively high doses of morphine may have to stand trial for it after all.

Allen Clare, 68, had made a deal to serve probation on a charge of violating state business and professions code related to the case. Fresno County Superior Court Judge Jon Nick Kapetan signed off on it.

But when the plea came to light at a June court hearing, Coalinga Police Chief Cal Minor erupted, calling it preferential treatment. And on Friday when the case came back to Kapetan's courtroom for sentencing, he instead said Clare should have a preliminary hearing that could determine whether there is enough evidence for him to be tried.

The Fresno County District Attorney's Office, which made the plea deal on the code violation, will amend its criminal complaint against Clare, prosecutor Robert Romanacce told the judge. A spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office said the amended complaint is not ready. A hearing is set for Oct. 4.

Clare's lawyer, Mark Broughton, said he didn't want to comment on the judge's decision.

Clare expected to get probation at Friday's sentencing after pleading no contest in June to the code violation and forfeiting his dentistry license in the death of his son Patrick, 35, last year.

Patrick Clare went to see his father in April 2011 for an abscessed tooth and died in the dentist's chair.

Coalinga police recommended a murder charge against Clare when the case was filed with the District Attorney's Office in 2011. And in June, Minor said that, at minimum, he believed Clare should face a manslaughter charge.

Brain tumor turns dentist to artist

Kim Ott-Gray was a dentist until the day doctors found the cause of her crippling migraines - a golf-ball sized brain tumor. Doctors removed the tumor, but she said she lost "ninety percent" of her abilities. But she gained one -- she found out she could paint.

"Now I have the miracle of art...but I've lost almost everything else," said Ott-Gray. 

Ott-Gray told 24 Hour News 8 she suffered from crippling migraines for more than a decade.  She said she went to doctor after doctor, and tried many different kinds of medicines but nothing worked. 

"I was taking like six to eight aspirin a day, and of course I was a doctor, so I knew that wasn't right," said Ott-Gray. 

She said everything changed when her husband put his foot down, and told her doctor she needed an MRI. 

The test revealed a golf ball sized tumor on the left side of her brain. 

"My first profession was as a dentist and, then I got the brain tumor and that kind of rocked my world because I lost the ability to practice anymore," said Ott-Gray.

Wax Filling Was the Cutting Edge of Stone-Age Dentistry

We’re lucky to live in a modern age, an age when, instead of ripping out a painful cavity-ridden tooth, we can have dentists drill away the rotten bit and plug up the hole with a filling. But a new discovery reveals that fillings aren’t just modern conveniences: they date back to the Stone Age. Researchers have discovered that a tooth on a 6500-year-old human jawbone has a large cavity covered by a beeswax cap—making that wax the oldest dental filling ever discovered.

The well-cared-for jaw was discovered in a cave in Slovenia. Radiocarbon dating indicates that both the jawbone and the wax filling come from the Stone Age. And a close examination of the teeth shows that the left canine has worn enamel, a vertical crack, and a beeswax cap that partially fills the cavity.

Enjoy your morning!

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