From 1 to 50: The top dental crimes in every state

June 17, 2015

Sometimes, people make mistakes. Sometimes, people get caught and arrested for those mistakes. And sometimes, those people are dentists.

Sometimes, people make mistakes. Sometimes, people get caught and arrested for those mistakes. And sometimes, those people are dentists.

We searched the country for the most bizarre, hilarious, disgusting, unbelievable and absurd stories of dental and tooth-related crimes. The results are astounding: From dentists having armed standoffs with law enforcement, to misbehaving tooth fairies, to wrestling matches with patients, our 50 states are chockfull of toothy crime stories that will make you cringe, laugh and leave you dumbfounded.

There were a plethora of stories to choose from, but for this compilation, we tried to steer clear of the really bad apples and keep it PG. So, while some of these stories are sure to shock, we’ve avoided coverage of the really horrid stuff and have instead focused on the weird and wacky.

So, check out the action in your state, or click through them all. Dive on in, and get ready: It’s going to be a wild ride. 

 

Check out a particular state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Alabama...

 

 

 

Alabama: Where interstates are dental hotspots

Truck driver crashes while pulling out own tooth

A 57-year-old trucker caused an 11-hour backup on Interstate 20 in Alabama after he took his hands off of the steering wheel to pull a loose tooth out of his mouth. While he was digging for the tooth, his 18-wheeler ran off the road, rolled down a slope into a ditch, and jackknifed into the trees along the highway.

After the accident, which happened at 10:30 p.m., road crews had to divert traffic off of the interstate until almost 8 a.m. the following morning, when they were able to open one lane for rush hour traffic, surely prompting much grinding of teeth for many morning commuters.

Too strange to believe?  There’s proof. The trucker kept the tooth in his pocket so that he could show state troopers the cause of the accident.

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, except perhaps for the trucker’s pride and raw gums.  

The 9 craziest ways people have pulled their own teeth

Former dentist arrested for having an epic carload of drugs

But the excitement apparently never ends on Interstate 20: In 2005, authorities arrested 72-year-old Joe Magnusson, a former Mississippi dentist who’s license expired in 1999, on charges of possessing illegal drugs.  Magnussen was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy after he ran over someone’s lawn before heading east on the highway.

Clearly a brilliant criminal mind, Magnussen left a bunch of prescription bottles in plain view on the car’s console. The intrepid deputy noticed the abundance of drugs and called in task force agents, who searched the dentist’s car. Magnussen made it well worth their time: Stashed around the car, agents found liquid Valium, marijuana, syringes, prescriptions in other people’s names and a cool $6,800 hidden in various places. Not too shabby for a septuagenarian retiree.

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Alaska...

 

 

 

Alaska: Full of dentists with unique extracurriculars

Retired Anchorage dentist spends retirement racking up DUIs

A retired dentist in Anchorage was arrested for driving under the influence after he almost hit a pedestrian. To really make it an open-and-shut case, the intoxicated driver narrowly missed ramming his car into the highway guardrail when he was pulled over by state troopers.

However, the driver, George Trube Murphy, 67, was no stranger to the breathalyzer: At the time of his DUI, he was under court order to not consume alcohol. The court order was put in place as a condition of his release from a DUI just five days earlier. Thankfully, his repeated (and incredibly risky) drunk-driving shenanigans didn’t result in any injuries.

Logically, because he lives in the Alaskan land of snow and ice, he was driving an aptly named Toyota Tundra.

More dental fails: The 9 worst at-home dentistry mistakes

Maybe he should focus on more conventional CE

Another Alaskan dentist got acquainted with the courts when he was sentenced to five years in prison on four counts of tax evasion, to the tune of more than $575,000. Glenn Lockwood was found guilty of multiple charges, including using oversea shell corporations to conceal income and wrongfully deducting expenses.

“Getting high-income earners to pay their income taxes shouldn’t be like ‘pulling teeth,’” commented one cheeky IRS special agent.

So what does the IRS say was wrongfully deducted? Purchases at David’s Big & Tall Store, Big Dog Sportswear, and, inexplicably, Dress Barn, were claimed as “uniform” expenses for the practice. In an admirable display of creativity, Lockwood had charges at massage parlors and Mabel’s House of Prostitution in Nevada written off as “continuing education.”

Yeah, we’re just going to leave that one alone.

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Arizona...

 

 

Arizona: Land of dental surprises

A whole new definition of “metal mouth”

A four-year-old girl in Phoenix was sporting a very shiny smile after a dentist put stainless-steel silver crowns on every one of her teeth. Savannah White had four cavities that required treatment when she entered the dental practice, but she left with a lot more than a few fillings. Savannah’s mother was understandably shocked when she saw her daughter’s unsettling new teeth (pictures are available here), but a local pediatric dentist says it may have been the best treatment option, due to the extreme level of deterioration of the girl’s teeth.

Luckily for Savannah, another dentist capped the teeth with white veneers so that she’d stop getting such weird looks from everyone that saw her metallic chompers.

Check out Savannah's bizarre smile here:

 

Weird news: Man who aspirated dental drill bit loses $430K court case

Holy molars!

In some fun news … Dentists are used to seeing holey teeth, but it’s more rare that a holy one shows up in their practice. However, a practice in Flagstaff was treated to such an unexpected occurrence when an image of Jesus appeared in the X-rays of a woman’s molar. The blessed tooth, which belonged to Kym Ackerman, 32, was cavity-free and otherwise unremarkable.

Now that she’s seen Jesus in her molar, Ackerman says she has a new appreciation for good oral hygiene. “I definitely don’t want to get a cavity in that tooth,” she told the Huffington Post. Hey, whatever gets people to brush.

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Arkansas...

 

 

Arkansas: Where dentists' words can hurt

The taxman comes calling… carefully

Most people don’t think paying taxes is optional, but a dentist in Conway, Arkansas disagrees – and he’s threatening to kill to avoid doing so. Larry Fincher was arrested for “terroristic threatening” after he sent a strongly worded letter to an employee at the Department of Finance & Administration, in response to a delinquent tax notice.

The dentist was evidently enraged by the department’s attempts to collect the taxes from his practice, and wanted to let DF&A Division Manager Drew Smith know exactly what he’d do to stop them. Quite the wordsmith, Fincher wrote that he would “make Smith’s wife a widow to keep his business open,” and that he’d also kill Smith or anyone else that tried to get the back taxes.

Sure, that seems like a logical reaction.

Weird news: Man charged with using pliers to remove women's teeth during sex

 

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Or, continue to the next page to read the stories from California...

 

 

California: Hotbed of edentulous criminals 

Denture ya know who did it?

Unfortunately, hit and runs often go unsolved – but one hit-and-run crash in Sacramento pretty much solved itself when the driver left behind his dentition. James Brown might have gotten away with crashing a stolen truck into two cars and a fence, but when he fled on foot, he left behind something crucial: His dentures.

The dentures were knocked out of his mouth when the truck’s airbag deployed during the crash, hitting him in the face. It didn’t take much for local cops to track down the toothless, bleeding man running through the neighborhood. Brown initially gave the officers a false name, which they quickly disproved when they ran a record check on the false teeth. Brown was charged for possession of a stolen car and hit-and-run.

329 California dentists suspected of profiting from unnecessary dental treatments on kids 

Toothy trashcan K.O.

Losing teeth during the commission of a crime seems to be a common occurrence in California, something a Huntington Beach bike thief learned the hard way. The would-be bike owner stole the ride from outside a restaurant, when the true owner went inside to pick up a carryout order.

Luckily, the intoxicated thief’s getaway was hampered by a lack of training wheels: He unsuccessfully struggled to control the bike before hitting a curb and faceplanting into a concrete trashcan on the sidewalk. In the battle of trashcan versus incisors, the trashcan won and knocked out several of the drunken cyclist’s teeth.

The best part? The attempted getaway was all caught on film by an area security camera.

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Colorado...

 

 

Colorado: Where dentistry never dies

Well, they don’t need it anymore…

If the intro to Duck Tales is any indication, the allure of gold transcends all boundaries. Succumbing to this allure, an embalmer in Colorado saw a golden opportunity to start amassing his own treasure trove.

The embalmer, Adrian David Kline, was arrested for stealing dental gold and crowns from corpses and human remains that came through the funeral home where he worked. After collecting the gold, he made the rounds of local pawnshops to peddle his newfound riches. Area pawnbrokers were alarmed by his repeated pawning of dental gold and called authorities, who charged Kline with fraud and suspicion of providing false information to a pawnbroker.

Quite frankly, if pawnbrokers are weirded out out, it’s probably pretty shady.

Trending article: The top 5 dental discoveries

 

Check out another state:

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ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
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MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Connecticut...

 

 

Connecticut: The natural world of dental care

Dentistry au natural

Everyone has days where they just can’t decide what to wear, but most folks will settle on something from their closet before venturing out into the world. However, Christopher Huff of Connecticut didn’t see the need when he headed to his dentist appointment in Stratford.

Shocking a female receptionist, Huff showed up for his teeth cleaning completely naked. When the startled receptionist screamed, he ran off, blessing the streets of Stratford with his natural form in all its glory. Police caught up with Huff at his home (where he was thankfully fully dressed); Huff denied he’d even been to the dentist that day, but police were unconvinced.

Luckily, the receptionist had been paying attention and was able to I.D. Huff, even fully clothed. “His eyes are very blue and he had a good tan,” she told officers, according to the Connecticut Post.

We’re sure those were the only identifying features she noticed about him.

The 7 weirdest dental stories of 2014

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Delaware...

 

 

Delaware: Land of toothy terrorism

Postal at the post office

A grandmother in Delaware became so distressed after a postal worker teased her that she fled from the post office and tripped over a concrete parking barrier, chipping her tooth and breaking her glasses.

What caused the post office breakdown? Grandma Lucille Greene was mailing 30 fruitcakes (ew) as Christmas gifts, and a postal worker, surely jolly with holiday spirit, jokingly asked her “what sort of explosives do you have in those boxes?” Aghast at being called a terrorist, Grandma burst into tears and fled the building, cracking her tooth when she fell.

Grandma Greene then sued the Postal Service for emotional distress, asking for $250,000 in compensation. A judge dismissed the case because Greene had a prior eye condition (as many 88-year-old ladies do) and because the real crime in all of this was the fact that she inundated her family with stale fruitcake every holiday.

Weird news: Woman superglued her teeth in to avoid going to the dentist

 

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Florida...

 

 

Florida: Just a hot dental mess

Florida, Florida, Florida…. You are rife with dental crime and toothy antics. Where do we even begin? Here are some highlights from thevery special state:

Kiss it all better

A man charged with practicing dental hygiene without a license was hit with some more disturbing claims after a woman accused him of providing some extra TLC when her dental procedure became painful. John Collazos, practicing out of a Hollywood apartment, allegedly injected painkillers into a patient’s buttocks to relieve pain from a toothache. After giving the patient the shot, he then kissed her on her derriere to make it all better. This was the second time in two months that police arrested Collazos for practicing unlicensed dentistry, and the second claim of unwanted sexual advances. Sounds like he just wants to make everyone all better.

Weird news: Man ditches pants while fleeing after stealing $52 in toothpaste

Tooth Fairy is making it rain

A Florida woman who was missing several teeth received a generous gift from the Tooth Fairy to the tune of $1,300 – or so she told police. An undercover Port St. Lucie police officer caught Kathryn Hudson dealing Oxycodone in a Burger King, and business must have been booming, as she had the huge amount of cash on her person. When questioned about where she got the money, Hudson claimed that the Tooth Fairy had given it to her. However, officers were skeptical, as the Tooth Fairy had never left more than a quarter under their pillows.

Dental wrestlemania

Talk about not having respect for your elders: Florida dentist Michael Hammonds was arrested for assault and battery after he fought an 85-year-old patient. The wrestling match started over a pair of dentures, when patient Virginia Graham started experiencing pain while Hammonds was adjusting her lower fake teeth. For some reason, Graham threw her dentures at Hammonds and demanded a refund. She then tried to get them back from him, resulting in a struggle that culminated in her biting the dentist on the arm. Hammonds then refused to let her leave the practice.  Risky business, wrestling with a geriatric, but hey, to each their own.

Emerging research: Study finds poop on over 60% of toothbrushes

Much more useful than a partial fingerprint

When trying to burglarize someone’s car, it’s best not to leave any evidence behind – particularly parts of your body. This fact didn’t register with Jeremy Borth, who was charged with armed vehicular burglary and aggravated battery after he left a partial dental implant in a car that he was trying to steal. The owner saw Borth in his car and confronted him, resulting in a “physical altercation” that culminated in Borth losing – and leaving behind – his two front teeth. Police used a K9 unit to track Borth to his home, where they found him nursing facial bruises and a gap-toothed smile.

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Georgia...

 

 

Georgia: Home to dentistry on the move

Taking out travel threats, one toothbrush at a time

The TSA isn’t exactly known for its sense of humor, so they were probably not amused by the cause of an airport shutdown due to a suspected threat. Part of the Atlanta airport’s North Terminal baggage claim and MARTA rail service were shut down after something began vibrating in a checked bag. Workers who heard the vibration alerted airport officials, who closed down the immediate area and redirected passengers to the Terminal South entrance.

In a rather anticlimactic conclusion, officials discovered that the vibrations weren’t coming from a bomb or terroristic device; instead, an electric toothbrush had gone off in a passenger’s bag. Props to the airport workers for vigilance, and the passenger for being oral-hygiene conscious. 

Weird news: Rugby players get teeth replaced with bottle openers

 

DIY mobile dentistry

Practicing dentistry without a license is bad on its own, but practicing unlicensed out of the your trailer takes things to a whole new level.  Martina Ramirez-Villa, who once worked as a dental assistant, had a fully equipped dental office in the bedroom of her mobile home.

Police discovered the setup after they were tipped off by an anonymous call.  The fully stocked dental operatory had a dental chair, lamp, tools and a drugstore’s worth of drugs and pills. When confronted, Ramirez-Villa promised to stop “working on teeth.” Unconvinced, police arrested her for practicing dentistry without a license, a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to one year in prison.  No word on whether or not she set up a clinic behind bars as well. 

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Hawaii...

 

 

Hawaii: Where crime pays ... for dentistry

Take the complimentary toothbrush and run

When Ray Delos Santos, a Hawaiian convict, complained of a toothache, prison officials granted him an order of temporary release from prison and allowed him to go to the dentist in Kailua. The dentist allowed him to go to the bathroom, which subsequently allowed him to make a hasty escape, leaving his authorized sponsor waiting helplessly in the waiting room. Santos, wanted for multiple probation violations (and additionally, the escape), spurred CrimeStoppers to offer a cash reward of $1,000 for information leading to his capture. At least he presumably had clean teeth when he went on the run! 

Emerging research: Study finds link between tooth loss and mental, physical decline in older adults

Now that’s a good use of (stolen) money

What would you do with $41,000? Buy a car? Go on a luxurious vacation? Get a root canal?  An industrious armed robber that held up three Oahu banks and a recycling center chose the third. Marcus Kalani Watson used $2,810 of his stolen cash to get a root canal in a Honolulu dentist’s office.

Two days after his recycling center heist, where he pointed a pistol at a worker and threatened to shoot him, Watson cleverly posted a photo on Facebook depicting himself holding a large amount of cash. The FBI explained that this is an excellent way to get caught after you rob four businesses, and arrested him at the Honolulu airport soon thereafter. In between his dental appointment and capture, Watson did find time to splurge a little though: He bought himself an old, $2,000 Lexus. We think the dental work was a better choice.

Check out another state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Idaho...

 

 

Idaho: Mammoth and ancient sharks and druggie dentists, oh my!

Hydrocodone is not a dentist’s best friend

With not much toothy news happening in Idaho except for the discovery of the teeth from mammoths and ancient sharks, we had to settle for the tale of Rahil Ahktar, an entrepreneurial dentist that was arrested for fraud, deception and obtaining a controlled substance by mispresentation … i.e., he was getting his buddies to fill prescriptions for Schedule III & IV controlled substances, and then either sharing portions of the wealth of pills or paying them for their services.

Ahktar wrote over 93 prescriptions that he admitted were written without a legitimate medical purpose, and to people who were not even his patients – all for the purpose of feeding his own drug habit. Party on in prison, Ahktar. Party on.

Emerging research: Saliva plays key role in caries prevention

Check out another state:

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ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

Or, continue to the next page to see the stories from Illinois...

 

 

Illinois: A state of innovative dentists

Dentistry without the bells and whistles

How can you tell if your “dentist” isn’t a licensed dental professional? When he makes you spit in a trashcan while you sit in a leather office chair.  Fransisco Rendon, 49, rented a room on the south side of Chicago where he practiced dentistry under the guise of being a dentist.

Patients became suspicious when his dental equipment consisted of the leather chair and a power tool designed for polishing metal. He was otherwise well equipped, however: His “practice” was stocked with painkillers, syringes and even dentures. After being busted by police for misdemeanor providing medical service without a license, it’s probably safe to say his career is in the garbage – along with all his patients’ spit.

Weird news: Recent study finds French kissing swaps more than spit

A very diligent patient

To lighten the mood with some fun, crime-unrelated Illinois news, the Brookfield Zoo’s porcupine has to go for bimonthly tooth trimmings because her teeth keep growing. 11-year-old “Pilgrim” can’t wear down her incisors naturally, and has one tooth that is growing unchecked. If the tooth grew too long, it could prevent her from eating. So, zoo specialists take her on a day trip to the dentist every other month. Many dentists probably wish some of their patients came back that regularly! 

Trending article: New study finds beaver teeth could provide insight into human tooth decay

Check out another state:

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ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
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MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

 

Indiana: Land of rotten luck - and grins

No smile is safe

25,000 sets of “Billy Bob Teeth,” plastic teeth that make the wearer look like they have crooked, stained teeth, went missing after a truck and trailer full of the novelty dentition was stolen.

“I’ve got a feeling someone is going to be disappointed when they get into the back of that cargo trailer and think they’ve got computers or construction tools and find out they’ve got Billy Bob Teeth,” Chief Deputy Doug Cox of the Johnson Country Sheriff’s office told The Daily Journal.

Especially when the thieves discover that the haul is essentially worthless: The teeth were still unpackaged, and didn’t yet contain the adhesive putty to make them fit into wearers’ mouths.

In normal circumstances, the Billy Bob Teeth cost around $10 per decayed-looking set. In addition to the popular Billy Bob grins, the trailer had other novelty smile styles, including the Austin Powers, Deliverance Cavity and the Slapshot (just in case you wanted alternative options for making your teeth look horrible). 

Trending article: Sleeping in dentures can pose major health hazards

Check out another state:

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ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Or, continue to the next page to read stories from Iowa...

 

 

Iowa: Land of the beautiful

Attraction distraction

When can being irresistible be a bad thing? When it gets you fired. An Iowa dentist fired his female dental assistant after his wife began feeling threatened by the attractive woman. Melissa Nelson was fired after working for Dr. James Knight for 10 years. Knight, almost 20 years Nelson’s senior, said that he had to terminate her employment because he was getting “personally attached” and was afraid he would try to have an affair with her. Nelson, who is also married, said she had never even considered such a thing, and saw the dentist as a father figure.

The all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that Knight had the right to fire Nelson, despite the fact that she had never acted in a flirtatious way, because he was firing her based on an “irresistible attractions” and not gender discrimination. Justices ruled the firing was acceptable because it was motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, despite the fact that Nelson had done nothing wrong.

Nelson’s attorney said that this decision was gender-based because it implied that women were accountable for men’s desire. "These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don't think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses' sexual desires," said attorney Paige Fiedler. "If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it."

Well… at least she still has her looks? 

Emerging research: Dental caries susceptibility linked to your hair

Check out another state:

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ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
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MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Or, continue to the next page to read stories from Kansas...

 

 

Kansas: Where good meets evil

Sedation degradation

So much for setting a good example for the kids. A dentist in Wichita was sued for sexual harassment and racial discrimination by two former dental practice employees who alleged that he watched porn in front of children that were sedated, and exposed himself to employees in his reception area. Additionally, as if he wasn’t being gross enough, he reportedly made inappropriate comments about sex and women’s bodies in front of the kids.

The employees also claimed that Dr. David Brown gave inadequate sedation to minority children, or refused to start procedures such as extractions until anesthesia had begun to wear off, causing the children discomfort and pain. He reportedly also ridiculed black and Hispanic patients. 

New research finds human tooth enamel development is linked to weaning

Now that’s some good customer service

Because that story made all of us feel icky, we wanted to add this pick-me-up tale to restore our faith in humanity. A rotten-toothed waiter in Wichita got a very good tip from a customer: Get your teeth fixed – along with a monetary tip of $25,000 to enable him to do just that. Fred Boettcher was patronizing the Doo Dah Diner and was impressed by waiter Brian Maixner and his upbeat attitude.

“I took one look at this young man and knew he was something special. He carried himself with such kindness and confidence with a mouth that looked painful. I was struck by that,” Boettcher told Today.com.

Boettcher sent Maixner to his own personal dentist, where he had his teeth pulled and was fitted for dentures until he could get dental implants. Hopefully the brilliant new replacement for his decaying grin will get Maixner even more tips in the future.

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Kentucky: Get a grip on dentistry!

Eating fiber each day won’t keep the doctor away

We’ve all heard the horror stories about surgeons leaving tools inside patients during surgery, but it never crossed out minds that the dental office could be just as risky. A Louisville woman sued her dentist after he dropped a small screwdriver down her throat during a procedure. 71-year-old Lena David filed her lawsuit after the screwdriver migrated to her digestive tract, causing severe abdominal pain, and required surgery to remove.

The kicker? After dropping the screwdriver down David’s throat Dr. W.B. Galbreath’s solution was to tell her to try to regurgitate it – and when that didn’t work, recommended that she “eat a diet high in fiber,” and sent her home. 

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Louisiana: Where teeth can (sometimes) save the day

Family fued

Smoking your brother’s marijuana is a sure way to stir up some bad blood, particularly when your brother is toting a gun and angrily sober because of your actions. Walter Davis learned this the hard way when he helped himself to his brother Waltdell’s drugs and got shot in the face as a result. – a shot that could have killed him, had it not ricocheted off of his gold tooth.

Shot through his upper lip, Walter was taken to the hospital where doctors were surprised to find only one bullet fragment in his head, near his left nostril. The rest of it had apparently ricocheted off a gold crown on his upper tooth.

“Gold is pretty tough stuff,” said Dr. Robert Kelly, a professor in the department of reconstructive sciences at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. But could gold deflect a bullet? “I don’t think it’s unlikely,” he said.

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No false (tooth) arrest here

False teeth haven’t been stopping bullets in Louisiana, but they have served some other creative purposes. The innovative Cornelius Carvin used his dentures as a hiding place for crack cocaine when he was stopped by the police for strolling down the street with a crack pipe sticking out of a bag. Shockingly, the visible crack pipe was a dead giveaway to the cops that he might have drugs on him.

The officers ordered Carvin to open his mouth, where they saw the drugs peeking out from beneath his dentures. He was subsequently made to spit out his false teeth, which were confiscated as evidence. Hope they’re serving some soft food in prison!

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Maine: Where thieves come in all shapes and sizes

Robber rodent

In a bizarre game of cat and mouse, a Maine man has been trying to catch a sticky-fingered rodent that keeps stealing his belongings. Bill Exner has captured the kleptomaniac mouse three times, but each time it has outsmarted him and escaped – and got its revenge by taking Exner’s lower dentures with him.

After the dentures vanished from Exner’s nightstand, he and his wife “moved the bed, moved the dressers and the nightstand and tore the closet apart,” explained Exner. “I knew that little stinker stole my teeth – I just knew it.”

With the help of their daughter’s fiancée, they sawed out a section of the wall through which they suspected the mouse was coming and going. Exner’s hunch proved to be right: They found the dentures inside the wall where the mouse had evidently been storing them.

Not willing to let the rodent win, Exner boiled the dentures and disinfected them, and defiantly continued to wear them. The mouse hasn’t given up though; he frequently appears to stare at the Exners. No telling what he’ll take next. 

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Maryland: Home of dentists who should just stay home

Dental conference detour

Food, drinks, networking… it can be fun to travel overseas for dental conferences! The experience was ruined for one dentist though, when the plane he was on took him to Grenada in the Caribbean instead of Granada, Spain. Dentist Edward Gamson is suing British Airways after the mix-up, saying that he clearly told the ticket agent he wanted to go to Granada, Spain when he booked his trip over the phone; however, that wasn’t how his tripped played out.

His flight from Maryland took him to London – a logical stop on the way to Spain, so no questions asked there. Since his e-ticket didn’t have an airport code on it, he assumed the plane would then continue to Granada. It wasn’t until he looked at the in-flight map and noticed that the plane was flying west that he figured out something was amiss.

When he asked the flight attendant why they were going west to get to Spain, “his response was: ‘Spain? We’re going to the West Indies,” said Gamson.

Gamson did make it to the conference (after three surely fun-filled days of round-the-world travel), but is suing the airline since he is out more than 375,000 frequent flyer miles, and over $34,000 in pre-booked hotels, trains and tours that he had planned. Let’s hope he’s more meticulous and thorough when he pulls teeth than when he plans travel.

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Massachusetts: Land of the lost (teeth)

Claim your teeth at the lost and found

A man in Massachusetts got an unexpected surprise while perusing the wallet selection at an area Walmart. While examining a billfold, he unzipped a compartment and found that it was full of teeth. The customer handed over the wallet to Walmart employees and left before the police arrived on the scene (most suspicious, we say!).

Police identified the collection as 10 human teeth, one of which had a filling. Because there is no tissue or blood on the teeth, they cannot be DNA tested, leaving police with little to go on in terms of identifying the dentition’s owner. Walmart swears it’s an isolated incident, but maybe you should check all the pockets of anything you buy, just in case.

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Michigan: Taking the show on the road

Finders, keepers

A Michigan dentist took his bad behavior on the road on a recent trip to watch his son play in a baseball tournament in Florida (we’re throwing this one under Michigan because Florida has already gotten way too much action!). Dr. Richard Ludwig of Okemos, Mich., was arrested in Polk County, Fla., after he used a stolen credit card to buy pizza.

The trouble began when Harrun Majeed, a local college student and military veteran, dropped his credit card in the parking lot of a Publix (where he was most likely buying the college staples of Ramen noodles and EasyMac). When he got home and realized that the card was missing, he called the credit-card company immediately.

The representative he spoke with told him that someone had just used the card to make a purchase at a pizza joint next to the Publix. Majeed called the local sheriff’s office, and deputies arrived at the scene to find the thief waiting for a pizza order. Ludwig was arrested for charging $40 in pizza on the stolen card.

The kicker? He had $250 in cash in his wallet at the time of his arrest. Even better, when asked by deputies if he was having financial troubles, Ludwig laughed and said “of course not,” as he was worth between three and four million dollars.

But yeah, sure, the veteran college student should totally be the one to foot the bill for the millionaire dentist’s pizza party.

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Minnesota: Land of lakes - and lackluster online reviews

The Internet is a fickle place

The Internet is full of trolls … which a dentist in Minnesota learned the hard way. Dr. Douglas Wolff sued a competitor who he claimed posted negative online reviews of his practice while posing as a patient.

The online posting, posed by “HockeyMom,” said that Wolff was “not an orthodontist, but a dentist who maybe took one weekend course in braces … This hardly qualifies him to be doing braces. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way … He is a general dentist who started doing braces out of the blue one day with no formal training.”

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Apparently something about the review rang familiar with Wolff, who claimed that the review was not written by a sport-loving mother, but instead by local orthodontic specialist Bryan Brettin. As it turned out, Brettin had posted the reviews from his home, after hacking into his neighbor’s wireless connection.

After hearing about the defamation lawsuit being filed against him, Brettin defended his actions, saying that the online reviews did not contain any false statements (but neglected to explain why he chose “HockeyMom” as his online alias).

We can only hope he conducts all of his online business under that moniker. 

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Mississippi: Where dental schools are at the mercy of the dead

Dental school stymied

Some dentals schools can’t expand due to funds or a lack of real estate – but the dental program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center can’t grow because of a field of corpses.

When the university began construction on a parking garage for the hospital and dental school, ground-penetrating radar revealed that over 1,000 bodies were buried in the field. North of the garage’s proposed location, radar discovered more than 1,000 additional bodies.

As a result, the parking garage had to be moved. “[Finding these graves] on a prime part of the core campus has already impacted our plan,” said UMMC Chief of Public Affairs and Communications Tom Forner. “It’s fair to say that it’s impracticable to relocate all of them on the campus as it’s currently configured.”

The bodies that are stymying expansion plans are believed to be from a cemetery outside of the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, which opened in 1855. Nearly one in five patients admitted in the following two decades died and were buried on the grounds. The university’s request to dig up and cremate the bodies was denied by the Mississippi attorney general’s office. The attorney general did say UMMC could move the bodies – but only to another location on campus.

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Missouri: A state full of surprises

World Wide Web of deception

While in the business of brightening smiles, dentists at one Missouri practice were drastically devoid of grins themselves after an online consortium of thieves stole $205,000 from the practice’s online coffer.

The money, taken out of the pediatric clinic’s online bank account in 11 different transfers, was wired to nearly a dozen different accounts around the country. Apparently many of the people that received the money were “money mules,” people hired through the Internet and unsuspectingly lured into helping launder stolen cash. Since these mules, contacted by anonymous strangers through monster.com and other career-building sites, weren’t aware of exactly what was going on, it makes it incredibly hard to prosecute them.

The FBI also declined to get involved, saying they couldn’t open a case unless there was over $500,000 in losses. As it stands, the practice is out over $200K, and some thieves have some very satisfied smiles on their faces.

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Smile! It’s a girl!

In other, more entertaining, crime-free news, a newborn baby shocked her parents and doctors alike when she was born with two front teeth.

Alyssa Bella Bailey, born in Branson, Missouri, surprised everyone with her unexpected dentition. Her smile is decidedly unique: Teeth like hers, known as natal teeth, are rare, occurring once in every 2,000-3,000 births, according to MedLinePlus, a service of the National Institute of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine.

As in Alyssa’s case, the teeth most often develop in the lower jaw, and have little root structure; they are attached to the end of the gum by soft tissue, oftentimes making them wobbly.

Due to their weak attachment to the gum, natal teeth do present some risk of the infant swallowing or aspirating any teeth that come loose. Other risks include potential damage to the child’s tongue due to irritation from the teeth. Natal teeth can also be associated with several medical conditions, such as Pierre Robin and Sotos syndromes, that can cause jaw deformities and cleft palates.

Luckily, baby Alyssa is perfectly healthy, and the teeth will remain until they fall out on their own when her normal baby teeth grow in. Needless to say, mom Jaklina Bailey has decided to forgo breastfeeding.

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Montana: Full of snow and dentists - and dentists on snow

A not-so-magic eight ball

An oral surgeon in Billings was arrested for handing out candy to his patients – nose candy, that is. Jerome Mancuso was convicted of distributing cocaine out of his home and practice. The dentist had been moving powder from his practice, the Rocky Mountain Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, for over seven years.

The bust was part of a larger conspiracy linked to a retired football player, who was the main distributer in Billings. The player admitted to bringing over 20 pounds (pounds!) of cocaine into the city. Mancuso was convicted for having less than 500 grams of cocaine, which shaved 20 years and one million dollars off of his potential sentence.

However, Mancuso claimed that he was not a dealer or distributor, but merely a user and sharer;” he shared his cocaine with friends and patients at his office, and while partying in bars around the city. His family claims they were unaware of his cocaine use.

Despite his generous nature, Mancuso was convicted and faces up to 20 years in prison, a one million dollar fine and up to three years of supervised release. That’ll probably kill his high pretty quickly.

The latest hourly and annual salary numbers for dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants

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Nebraska: Where a name can say a lot

Oh, what’s in a name? 

Sometimes, some pretty big clues. The aptly named Randall Toothaker, a dentist in Omaha, was accused of stealing nearly $17,000 in dental gold, other precious metals and medical supplies.

While Toothaker’s name might have hinted at his intentions, his actions were less discrete: the dentist stole the materials and put them into a bag right in front of a lab technician. The upstanding technician promptly informed his supervisor of the theft (because he probably has a nice name, like John Honesty or Joe Morals), and police apprehended Toothaker as he drove home.  All of the stolen items were found in a bag in his car.

Toothaker’s defense? He didn’t know how the dental gold could have possible gotten into his bag. Sure, like we’re going to believe someone with that moniker.

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Nevada: Home of wandering eyes

Unwanted gazes

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – and while we think that what happens in the bathroom should stay there too, one City of Sin dentist disagreed. Mahesh Patel was just a little too curious about his employees’ private bathroom time, and planted a video camera in the restroom to record his female employees changing their clothes.

Patel was busted for his peeping-tom antics when a female employee changing into scrubs in the bathroom noticed an object in the toilet paper holder – an object with a button that said “record.” As any half-naked person would do, she quickly turned the camera off. She pocketed the device and went to perform a procedure with Patel, who strangely avoided looking at her throughout. After the procedure, Patel and his suddenly shy eyes confronted the woman and asked her to return the camera, saying that it was his and that it must have fallen out of his pocket. The woman correctly called shenanigans on that answer, and Patel finally admitted he had planted the camera to watch her change clothes.

The woman took the camera home and watched the footage, which showed her undressing, as well a second employee who had also changed clothes in the bathroom. The final nail in the coffin was footage of Patel placing the camera into the toilet paper dispenser – he evidently had turned the camera on before planting it, capturing himself in the act.

Let’s hope that the next time he feels the need to see a woman undress, he pays the cover charge and patronizes one of Vegas’ fine professional establishments.

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New Hampshire: The last stand

An explosive reaction

Everyone can probably agree that paying taxes is a bummer, but something that you have to do.  Not true, said Elaine Brown, a New Hampshire dentist. Elaine and her husband Ed owned a dental practice in Plainfield, but stopped paying income and property taxes for 10 years, saying there was no law that forced them to pay. They were liable for more than $625,000 in back taxes at the time of their indictment.

Eccentric? Yes. Illegal? For sure. But it gets so much better from there.

The Browns made bail, but instead of turning themselves in on those charges after their trial (in which they were convicted of tax evasion), the Browns took the standoff with the government to a new level: an actual standoff, complete with a stockpile of weapons and explosive booby traps on their property. The 2007 standoff lasted over 90 days, when the Browns were finally arrested by undercover agents who were posing as followers of the Browns (did we mention they had a slew of supporters for their unorthodox views on taxes, freemasonry and religion? Oh yes.).

For all their hard standoff work, the Browns’ prison sentences were extended to over 35 years. Their compound where the standoff took place was put up for auction – but the sale isn’t going well, as potential buyers can’t tour the 100-acre property, because of Ed Brown’s claim that there are explosives hidden all around the property. Are there really? No one is sure, but federal agents aren’t taking any chances.

For more ridiculous details about the standoff and the stubborn dentist, check out the Browns’ Wikipedia page.

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New Jersey: Home of dental deviants

Publicity can be a real pain in the tooth

Advertising can be a frustrating endeavor, but one dentist in New Jersey is attracting plenty of attention with his practice’s giant tooth sign – plenty of attention from vandals, that is. Dr. Harry Mahoney’s molar-shaped wooden sign outside his practice has been a popular target for local ruffians, who have stolen or damaged the sign six times in 20 years.

It’s happened so many times that the local redbankgreen news outlet has an entire archive of stories on the missing tooth. “It’s getting ridiculous,” Mahoney told redbankgreen after the tooth was stolen for a second time in three months in 2011. “There’s not much I can do though but make it out of concrete or something.”

Mahoney makes the signs himself, and has traditionally made them from wood. When asked about prevention techniques, such as setting up a video camera to catch the miscreants, Mahoney said “It’s too much work. I’ve just gotten used to it.” 

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New Mexico: Gone fishing ... for teeth

That’s what you call a mobile clinic

Maybe he was just trying to squeeze in a little dentistry before a road trip to go fishing, but Eliver Kestler probably picked the wrong locale when he decided to illegally practice dentistry in his car – and keep his dental tools in a tackle box.

Police were alerted to the mobile Chevrolet clinic after a disgruntled patient told cops about ‘El Dentista,’ an unlicensed dentist practicing out of his red sedan. The ex-patient claimed that he had paid Kestler $280 to put in four replacement teeth, which he never received. When police caught up with Kestler, they discovered dental drills, teeth molds and impressions and prescription drugs, including Lidocane and Septocaine, scattered around the car and in a tackle box. Kestler was also apparently not fastidious about cleanliness; a police spokesperson said that the mobile “practice” was disgustingly dirty and filled with ‘leftover residual materials.’

Kestler, who claimed that he was licensed in Mexico but not in the United States, was charged with practicing dentistry without a license and distributing controlled substances. No word on what happened to his little red Chevy.

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New York: Home of the Big Apple, big dental fails

Freedom comes with consequences

While most people use dental floss to practice good oral hygiene, an inmate in a New York correction facility had a more ambitious use for it. Kourosh Bakhtiari decided that he didn’t like his accommodations at the prison, and decided to escape.

But how does one escape from a correctional facility? Why, by braiding together over 15 rolls of dental floss to make a rope! His dental floss escape rope was strong enough to support a 190-pound man. The flaw in his ingenious plan? He forgot to wear gloves: From sliding down the dental floss, he cut his hands so severely that he had to be hospitalized for severed tendons in his hands.

However, his efforts were not entirely in vain: Bakhtiari escaped from the hospital where he was being treated after the guard watching his room fell asleep.

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When the dentist’s away, the office manager will play

A dental office manager in New York has learned the hard way that playing pretend can result in some very real consequences.

Office worker Valbona Yzeiraj, 45, scheduled appointments and saw patients at Ultimate Dental Care in Riverdale, N.Y., while the real dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Schoengold, was out of town. Self-dubbed “Dr. Val,” who is not a licensed dentist, made diagnoses, gave anesthetics and even performed dental extractions on unsuspecting patients who visited the practice. As a bonus, she offered discounts to patients willing to pay cash.

 “She inspected patients, she diagnosed patients, she took X-rays, she injected patients with anesthetics, she even gave patients root canals,” said Bronx Assistant District Attorney Patrick McCadden at Dr. Val’s arraignment last week.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the questionable dental care (which took place from November 2012 to August 2013) left one patient combating an infection from a botched root canal and another suffering persistent pain nearly two years after their procedure. Her unauthorized venture might have gone on longer, but Dr. Shoengold discovered the fraudulent care after patients returned to his practice complaining about bungled dental procedures – that he hadn’t performed. He promptly fired Yzeiraj, whom he had hired in 2009 off of Craigslist.

The drama didn’t end there, however: Prosecutors say that Yzeiraj retaliated to the termination by attempting to steal more than $20,000 from the practice on her way out, adding felony attempted grand larceny to her collection of charges, which included felony assault, misdemeanor reckless endangerment and unauthorized practice.

Yzeiraj, who justified her actions by claiming she was trained as a dentist in her native Albania, pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $20,000. She was also ordered to not go near any dental practices during the duration of her case. If convicted, Yzeiraj faces up to seven years in prison. 

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North Carolina: Redefining invasive procedures

The world’s most disgusting dentist

The news coming out of the Tar Heel State is pretty terrifying and utterly disgusting. Dentist John Hall was accused of committing sexual assault, violating dentistry’s standard of care and engaging in immoral conduct. Why? Six former patients claim that he tricked them into swallowing his semen.

Two former employees were the first to bring allegations against the dentist, becoming suspicious when, while he was seeing female patients, he kept sending the assistants into the other room for items he didn’t need. Cheryl MacLeod, Hall’s former assistant, also became alarmed when she overheard him telling patients to swallow something from a syringe that he took out of his pocket. She and the office manager then took syringes from the office garbage and turned them over to police for testing.

The patients’ disturbing testimonies all involved stories of Hall putting foreign substances that smelled or tasted “like sperm” into their mouths during dental procedures. Several of them said that although they recognized the smell as semen, they couldn’t taste anything because their mouths were entirely numb, so they were at first unsure of what was happening.

When police searched Hall’s practice, they found five syringes in his desk filled with his semen. Hall claimed that he was storing the semen because he was concerned about side effects, including low sperm count, from a drug he was taking for hair growth. OK, sure.

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North Dakota: Where everyone's a lawyer

Prison toothache turns into a real headache for officials

While getting a tooth pulled may, at the time, feel like cruel and unusual punishment, the courts don’t agree. A convict in North Dakota learned this when he filed a federal lawsuit over his dental treatment at North Dakota State Penitentiary.

Prisoner Dennis Gaede, who was imprisoned for the 2001 murder and dismemberment of Timothy Wicks, claimed that he requested a root canal and crown after he cracked his tooth on a piece of shell in a breaded oyster (big question here: They serve oysters in prison?!). Instead of the requested treatment, the tooth was pulled.

Gaede’s lawsuit said that the tooth extraction violated his right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. He sued for $75,000. The state rolled its eyes and maintained that they provided adequate dental care (and added that they didn’t really even believe he had a serious medical problem). 

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Ohio: Where anyone can be anything

Woman who wants to be a dental hygienist sues everyone ever

Everyone has dreams in life. Maybe you want to be a dental hygienist. Maybe you want to take everyone to court. Maybe you want to do both.

Carol Cummings falls into that last category. A veteran of the legal system, she turned to the courts for pretty much any challenge that was thrown her way. After failing to pass a Head and Neck Anatomy class at local Cuyahoga County Community College (Tri-C), a course required for the dental hygiene program, Cummings opted to forego studying or retaking the class, and instead sued the school for failing her.

But it wasn’t Cummings’ first legal rodeo. Several years earlier, when her husband filed for divorce, the proceedings dragged out for almost six years, going through three judges, a magistrate and eight attorneys, before deciding to represent herself. 

In the midst of the divorce, she enrolled in a dental-hygiene program at Lorain County Community College. School proved challenging, and she flunked out in the first semester. Clearly, this was not her fault. She blamed the school, the professor, classmates and various staff members, claiming racial discrimination, bias and that her teacher had a vicious grudge against her (which she probably did, after all this drama).  When she didn’t get anywhere with the school, she stole her classmate’s typodent model jaw, and sent out a bizarre email bragging about the heist.

Luckily for LCCC, Cummings moved on – to Tri-C, where she proceeded to file a federal lawsuit against the school, her professors and the college president over the flunking of the fated dental anatomy class. (Then things got really weird and convoluted; Cleveland Scene magazine has an excellent breakdown of the strange progression of events here.) However, in a bout of good luck for Tri-C, Cummings ran out of money and was forced to drop the suit.

Maybe she should just do what she was clearly destined to do, and become a lawyer.

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When idiotic plans go wrong…

What’s the best way to get out of federal drug charges? Kidnap a woman, establish her dental records under your own name and then kill her to fake your own death. Voila!

Easier said than done for Tonica Jenkins, who decided to get those pesky authorities off her back by faking her own death. Jenkins was arrested for attempting to buy 22 pounds of cocaine from two undercover federal agents. She posted bail, but had eight long months before her trial in which to plot like an evil villain.

The dastardly plan? Find a woman who resembled Jenkins and take her to dental appointments to establish records under Jenkins’ name. Then, murder the woman and burn her body. Once the woman’s body was found, the dental records would match Jenkins, fooling authorities into believing she was dead. Brilliant? Not so much.

Jenkins did find a woman, Melissa Latham, who was willing to go to the dentist posing as Jenkins (under the belief that they were just scamming insurance). While the visit to the dentist went all right, the murder bit proved to be difficult. Although Jenkins and a friend beat her up and injected her with insulin, Latham managed to escape, and Jenkins and her crony were arrested at the local KFC.

Jenkins was subsequently sentenced to 24 years in prison for her part in the cocaine-buying extravaganza, where presumably she has lots of time to plan her next evil plot.

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Oklahoma: Land of the unlicensed

Things keep falling apart

It’s bad enough to go to an unlicensed dentist. It’s even worse when that unlicensed dentist is really, really bad at dentistry. Carroll Jarrett got to experience this firsthand when two temporary teeth he’d had put in by self-proclaimed dentist Elizabeth Hinojosa popped out when he bit into a piece of fried chicken.

“It was gross,” said Jarrett. “I had two little bitty nubs where my smile was.”

This wasn’t the first time Hinojosa’s handiwork hadn’t lived up to expectations: Braces that she put on Jarrett’s daughter came apart and fell out of her mouth during a family outing.

Despite her lack of skills, Hinojosa, a dental assistant, was surprisingly organized. Her daughter, Monica Salazar Orozco, served as her receptionist and made appointments. Hinojosa “borrowed” the tools she needed from her employer’s practice to perform tooth extractions, root canals and other procedures. For her efforts, the aspiring dentist was sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of probation. Her receptionist daughter received a five-year deferred sentence for her contributions to the illicit practice.

Jarrett never received the porcelain veneers that he had paid for from Hinojosa. Let’s hope a more reputable dentist took pity on him and fixed his nub smile.

The 13 scariest dental horror stories you told us

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Oregon: Home of the dental lawsuit

Rotten luck?

For most kids, spending the average one to three years in braces can seem interminable. Some kids, however, are in less of a hurry and like to stretch out treatment – for over a decade, in the case of Devin Bost.

Bost, who had braces put on by an orthodontist at age seven, was not pleased with the outcome of his extended orthodontic treatment, which spanned 11 years. When his braces were removed at age 18, Bost’s teeth had decayed so severely that some had rotted all the way to the jaw. How no one noticed that this was occurring is anyone’s guess, but Bost’s mother (who is a medical doctor) said the tooth decay was a big surprise to the whole family.

Bost’s reaction to his rotten mouth? Sue his orthodontist for $185,000 for corrective oral surgery and pain and suffering. Bost claimed that he began seeing Dr. Brad Chavtal in 1997, shortly after his braces were put on. He visited Dr. Chavtal periodically but did not get the braces removed until 2007.

The problem with the lawsuit, however, is that Chavtal did not become licensed as an orthodontist until 2002, making it impossible that he treated Bost in 1997. The case unraveled quickly from there, and the lawsuit was eventually dropped.

But the big question still remains… in 11 years, how did NO ONE notice his teeth were rotten down to the very roots?!

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Peer pressure doesn’t pay

In another tale of Oregon dental lawsuits, dental assistant Susan Muhleman received a payout of nearly $348,000 after her employer threatened to fire her if she did not attend a Scientology conference.

A Christian, Muhleman worried that the conference would conflict with her beliefs (or maybe she just wasn’t up to dealing with Tom Cruise’s crazy public shenanigans), and refused to attend. The dentist, Dr. Andrew Engel, continued to badger Muhleman about the Scientology event, and said she had to attend if she wanted to keep her job.

Not wanting anything to do with L. Ron or his buddies, Muhelman quit her job and moved out of state, despite not having another position lined up. She filed a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries civil rights division, who awarded her the $348,000 to cover lost wages, moving expenses and the emotional distress caused by a near brush with dianetics. 

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Pennsylvania: Midwest dental mischief

When patients misbehave...

Pennsylvania citizens have taken a new approach to getting dental care: Committing crimes so they can receive it in prison.

The toothless Evelyn Fuller decided the quickest path to new dentures was to get arrested. Fuller, who couldn’t get dentures through welfare until the following year, marched into the First National Bank right before it closed for the day, and demanded cash from the teller. She told the teller that she had a gun, and then patiently waited until the police showed up.

Philip Kienholz had a similar idea – but he took it to a new level, when he attacked his dentist with a tire iron so that he could be arrested and get a tooth extracted in prison.

Kienholz became angry with the dentist after he prescribed antibiotics for an infected tooth, rather than pull the tooth. Kienholz hit the doctor in the arm with a tire iron while he was treating a young patient, and then ran out of the operatory, probably instilling a lifelong fear of dentists and sneak attacks on the poor kid in the chair. After a quick subsequent arrest, Kienholz was charged with aggravated assault and possessing an instrument of crime. It is unknown whether or not he got the tooth in question removed during his luxurious stay in the state penitentiary. 

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Secondhand stolen goods

A Pennsylvania woman was left toothless after a burglar broke into her car to steal her dentures that she left on the dashboard. While the dentures’ owner, Kathy Saunoras, questioned why the thief would take something of no use to them, we question why the heck she stored her dentures on the dashboard of her vehicle.

The tooth thief was also suspected in a month-long crime spree, breaking into numerous vehicles to steal iPods, GPS units and other electronics. The purloined pearly whites were the only non-electronic item stolen, begging the question, what IS the resale value of used teeth?

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Rhode Island: Keeping it classy

Gotta look good for the ladies

While we’re all about self-improvement, taking pride in one’s physical appearance and, of course, good oral hygiene, we question Joshua Walsh’s methods to achieve these goals.

Walsh was caught on camera stealing over $1,300 worth of electronic toothbrushes and Rogaine from a local CVS. His big score included seven toothbrushes, two Sonicare Air Floss systems and two boxes of the men’s hair restorer.

Unfortunately for the well-groomed young man, his actions –and face – were clearly caught on the store’s security cameras. After his photo was circulated on the news, Walsh turned himself in to police and admitted to the shoplifting. At least he’s… honest?

The 12 weirdest thing a coworker has ever done inside a dental practice

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South Carolina: No room for nonsense

New York is lovely this time of year

When your dental license is suspended, the only clear solution is to move to another state and apply for another one, right? Easier said than done. Dr. David Holloway was arrested in his home state of South Carolina for getting a little too generous handing out the Vidodin. His conviction for unlawfully distributing the Schedule III Controlled Substance resulted in his dental license being revoked.

That didn’t stop Dr. Holloway from continuing his dream of practicing dentistry. He moved to New York and filed an application for recertification of his dental license. “Have you been convicted of any crimes,” the application asked. “Why, no, of course not,” the full-of-bologna Holloway answered.

As it turns out, the State of New York looks into that sort of thing. Holloway was busted for the lie, and was convicted on a single count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony. He also had to surrender his license to practice in New York. No worries, Dr. Holloway, there are still 48 other states you can try once you get out of prison!

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Slap on a (gap-toothed) smile

Some people think politicians are criminals, and although unfortunately they can’t be charged for their smooth-talking ways, it’s always fun to hear stories where their polished, P.R.-perfected personas are shattered, if even for a moment. One of these tales recently came out of South Carolina.

Dr. Ben Carson wants to be president. He also wants to keep his teeth for the duration of his campaign. The GOP presidential candidate didn’t get his way (on the second count, at least) when he was eating breakfast in South Carolina last month. Carson stopped by Tommy’s Country Ham House for a good old-fashioned Southern spread, but got an unexpected garnish on his plate: His own front tooth.  Truly the consummate politician, Carson pocketed the tooth and gave a planned speech, despite his new gap-toothed look.

We do have to give him props for being completely unfazed by his tooth ending up in his breakfast, which is something that would throw a lot of people off their game. 

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South Dakota: A quiet sort of place

Smile for your mugshot!

South Dakota is a quiet place with not much in the way of dental news – or dental insurance, apparently. A local woman in Sioux Falls recently decided to forgo the hassles of getting her own coverage, and stole someone’s identity to get over $10,000 of dental work done at a local practice.  Sioux Falls police still haven’t uncovered the true identity of the sneaky woman. We suggest looking for someone with a newly brilliant smile.

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A prehistoric snack

Since there’s not much going in S.D. in terms of dental crime, we’re turning to news involving a different sort of dentition: T-Rex teeth.  Paleontologists in South Dakota discovered the giant tooth of the awesome predator embedded between the vertebrae of a hadrosaur (if you’re not up on your dinos, that’s the duck-billed one). Scientists are thrilled by the discovery, which proves that the T-Rex hunted and ate live prey, rather than just scavenging from carcasses of already-dead animals.

While those little arms might not have been good for much, the gigantic, ferocious teeth apparently got the job done just fine for Rex.

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Tennessee: Land of the missing teeth

Wanted for trespassing: Tooth Fairy

The idea of the Tooth Fairy coming into a home to trade money for teeth becomes significantly less endearing when the Fairy turns out to be an adult male intruder.

Deputies were dispatched to a home in Cumberland County when a woman reported that someone had broken into her home overnight. The only missing item? Her seven-year-old grandson’s tooth, which he had lost the day before and placed under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy. Understandably, Grandma was shaken when she went to swap out the tooth for some cash and found that there was already a quarter beneath the pillow.

Police, who have no imagination and don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, suspected that the boy’s father (who did not live at the residence) might have been behind the heist, as he had broken into the home previously in an unrelated incident.

This all begs the question of what is worse: having your house broken into by a fairy carting around a bag of teeth, or by a man handing out quarters?

Tooth Fairy pays record $255 million for lost teeth in 2014

Not sure you’d want those back…

One unlucky fellow in the intensive care unit in a Chattanooga hospital is looking forward to getting new dentures after his dentures accidentally got buried with another man. Hospital officials accidentally included the false teeth with the personal items of another patient who passed away at the hospital. The personal items were subsequently buried with the man, though it’s unclear what use he would have for dentures once six feet under.

The mix-up was discovered, and the deceased man’s family strongly (legally) suggested that the hospital should get the dentures (that did not belong to the departed!) out of the coffin. The man was exhumed on the hospital’s dime, and the dentures were retrieved (and hopfully immediately discarded).

 Luckily for the living patient, the hospital quickly scrambled to avoid further legal action and paid for new dentures.

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Texas: Home of the avian dentist

There were plenty of dentists up to no good in Texas, but our top pick was some unlicensed dentistry by a most unexpected dentist…

Birds gone wild

A Texas man got an unwanted tooth extraction at the hands (wings?) of some very angry birds. Trucker Benny Hines was innocently walking back to his rig across a parking lot in Channelview, Tex., perfectly happy with the state of his dentition, when a bird swooped down and attacked his head. “I took off my cap and started waving it away,” Hines told a local media station. “All of a sudden, it was more than one bird.”

Four birds began dive-bombing Hines, knocking him over as he attempted to run away. “The more I tried to fight them off, the worse it got,” said Hines. When he fell to the ground, he was knocked unconscious – and also knocked out a tooth. After a trip to the hospital and some stitches to the gouges the birds put on his face, Hines was back on the road. It is doubtful that he will be stopping anywhere near Channelview ever again. 

More tooth extractions: The 9 craziest ways people have pulled teeth

For more in bird tooth extractions, check out this helpful parrot (who does significantly less damage to his “patient”).

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Utah: Where change reigns

That just doesn’t make cents

Cash or credit? One disgruntled Utah patient chose the cash route, and is now facing disorderly conduct charges as a result. Jason West became enraged when his dentist claimed that he had an outstanding balance of $25. West, who didn’t believe he owed any money, decided to share his frustration with the office staff by paying the bill entirely in pennies.

“After asking if they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies on the front counter and demanded that they count it,” reported one news outlet. “The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor.”

Now, instead of just owing $25, West must pay a $140 fine for the disorderly conduct citation.

A recommendation for the practice: Consider only accept credit or check from now on.

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Vermont: Full of maple syrup and mischief

No love lost (teeth)

Having a tooth knocked out doesn’t normally make people affectionate, but it inspired Thomas Popke to share a little love. Popke lost his tooth when he crashed his car while driving more than 100 miles per hour; the vehicle flipped twice, knocking out the tooth and gashing open his head. Then sans vehicle, Popke walked a mile to the home of Sandra and Reginald Robinson, who were awakened when Popke entered their bedroom.

“He kissed me on the cheek an said ‘Hi, Mom,’” said Sandra. “Then he went around to the other side of the bed and kissed my husband and said ‘Hi, Dad.”

The Robinson’s recognized Popke, who lived nearby. He politely apologized for bleeding in the house and then left the house.  Police caught up with him and arrested him for unlawful trespass, operating a vehicle without an owner’s consent, and careless and negligent operation. Police aren’t sure what prompted Popke’s bizarre behavior, as he hadn’t been drinking, but the head injury –and missing tooth – may have played into his eccentric adoration. 

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Sticky fingers (not from maple syrup)

An ambitious bookkeeper at a Vermont dental practice decided that their hourly wage just wasn’t sufficient – and that perhaps several thousand dollars might round out the paycheck quite nicely. The embezzling employee, who stole over $60,000 over a few years, was busted when dentist Thomas Heydinger noticed that a cash payment from a patient that was supposed to be deposited didn’t appear on the bank deposit slip.

In addition to pocketing payments, the bookkeeper, Penny Lussier, was also caught writing checks from the dental practice payable to herself. That’s one way to supplement the paycheck…

 

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Virginia: For lovers of dentistry

Dentistry in the dark

What better place to perform a root canal than a root cellar? That’s what one Fairfax County wannabe dentist thought. Amparo Rodriguez set up a nice, cozy illegal dental practice in the basement of a local home.

Rodriguez, who was in no way a licensed dentist, took precautions to avoid authorities discovering her clandestine practice by not only housing her practice in the basement, but also worked behind a locked door that was hidden behind a refrigerator. When police discovered her subterranean dental cave, they found that she had “an office consistent with a dentist … complete with a dental chair,” according to an affidavit. Consistent, except for that whole basement/refrigerator thing, of course.

In addition to a felony invasive procedure charge, Rodriguez was also charged with felony money laundering and misdemeanor unauthorized distribution of a controlled substance. Which just goes to show, only supervillains can really pull off the whole secret-underground-lair gig. 

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Just don’t sell teeth. Of any variety. Just don’t.

In other toothy news, a Virginia man was arrested and convicted for illegally importing and trafficking teeth – sperm whale teeth. Richard Ertel was sentenced to one month in prison, 90 days of house arrest and ordered to pay a $40,000 fine for his ambitious illegal import business. On a reassuring note, Ertel wasn’t just stockpiling all sorts of teeth in a terrifying house of horrors; sperm whale teeth are used in scrimshaw, popular artwork that can be sold for extravagant prices.  

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Washington: It’s a wild world

Getting piggy with it

Lots of people talk about their pets incessantly, and dental assistant Tina Alberts was no exception. Alberts, whose family raised potbelly pigs, frequently mentioned them at the dental practice where she worked. So when it came time for Alberts to get some dental work done, dentist Robert Woo decided to have a little fun.

While Alberts was under anesthesia to have two of her teeth replaced with implants, Woo installed temporary bridges that he had designed to look like boar tusks. He snapped a couple of pictures of the porcine dentition before removing the tusks and installing normal replacement teeth.

Woo didn’t mention the gag to Alberts, who was unaware of it until coworkers presented her with pictures of it on her birthday. Horrified, Alberts quit her job and sued Woo.

The dentist’s insurance refused to cover the claim, saying it didn’t dabble in practical jokes, so Woo settled with Alberts out of court to the tune of $250,000, making it the most expensive joke in history. In defense of his humorous procedure, Woo then sued his insurance company for not covering it, claiming that although bizarre, the joke was an integral part of Alberts’ oral surgery. After several appeals, the state Supreme Court finally sided with Woo, saying that the surgery should trigger the professional liability coverage included in his policy.

Hopefully Woo will remember not to ham it up so much in the future.

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West Virginia: Wild and wonderful lawbreakers

Words, words, words

Threatening court officials doesn’t usually end well, but a Parkersburg dentist managed to get away with it. Dr. Dale Brum was accused with threatening the lives of a family circuit court judge, a local police office and an attorney, after the state Supreme Court refused to recuse the judge presiding over his divorce case with his wife.

Upon receiving the letter, Brum allegedly drove by the homes of the judge, officer and attorney (who was representing his wife in the divorce) and made threatening comments about them. He then stopped by a gun show, presumably to procure a firearm with which to carry out said threats. Classy. For all of this, he earned an indictment charging him with two counts of retaliation against a public official or employee, and one count of retaliation against a person participating in an official proceeding.

However, since Brum never actually made the threats directly TO his intended targets, but only in front of his 11- and 13-year-old children, a jury found him not guilty. Apparently as long as you just say terrible things in front of your children, it’s totally fine. Let’s hope he doesn’t say such positive things to his patients as well.

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Wisconsin: Home of criminal dental care

A new sort of dental emergency

A five-year-old girl staunchly against cruel and unusual called 911 when she felt her mother was abusing her. The abuse? Mom was getting ready to take her daughter to her first visit to the dentist. At first, the amazing dispatcher couldn’t figure out why the girl was calling, but once she got it sorted out, the transcript of the conversation from Dodge County is pretty fantastic:

Dispatcher: “Is everything ok with Mom?”

Girl: “Yeah, kind of.”

Dispatcher: “Kind of? What is she doing?”

Girl: “Shes’s going to take me to the dentist and I don’t know what the dentist is going to do to me.”

At this point, the dispatcher clearly wanted to laugh, but she instead reassured the little girl that everything would be ok at the dentist. “That is very exciting! They are going to make your teeth so pretty!”

You can listen to the full conversation here. Major kudos to this dispatcher who handled the situation with total class.

Trending article: Why women don't get along in dental practices

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Wyoming: Where sharing is (dental) caring

Keeping it all in the family

Why sell prescribe to only a few people, when you can give them to everyone you know instead? Dentist Sare Rhodes figured the latter was a better option, at least until she was arrested for illegitimately writing prescriptions for addictive painkillers including Oxydocone for her family members, friends and patients.

The ambitious Rhodes was charged with 10 misdemeanor counts of prescribing controlled substances to people known to be dependent, and 10 misdemeanor counts of refusal to keep required records (apparently she wasn’t keeping good track of all those drugs she was handing out willy-nilly).

An area pharmacist busted Rhodes when he became concerned that her patients were bouncing between several different pharmacies to fill their narcotics prescriptions. In the ensuing investigation, it was discovered that the generous dentist began prescribing Oxycodone to her husband in 2009. From that point on, she quickly accumulated a long list of patients who suddenly needed Oxycodone and other opiates, including her mother-in-law, sister and brother-in-law, and more than six other people.

While it’s lovely to share, that concept really shouldn’t extend to illegal drugs.

Trending article: Dentistry shouldn't be a pain in the neck: Strategies to avoid discomfort in the operatory

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Sometimes, people make mistakes. Sometimes, people get caught and arrested for those mistakes. And sometimes, those people are dentists.

We searched the country for the most bizarre, hilarious, disgusting, unbelievable and absurd stories of dental and tooth-related crimes. The results are astounding: From dentists having armed standoffs with law enforcement, to misbehaving tooth fairies, to wrestling matches with patients, our 50 states are chockfull of toothy crime stories that will make you cringe, laugh and leave you dumbfounded.

There were a plethora of stories to choose from, but for this compilation, we tried to steer clear of the really bad apples and keep it PG. So, while some of these stories are sure to shock, we’ve avoided coverage of the really horrid stuff and have instead focused on the weird and wacky.

So, check out the action in your state, or click through them all. Dive on in, and get ready: It’s going to be a wild ride. 

 

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Alabama: Where interstates are dental hotspots

Truck driver crashes while pulling out own tooth

A 57-year-old trucker caused an 11-hour backup on Interstate 20 in Alabama after he took his hands off of the steering wheel to pull a loose tooth out of his mouth. While he was digging for the tooth, his 18-wheeler ran off the road, rolled down a slope into a ditch, and jackknifed into the trees along the highway.

After the accident, which happened at 10:30 p.m., road crews had to divert traffic off of the interstate until almost 8 a.m. the following morning, when they were able to open one lane for rush hour traffic, surely prompting much grinding of teeth for many morning commuters.

Too strange to believe?  There’s proof. The trucker kept the tooth in his pocket so that he could show state troopers the cause of the accident.

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, except perhaps for the trucker’s pride and raw gums.  

The 9 craziest ways people have pulled their own teeth

Former dentist arrested for having an epic carload of drugs

But the excitement apparently never ends on Interstate 20: In 2005, authorities arrested 72-year-old Joe Magnusson, a former Mississippi dentist who’s license expired in 1999, on charges of possessing illegal drugs.  Magnussen was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy after he ran over someone’s lawn before heading east on the highway.

Clearly a brilliant criminal mind, Magnussen left a bunch of prescription bottles in plain view on the car’s console. The intrepid deputy noticed the abundance of drugs and called in task force agents, who searched the dentist’s car. Magnussen made it well worth their time: Stashed around the car, agents found liquid Valium, marijuana, syringes, prescriptions in other people’s names and a cool $6,800 hidden in various places. Not too shabby for a septuagenarian retiree.

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Alaska: Full of dentists with unique extracurriculars

Retired Anchorage dentist spends retirement racking up DUIs

A retired dentist in Anchorage was arrested for driving under the influence after he almost hit a pedestrian. To really make it an open-and-shut case, the intoxicated driver narrowly missed ramming his car into the highway guardrail when he was pulled over by state troopers.

However, the driver, George Trube Murphy, 67, was no stranger to the breathalyzer: At the time of his DUI, he was under court order to not consume alcohol. The court order was put in place as a condition of his release from a DUI just five days earlier. Thankfully, his repeated (and incredibly risky) drunk-driving shenanigans didn’t result in any injuries.

Logically, because he lives in the Alaskan land of snow and ice, he was driving an aptly named Toyota Tundra.

More dental fails: The 9 worst at-home dentistry mistakes

Maybe he should focus on more conventional CE

Another Alaskan dentist got acquainted with the courts when he was sentenced to five years in prison on four counts of tax evasion, to the tune of more than $575,000. Glenn Lockwood was found guilty of multiple charges, including using oversea shell corporations to conceal income and wrongfully deducting expenses.

“Getting high-income earners to pay their income taxes shouldn’t be like ‘pulling teeth,’” commented one cheeky IRS special agent.

So what does the IRS say was wrongfully deducted? Purchases at David’s Big & Tall Store, Big Dog Sportswear, and, inexplicably, Dress Barn, were claimed as “uniform” expenses for the practice. In an admirable display of creativity, Lockwood had charges at massage parlors and Mabel’s House of Prostitution in Nevada written off as “continuing education.”

Yeah, we’re just going to leave that one alone.

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Arizona: Land of dental surprises

A whole new definition of “metal mouth”

A four-year-old girl in Phoenix was sporting a very shiny smile after a dentist put stainless-steel silver crowns on every one of her teeth. Savannah White had four cavities that required treatment when she entered the dental practice, but she left with a lot more than a few fillings. Savannah’s mother was understandably shocked when she saw her daughter’s unsettling new teeth (pictures are available here), but a local pediatric dentist says it may have been the best treatment option, due to the extreme level of deterioration of the girl’s teeth.

Luckily for Savannah, another dentist capped the teeth with white veneers so that she’d stop getting such weird looks from everyone that saw her metallic chompers.

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Weird news: Man who aspirated dental drill bit loses $430K court case

Holy molars!

In some fun news … Dentists are used to seeing holey teeth, but it’s more rare that a holy one shows up in their practice. However, a practice in Flagstaff was treated to such an unexpected occurrence when an image of Jesus appeared in the X-rays of a woman’s molar. The blessed tooth, which belonged to Kym Ackerman, 32, was cavity-free and otherwise unremarkable.

Now that she’s seen Jesus in her molar, Ackerman says she has a new appreciation for good oral hygiene. “I definitely don’t want to get a cavity in that tooth,” she told the Huffington Post. Hey, whatever gets people to brush.

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Arkansas: Where dentists' words can hurt

The taxman comes calling… carefully

Most people don’t think paying taxes is optional, but a dentist in Conway, Arkansas disagrees – and he’s threatening to kill to avoid doing so. Larry Fincher was arrested for “terroristic threatening” after he sent a strongly worded letter to an employee at the Department of Finance & Administration, in response to a delinquent tax notice.

The dentist was evidently enraged by the department’s attempts to collect the taxes from his practice, and wanted to let DF&A Division Manager Drew Smith know exactly what he’d do to stop them. Quite the wordsmith, Fincher wrote that he would “make Smith’s wife a widow to keep his business open,” and that he’d also kill Smith or anyone else that tried to get the back taxes.

Sure, that seems like a logical reaction.

Weird news: Man charged with using pliers to remove women's teeth during sex

 

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California: Hotbed of edentulous criminals 

Denture ya know who did it?

Unfortunately, hit and runs often go unsolved – but one hit-and-run crash in Sacramento pretty much solved itself when the driver left behind his dentition. James Brown might have gotten away with crashing a stolen truck into two cars and a fence, but when he fled on foot, he left behind something crucial: His dentures.

The dentures were knocked out of his mouth when the truck’s airbag deployed during the crash, hitting him in the face. It didn’t take much for local cops to track down the toothless, bleeding man running through the neighborhood. Brown initially gave the officers a false name, which they quickly disproved when they ran a record check on the false teeth. Brown was charged for possession of a stolen car and hit-and-run.

329 California dentists suspected of profiting from unnecessary dental treatments on kids 

Toothy trashcan K.O.

Losing teeth during the commission of a crime seems to be a common occurrence in California, something a Huntington Beach bike thief learned the hard way. The would-be bike owner stole the ride from outside a restaurant, when the true owner went inside to pick up a carryout order.

Luckily, the intoxicated thief’s getaway was hampered by a lack of training wheels: He unsuccessfully struggled to control the bike before hitting a curb and faceplanting into a concrete trashcan on the sidewalk. In the battle of trashcan versus incisors, the trashcan won and knocked out several of the drunken cyclist’s teeth.

The best part? The attempted getaway was all caught on film by an area security camera.

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Colorado: Where dentistry never dies

Well, they don’t need it anymore…

If the intro to Duck Tales is any indication, the allure of gold transcends all boundaries. Succumbing to this allure, an embalmer in Colorado saw a golden opportunity to start amassing his own treasure trove.

The embalmer, Adrian David Kline, was arrested for stealing dental gold and crowns from corpses and human remains that came through the funeral home where he worked. After collecting the gold, he made the rounds of local pawnshops to peddle his newfound riches. Area pawnbrokers were alarmed by his repeated pawning of dental gold and called authorities, who charged Kline with fraud and suspicion of providing false information to a pawnbroker.

Quite frankly, if pawnbrokers are weirded out out, it’s probably pretty shady.

Trending article: The top 5 dental discoveries

 

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Connecticut: The natural world of dental care

Dentistry au natural

Everyone has days where they just can’t decide what to wear, but most folks will settle on something from their closet before venturing out into the world. However, Christopher Huff of Connecticut didn’t see the need when he headed to his dentist appointment in Stratford.

Shocking a female receptionist, Huff showed up for his teeth cleaning completely naked. When the startled receptionist screamed, he ran off, blessing the streets of Stratford with his natural form in all its glory. Police caught up with Huff at his home (where he was thankfully fully dressed); Huff denied he’d even been to the dentist that day, but police were unconvinced.

Luckily, the receptionist had been paying attention and was able to I.D. Huff, even fully clothed. “His eyes are very blue and he had a good tan,” she told officers, according to the Connecticut Post.

We’re sure those were the only identifying features she noticed about him.

The 7 weirdest dental stories of 2014

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Delaware: Land of toothy terrorism

Postal at the post office

A grandmother in Delaware became so distressed after a postal worker teased her that she fled from the post office and tripped over a concrete parking barrier, chipping her tooth and breaking her glasses.

What caused the post office breakdown? Grandma Lucille Greene was mailing 30 fruitcakes (ew) as Christmas gifts, and a postal worker, surely jolly with holiday spirit, jokingly asked her “what sort of explosives do you have in those boxes?” Aghast at being called a terrorist, Grandma burst into tears and fled the building, cracking her tooth when she fell.

Grandma Greene then sued the Postal Service for emotional distress, asking for $250,000 in compensation. A judge dismissed the case because Greene had a prior eye condition (as many 88-year-old ladies do) and because the real crime in all of this was the fact that she inundated her family with stale fruitcake every holiday.
 

Weird news: Woman superglued her teeth in to avoid going to the dentist

 

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Florida: Just a hot dental mess

Florida, Florida, Florida…. You are rife with dental crime and toothy antics. Where do we even begin? Here are some highlights from thevery special state:

Kiss it all better

A man charged with practicing dental hygiene without a license was hit with some more disturbing claims after a woman accused him of providing some extra TLC when her dental procedure became painful. John Collazos, practicing out of a Hollywood apartment, allegedly injected painkillers into a patient’s buttocks to relieve pain from a toothache. After giving the patient the shot, he then kissed her on her derriere to make it all better. This was the second time in two months that police arrested Collazos for practicing unlicensed dentistry, and the second claim of unwanted sexual advances. Sounds like he just wants to make everyone all better.

Weird news: Man ditches pants while fleeing after stealing $52 in toothpaste

Tooth Fairy is making it rain

A Florida woman who was missing several teeth received a generous gift from the Tooth Fairy to the tune of $1,300 – or so she told police. An undercover Port St. Lucie police officer caught Kathryn Hudson dealing Oxycodone in a Burger King, and business must have been booming, as she had the huge amount of cash on her person. When questioned about where she got the money, Hudson claimed that the Tooth Fairy had given it to her. However, officers were skeptical, as the Tooth Fairy had never left more than a quarter under their pillows.

Dental wrestlemania

Talk about not having respect for your elders: Florida dentist Michael Hammonds was arrested for assault and battery after he fought an 85-year-old patient. The wrestling match started over a pair of dentures, when patient Virginia Graham started experiencing pain while Hammonds was adjusting her lower fake teeth. For some reason, Graham threw her dentures at Hammonds and demanded a refund. She then tried to get them back from him, resulting in a struggle that culminated in her biting the dentist on the arm. Hammonds then refused to let her leave the practice.  Risky business, wrestling with a geriatric, but hey, to each their own.

Emerging research: Study finds poop on over 60% of toothbrushes

Much more useful than a partial fingerprint

When trying to burglarize someone’s car, it’s best not to leave any evidence behind – particularly parts of your body. This fact didn’t register with Jeremy Borth, who was charged with armed vehicular burglary and aggravated battery after he left a partial dental implant in a car that he was trying to steal. The owner saw Borth in his car and confronted him, resulting in a “physical altercation” that culminated in Borth losing – and leaving behind – his two front teeth. Police used a K9 unit to track Borth to his home, where they found him nursing facial bruises and a gap-toothed smile.

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Georgia: Home to dentistry on the move

Taking out travel threats, one toothbrush at a time

The TSA isn’t exactly known for its sense of humor, so they were probably not amused by the cause of an airport shutdown due to a suspected threat. Part of the Atlanta airport’s North Terminal baggage claim and MARTA rail service were shut down after something began vibrating in a checked bag. Workers who heard the vibration alerted airport officials, who closed down the immediate area and redirected passengers to the Terminal South entrance.

In a rather anticlimactic conclusion, officials discovered that the vibrations weren’t coming from a bomb or terroristic device; instead, an electric toothbrush had gone off in a passenger’s bag. Props to the airport workers for vigilance, and the passenger for being oral-hygiene conscious. 

Weird news: Rugby players get teeth replaced with bottle openers

DIY mobile dentistry

Practicing dentistry without a license is bad on its own, but practicing unlicensed out of the your trailer takes things to a whole new level.  Martina Ramirez-Villa, who once worked as a dental assistant, had a fully equipped dental office in the bedroom of her mobile home.

Police discovered the setup after they were tipped off by an anonymous call.  The fully stocked dental operatory had a dental chair, lamp, tools and a drugstore’s worth of drugs and pills. When confronted, Ramirez-Villa promised to stop “working on teeth.” Unconvinced, police arrested her for practicing dentistry without a license, a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to one year in prison.  No word on whether or not she set up a clinic behind bars as well. 

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Hawaii: Where crime pays ... for dentistry

Take the complimentary toothbrush and run

When Ray Delos Santos, a Hawaiian convict, complained of a toothache, prison officials granted him an order of temporary release from prison and allowed him to go to the dentist in Kailua. The dentist allowed him to go to the bathroom, which subsequently allowed him to make a hasty escape, leaving his authorized sponsor waiting helplessly in the waiting room. Santos, wanted for multiple probation violations (and additionally, the escape), spurred CrimeStoppers to offer a cash reward of $1,000 for information leading to his capture. At least he presumably had clean teeth when he went on the run! 

Emerging research: Study finds link between tooth loss and mental, physical decline in older adults

Now that’s a good use of (stolen) money

What would you do with $41,000? Buy a car? Go on a luxurious vacation? Get a root canal?  An industrious armed robber that held up three Oahu banks and a recycling center chose the third. Marcus Kalani Watson used $2,810 of his stolen cash to get a root canal in a Honolulu dentist’s office.

Two days after his recycling center heist, where he pointed a pistol at a worker and threatened to shoot him, Watson cleverly posted a photo on Facebook depicting himself holding a large amount of cash. The FBI explained that this is an excellent way to get caught after you rob four businesses, and arrested him at the Honolulu airport soon thereafter. In between his dental appointment and capture, Watson did find time to splurge a little though: He bought himself an old, $2,000 Lexus. We think the dental work was a better choice.

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Idaho: Mammoth and ancient sharks and druggie dentists, oh my!

Hydrocodone is not a dentist’s best friend

With not much toothy news happening in Idaho except for the discovery of the teeth from mammoths and ancient sharks, we had to settle for the tale of Rahil Ahktar, an entrepreneurial dentist that was arrested for fraud, deception and obtaining a controlled substance by mispresentation … i.e., he was getting his buddies to fill prescriptions for Schedule III & IV controlled substances, and then either sharing portions of the wealth of pills or paying them for their services.

Ahktar wrote over 93 prescriptions that he admitted were written without a legitimate medical purpose, and to people who were not even his patients – all for the purpose of feeding his own drug habit. Party on in prison, Ahktar. Party on.

Emerging research: Saliva plays key role in caries prevention

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Illinois: A state of innovative dentists

Dentistry without the bells and whistles

How can you tell if your “dentist” isn’t a licensed dental professional? When he makes you spit in a trashcan while you sit in a leather office chair.  Fransisco Rendon, 49, rented a room on the south side of Chicago where he practiced dentistry under the guise of being a dentist.

Patients became suspicious when his dental equipment consisted of the leather chair and a power tool designed for polishing metal. He was otherwise well equipped, however: His “practice” was stocked with painkillers, syringes and even dentures. After being busted by police for misdemeanor providing medical service without a license, it’s probably safe to say his career is in the garbage – along with all his patients’ spit.

 

Weird news: Recent study finds French kissing swaps more than spit

A very diligent patient

To lighten the mood with some fun, crime-unrelated Illinois news, the Brookfield Zoo’s porcupine has to go for bimonthly tooth trimmings because her teeth keep growing. 11-year-old “Pilgrim” can’t wear down her incisors naturally, and has one tooth that is growing unchecked. If the tooth grew too long, it could prevent her from eating. So, zoo specialists take her on a day trip to the dentist every other month. Many dentists probably wish some of their patients came back that regularly! 

Trending article: New study finds beaver teeth could provide insight into human tooth decay

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Indiana: Land of rotten luck - and grins

No smile is safe

25,000 sets of “Billy Bob Teeth,” plastic teeth that make the wearer look like they have crooked, stained teeth, went missing after a truck and trailer full of the novelty dentition was stolen.

“I’ve got a feeling someone is going to be disappointed when they get into the back of that cargo trailer and think they’ve got computers or construction tools and find out they’ve got Billy Bob Teeth,” Chief Deputy Doug Cox of the Johnson Country Sheriff’s office told The Daily Journal.

Especially when the thieves discover that the haul is essentially worthless: The teeth were still unpackaged, and didn’t yet contain the adhesive putty to make them fit into wearers’ mouths.

In normal circumstances, the Billy Bob Teeth cost around $10 per decayed-looking set. In addition to the popular Billy Bob grins, the trailer had other novelty smile styles, including the Austin Powers, Deliverance Cavity and the Slapshot (just in case you wanted alternative options for making your teeth look horrible). 

Trending article: Sleeping in dentures can pose major health hazards

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Iowa: Land of the beautiful

Attraction distraction

When can being irresistible be a bad thing? When it gets you fired. An Iowa dentist fired his female dental assistant after his wife began feeling threatened by the attractive woman. Melissa Nelson was fired after working for Dr. James Knight for 10 years. Knight, almost 20 years Nelson’s senior, said that he had to terminate her employment because he was getting “personally attached” and was afraid he would try to have an affair with her. Nelson, who is also married, said she had never even considered such a thing, and saw the dentist as a father figure.

The all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that Knight had the right to fire Nelson, despite the fact that she had never acted in a flirtatious way, because he was firing her based on an “irresistible attractions” and not gender discrimination. Justices ruled the firing was acceptable because it was motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, despite the fact that Nelson had done nothing wrong.

Nelson’s attorney said that this decision was gender-based because it implied that women were accountable for men’s desire. "These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don't think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses' sexual desires," said attorney Paige Fiedler. "If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it."

Well… at least she still has her looks? 

Emerging research: Dental caries susceptibility linked to your hair

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Kansas: Where good meets evil

Sedation degradation

So much for setting a good example for the kids. A dentist in Wichita was sued for sexual harassment and racial discrimination by two former dental practice employees who alleged that he watched porn in front of children that were sedated, and exposed himself to employees in his reception area. Additionally, as if he wasn’t being gross enough, he reportedly made inappropriate comments about sex and women’s bodies in front of the kids.

The employees also claimed that Dr. David Brown gave inadequate sedation to minority children, or refused to start procedures such as extractions until anesthesia had begun to wear off, causing the children discomfort and pain. He reportedly also ridiculed black and Hispanic patients. 

New research finds human tooth enamel development is linked to weaning

Now that’s some good customer service

Because that story made all of us feel icky, we wanted to add this pick-me-up tale to restore our faith in humanity. A rotten-toothed waiter in Wichita got a very good tip from a customer: Get your teeth fixed – along with a monetary tip of $25,000 to enable him to do just that. Fred Boettcher was patronizing the Doo Dah Diner and was impressed by waiter Brian Maixner and his upbeat attitude.

“I took one look at this young man and knew he was something special. He carried himself with such kindness and confidence with a mouth that looked painful. I was struck by that,” Boettcher told Today.com.

Boettcher sent Maixner to his own personal dentist, where he had his teeth pulled and was fitted for dentures until he could get dental implants. Hopefully the brilliant new replacement for his decaying grin will get Maixner even more tips in the future.

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Kentucky: Get a grip on dentistry!

Eating fiber each day won’t keep the doctor away

We’ve all heard the horror stories about surgeons leaving tools inside patients during surgery, but it never crossed out minds that the dental office could be just as risky. A Louisville woman sued her dentist after he dropped a small screwdriver down her throat during a procedure. 71-year-old Lena David filed her lawsuit after the screwdriver migrated to her digestive tract, causing severe abdominal pain, and required surgery to remove.

The kicker? After dropping the screwdriver down David’s throat Dr. W.B. Galbreath’s solution was to tell her to try to regurgitate it – and when that didn’t work, recommended that she “eat a diet high in fiber,” and sent her home. 

Emerging research: Do people with tooth loss really need dentures?

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Louisiana: Where teeth can (sometimes) save the day

Family fued

Smoking your brother’s marijuana is a sure way to stir up some bad blood, particularly when your brother is toting a gun and angrily sober because of your actions. Walter Davis learned this the hard way when he helped himself to his brother Waltdell’s drugs and got shot in the face as a result. – a shot that could have killed him, had it not ricocheted off of his gold tooth.

Shot through his upper lip, Walter was taken to the hospital where doctors were surprised to find only one bullet fragment in his head, near his left nostril. The rest of it had apparently ricocheted off a gold crown on his upper tooth.

“Gold is pretty tough stuff,” said Dr. Robert Kelly, a professor in the department of reconstructive sciences at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. But could gold deflect a bullet? “I don’t think it’s unlikely,” he said.

Emerging research: A cup a day keeps periodontal bone loss away

No false (tooth) arrest here

False teeth haven’t been stopping bullets in Louisiana, but they have served some other creative purposes. The innovative Cornelius Carvin used his dentures as a hiding place for crack cocaine when he was stopped by the police for strolling down the street with a crack pipe sticking out of a bag. Shockingly, the visible crack pipe was a dead giveaway to the cops that he might have drugs on him.

The officers ordered Carvin to open his mouth, where they saw the drugs peeking out from beneath his dentures. He was subsequently made to spit out his false teeth, which were confiscated as evidence. Hope they’re serving some soft food in prison!

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Maine: Where thieves come in all shapes and sizes

Robber rodent

In a bizarre game of cat and mouse, a Maine man has been trying to catch a sticky-fingered rodent that keeps stealing his belongings. Bill Exner has captured the kleptomaniac mouse three times, but each time it has outsmarted him and escaped – and got its revenge by taking Exner’s lower dentures with him.

After the dentures vanished from Exner’s nightstand, he and his wife “moved the bed, moved the dressers and the nightstand and tore the closet apart,” explained Exner. “I knew that little stinker stole my teeth – I just knew it.”

With the help of their daughter’s fiancée, they sawed out a section of the wall through which they suspected the mouse was coming and going. Exner’s hunch proved to be right: They found the dentures inside the wall where the mouse had evidently been storing them.

Not willing to let the rodent win, Exner boiled the dentures and disinfected them, and defiantly continued to wear them. The mouse hasn’t given up though; he frequently appears to stare at the Exners. No telling what he’ll take next. 

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Maryland: Home of dentists who should just stay home

Dental conference detour

Food, drinks, networking… it can be fun to travel overseas for dental conferences! The experience was ruined for one dentist though, when the plane he was on took him to Grenada in the Caribbean instead of Granada, Spain. Dentist Edward Gamson is suing British Airways after the mix-up, saying that he clearly told the ticket agent he wanted to go to Granada, Spain when he booked his trip over the phone; however, that wasn’t how his tripped played out.

His flight from Maryland took him to London – a logical stop on the way to Spain, so no questions asked there. Since his e-ticket didn’t have an airport code on it, he assumed the plane would then continue to Granada. It wasn’t until he looked at the in-flight map and noticed that the plane was flying west that he figured out something was amiss.

When he asked the flight attendant why they were going west to get to Spain, “his response was: ‘Spain? We’re going to the West Indies,” said Gamson.

Gamson did make it to the conference (after three surely fun-filled days of round-the-world travel), but is suing the airline since he is out more than 375,000 frequent flyer miles, and over $34,000 in pre-booked hotels, trains and tours that he had planned. Let’s hope he’s more meticulous and thorough when he pulls teeth than when he plans travel.

Trending article: Toothbrush type found to influence bacterial growth

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Massachusetts: Land of the lost (teeth)

Claim your teeth at the lost and found

A man in Massachusetts got an unexpected surprise while perusing the wallet selection at an area Walmart. While examining a billfold, he unzipped a compartment and found that it was full of teeth. The customer handed over the wallet to Walmart employees and left before the police arrived on the scene (most suspicious, we say!).

Police identified the collection as 10 human teeth, one of which had a filling. Because there is no tissue or blood on the teeth, they cannot be DNA tested, leaving police with little to go on in terms of identifying the dentition’s owner. Walmart swears it’s an isolated incident, but maybe you should check all the pockets of anything you buy, just in case.

Trending article: Antidepressant drug linked to dental implant failure

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Michigan: Taking the show on the road

Finders, keepers

A Michigan dentist took his bad behavior on the road on a recent trip to watch his son play in a baseball tournament in Florida (we’re throwing this one under Michigan because Florida has already gotten way too much action!). Dr. Richard Ludwig of Okemos, Mich., was arrested in Polk County, Fla., after he used a stolen credit card to buy pizza.

The trouble began when Harrun Majeed, a local college student and military veteran, dropped his credit card in the parking lot of a Publix (where he was most likely buying the college staples of Ramen noodles and EasyMac). When he got home and realized that the card was missing, he called the credit-card company immediately.

The representative he spoke with told him that someone had just used the card to make a purchase at a pizza joint next to the Publix. Majeed called the local sheriff’s office, and deputies arrived at the scene to find the thief waiting for a pizza order. Ludwig was arrested for charging $40 in pizza on the stolen card.

The kicker? He had $250 in cash in his wallet at the time of his arrest. Even better, when asked by deputies if he was having financial troubles, Ludwig laughed and said “of course not,” as he was worth between three and four million dollars.

But yeah, sure, the veteran college student should totally be the one to foot the bill for the millionaire dentist’s pizza party.

Trending article: Runners at higher risk for tooth decay

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Minnesota: Land of lakes - and lackluster online reviews

The Internet is a fickle place

The Internet is full of trolls … which a dentist in Minnesota learned the hard way. Dr. Douglas Wolff sued a competitor who he claimed posted negative online reviews of his practice while posing as a patient.

The online posting, posed by “HockeyMom,” said that Wolff was “not an orthodontist, but a dentist who maybe took one weekend course in braces … This hardly qualifies him to be doing braces. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way … He is a general dentist who started doing braces out of the blue one day with no formal training.”

More dental sabotage: California dentist sets rival practices on fire

Apparently something about the review rang familiar with Wolff, who claimed that the review was not written by a sport-loving mother, but instead by local orthodontic specialist Bryan Brettin. As it turned out, Brettin had posted the reviews from his home, after hacking into his neighbor’s wireless connection.

After hearing about the defamation lawsuit being filed against him, Brettin defended his actions, saying that the online reviews did not contain any false statements (but neglected to explain why he chose “HockeyMom” as his online alias).

We can only hope he conducts all of his online business under that moniker. 

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Mississippi: Where dental schools are at the mercy of the dead

Dental school stymied

Some dentals schools can’t expand due to funds or a lack of real estate – but the dental program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center can’t grow because of a field of corpses.

When the university began construction on a parking garage for the hospital and dental school, ground-penetrating radar revealed that over 1,000 bodies were buried in the field. North of the garage’s proposed location, radar discovered more than 1,000 additional bodies.

As a result, the parking garage had to be moved. “[Finding these graves] on a prime part of the core campus has already impacted our plan,” said UMMC Chief of Public Affairs and Communications Tom Forner. “It’s fair to say that it’s impracticable to relocate all of them on the campus as it’s currently configured.”

The bodies that are stymying expansion plans are believed to be from a cemetery outside of the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, which opened in 1855. Nearly one in five patients admitted in the following two decades died and were buried on the grounds. The university’s request to dig up and cremate the bodies was denied by the Mississippi attorney general’s office. The attorney general did say UMMC could move the bodies – but only to another location on campus.

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Missouri: A state full of surprises

World Wide Web of deception

While in the business of brightening smiles, dentists at one Missouri practice were drastically devoid of grins themselves after an online consortium of thieves stole $205,000 from the practice’s online coffer.

The money, taken out of the pediatric clinic’s online bank account in 11 different transfers, was wired to nearly a dozen different accounts around the country. Apparently many of the people that received the money were “money mules,” people hired through the Internet and unsuspectingly lured into helping launder stolen cash. Since these mules, contacted by anonymous strangers through monster.com and other career-building sites, weren’t aware of exactly what was going on, it makes it incredibly hard to prosecute them.

The FBI also declined to get involved, saying they couldn’t open a case unless there was over $500,000 in losses. As it stands, the practice is out over $200K, and some thieves have some very satisfied smiles on their faces.

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Smile! It’s a girl!

In other, more entertaining, crime-free news, a newborn baby shocked her parents and doctors alike when she was born with two front teeth.

Alyssa Bella Bailey, born in Branson, Missouri, surprised everyone with her unexpected dentition. Her smile is decidedly unique: Teeth like hers, known as natal teeth, are rare, occurring once in every 2,000-3,000 births, according to MedLinePlus, a service of the National Institute of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine.

As in Alyssa’s case, the teeth most often develop in the lower jaw, and have little root structure; they are attached to the end of the gum by soft tissue, oftentimes making them wobbly.

Due to their weak attachment to the gum, natal teeth do present some risk of the infant swallowing or aspirating any teeth that come loose. Other risks include potential damage to the child’s tongue due to irritation from the teeth. Natal teeth can also be associated with several medical conditions, such as Pierre Robin and Sotos syndromes, that can cause jaw deformities and cleft palates.

Luckily, baby Alyssa is perfectly healthy, and the teeth will remain until they fall out on their own when her normal baby teeth grow in. Needless to say, mom Jaklina Bailey has decided to forgo breastfeeding.

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Montana: Full of snow and dentists - and dentists on snow

A not-so-magic eight ball

An oral surgeon in Billings was arrested for handing out candy to his patients – nose candy, that is. Jerome Mancuso was convicted of distributing cocaine out of his home and practice. The dentist had been moving powder from his practice, the Rocky Mountain Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, for over seven years.

The bust was part of a larger conspiracy linked to a retired football player, who was the main distributer in Billings. The player admitted to bringing over 20 pounds (pounds!) of cocaine into the city. Mancuso was convicted for having less than 500 grams of cocaine, which shaved 20 years and one million dollars off of his potential sentence.

However, Mancuso claimed that he was not a dealer or distributor, but merely a user and sharer;” he shared his cocaine with friends and patients at his office, and while partying in bars around the city. His family claims they were unaware of his cocaine use.

Despite his generous nature, Mancuso was convicted and faces up to 20 years in prison, a one million dollar fine and up to three years of supervised release. That’ll probably kill his high pretty quickly.

The latest hourly and annual salary numbers for dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants

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Nebraska: Where a name can say a lot

Oh, what’s in a name? 

Sometimes, some pretty big clues. The aptly named Randall Toothaker, a dentist in Omaha, was accused of stealing nearly $17,000 in dental gold, other precious metals and medical supplies.

While Toothaker’s name might have hinted at his intentions, his actions were less discrete: the dentist stole the materials and put them into a bag right in front of a lab technician. The upstanding technician promptly informed his supervisor of the theft (because he probably has a nice name, like John Honesty or Joe Morals), and police apprehended Toothaker as he drove home.  All of the stolen items were found in a bag in his car.

Toothaker’s defense? He didn’t know how the dental gold could have possible gotten into his bag. Sure, like we’re going to believe someone with that moniker.

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Nevada: Home of wandering eyes

Unwanted gazes

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – and while we think that what happens in the bathroom should stay there too, one City of Sin dentist disagreed. Mahesh Patel was just a little too curious about his employees’ private bathroom time, and planted a video camera in the restroom to record his female employees changing their clothes.

Patel was busted for his peeping-tom antics when a female employee changing into scrubs in the bathroom noticed an object in the toilet paper holder – an object with a button that said “record.” As any half-naked person would do, she quickly turned the camera off. She pocketed the device and went to perform a procedure with Patel, who strangely avoided looking at her throughout. After the procedure, Patel and his suddenly shy eyes confronted the woman and asked her to return the camera, saying that it was his and that it must have fallen out of his pocket. The woman correctly called shenanigans on that answer, and Patel finally admitted he had planted the camera to watch her change clothes.

The woman took the camera home and watched the footage, which showed her undressing, as well a second employee who had also changed clothes in the bathroom. The final nail in the coffin was footage of Patel placing the camera into the toilet paper dispenser – he evidently had turned the camera on before planting it, capturing himself in the act.

Let’s hope that the next time he feels the need to see a woman undress, he pays the cover charge and patronizes one of Vegas’ fine professional establishments.

Weird news: Electric toothbrushes gaining popularity ... with thieves

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New Hampshire: The last stand

An explosive reaction

Everyone can probably agree that paying taxes is a bummer, but something that you have to do.  Not true, said Elaine Brown, a New Hampshire dentist. Elaine and her husband Ed owned a dental practice in Plainfield, but stopped paying income and property taxes for 10 years, saying there was no law that forced them to pay. They were liable for more than $625,000 in back taxes at the time of their indictment.

Eccentric? Yes. Illegal? For sure. But it gets so much better from there.

The Browns made bail, but instead of turning themselves in on those charges after their trial (in which they were convicted of tax evasion), the Browns took the standoff with the government to a new level: an actual standoff, complete with a stockpile of weapons and explosive booby traps on their property. The 2007 standoff lasted over 90 days, when the Browns were finally arrested by undercover agents who were posing as followers of the Browns (did we mention they had a slew of supporters for their unorthodox views on taxes, freemasonry and religion? Oh yes.).

For all their hard standoff work, the Browns’ prison sentences were extended to over 35 years. Their compound where the standoff took place was put up for auction – but the sale isn’t going well, as potential buyers can’t tour the 100-acre property, because of Ed Brown’s claim that there are explosives hidden all around the property. Are there really? No one is sure, but federal agents aren’t taking any chances.

For more ridiculous details about the standoff and the stubborn dentist, check out the Browns’ Wikipedia page.

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New Jersey: Home of dental deviants

Publicity can be a real pain in the tooth

Advertising can be a frustrating endeavor, but one dentist in New Jersey is attracting plenty of attention with his practice’s giant tooth sign – plenty of attention from vandals, that is. Dr. Harry Mahoney’s molar-shaped wooden sign outside his practice has been a popular target for local ruffians, who have stolen or damaged the sign six times in 20 years.

It’s happened so many times that the local redbankgreen news outlet has an entire archive of stories on the missing tooth. “It’s getting ridiculous,” Mahoney told redbankgreen after the tooth was stolen for a second time in three months in 2011. “There’s not much I can do though but make it out of concrete or something.”

Mahoney makes the signs himself, and has traditionally made them from wood. When asked about prevention techniques, such as setting up a video camera to catch the miscreants, Mahoney said “It’s too much work. I’ve just gotten used to it.” 

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New Mexico: Gone fishing ... for teeth

That’s what you call a mobile clinic

Maybe he was just trying to squeeze in a little dentistry before a road trip to go fishing, but Eliver Kestler probably picked the wrong locale when he decided to illegally practice dentistry in his car – and keep his dental tools in a tackle box.

Police were alerted to the mobile Chevrolet clinic after a disgruntled patient told cops about ‘El Dentista,’ an unlicensed dentist practicing out of his red sedan. The ex-patient claimed that he had paid Kestler $280 to put in four replacement teeth, which he never received. When police caught up with Kestler, they discovered dental drills, teeth molds and impressions and prescription drugs, including Lidocane and Septocaine, scattered around the car and in a tackle box. Kestler was also apparently not fastidious about cleanliness; a police spokesperson said that the mobile “practice” was disgustingly dirty and filled with ‘leftover residual materials.’

Kestler, who claimed that he was licensed in Mexico but not in the United States, was charged with practicing dentistry without a license and distributing controlled substances. No word on what happened to his little red Chevy.

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New York: Home of the Big Apple, big dental fails

Freedom comes with consequences

While most people use dental floss to practice good oral hygiene, an inmate in a New York correction facility had a more ambitious use for it. Kourosh Bakhtiari decided that he didn’t like his accommodations at the prison, and decided to escape.

But how does one escape from a correctional facility? Why, by braiding together over 15 rolls of dental floss to make a rope! His dental floss escape rope was strong enough to support a 190-pound man. The flaw in his ingenious plan? He forgot to wear gloves: From sliding down the dental floss, he cut his hands so severely that he had to be hospitalized for severed tendons in his hands.

However, his efforts were not entirely in vain: Bakhtiari escaped from the hospital where he was being treated after the guard watching his room fell asleep.

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When the dentist’s away, the office manager will play

A dental office manager in New York has learned the hard way that playing pretend can result in some very real consequences.

Office worker Valbona Yzeiraj, 45, scheduled appointments and saw patients at Ultimate Dental Care in Riverdale, N.Y., while the real dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Schoengold, was out of town. Self-dubbed “Dr. Val,” who is not a licensed dentist, made diagnoses, gave anesthetics and even performed dental extractions on unsuspecting patients who visited the practice. As a bonus, she offered discounts to patients willing to pay cash.

 “She inspected patients, she diagnosed patients, she took X-rays, she injected patients with anesthetics, she even gave patients root canals,” said Bronx Assistant District Attorney Patrick McCadden at Dr. Val’s arraignment last week.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the questionable dental care (which took place from November 2012 to August 2013) left one patient combating an infection from a botched root canal and another suffering persistent pain nearly two years after their procedure. Her unauthorized venture might have gone on longer, but Dr. Shoengold discovered the fraudulent care after patients returned to his practice complaining about bungled dental procedures – that he hadn’t performed. He promptly fired Yzeiraj, whom he had hired in 2009 off of Craigslist.

The drama didn’t end there, however: Prosecutors say that Yzeiraj retaliated to the termination by attempting to steal more than $20,000 from the practice on her way out, adding felony attempted grand larceny to her collection of charges, which included felony assault, misdemeanor reckless endangerment and unauthorized practice.

Yzeiraj, who justified her actions by claiming she was trained as a dentist in her native Albania, pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $20,000. She was also ordered to not go near any dental practices during the duration of her case. If convicted, Yzeiraj faces up to seven years in prison. 

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North Carolina: Redefining invasive procedures

The world’s most disgusting dentist

The news coming out of the Tar Heel State is pretty terrifying and utterly disgusting. Dentist John Hall was accused of committing sexual assault, violating dentistry’s standard of care and engaging in immoral conduct. Why? Six former patients claim that he tricked them into swallowing his semen.

Two former employees were the first to bring allegations against the dentist, becoming suspicious when, while he was seeing female patients, he kept sending the assistants into the other room for items he didn’t need. Cheryl MacLeod, Hall’s former assistant, also became alarmed when she overheard him telling patients to swallow something from a syringe that he took out of his pocket. She and the office manager then took syringes from the office garbage and turned them over to police for testing.

The patients’ disturbing testimonies all involved stories of Hall putting foreign substances that smelled or tasted “like sperm” into their mouths during dental procedures. Several of them said that although they recognized the smell as semen, they couldn’t taste anything because their mouths were entirely numb, so they were at first unsure of what was happening.

When police searched Hall’s practice, they found five syringes in his desk filled with his semen. Hall claimed that he was storing the semen because he was concerned about side effects, including low sperm count, from a drug he was taking for hair growth. OK, sure.

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North Dakota: Where everyone's a lawyer

Prison toothache turns into a real headache for officials

While getting a tooth pulled may, at the time, feel like cruel and unusual punishment, the courts don’t agree. A convict in North Dakota learned this when he filed a federal lawsuit over his dental treatment at North Dakota State Penitentiary.

Prisoner Dennis Gaede, who was imprisoned for the 2001 murder and dismemberment of Timothy Wicks, claimed that he requested a root canal and crown after he cracked his tooth on a piece of shell in a breaded oyster (big question here: They serve oysters in prison?!). Instead of the requested treatment, the tooth was pulled.

Gaede’s lawsuit said that the tooth extraction violated his right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. He sued for $75,000. The state rolled its eyes and maintained that they provided adequate dental care (and added that they didn’t really even believe he had a serious medical problem). 

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Ohio: Where anyone can be anything

Woman who wants to be a dental hygienist sues everyone ever

Everyone has dreams in life. Maybe you want to be a dental hygienist. Maybe you want to take everyone to court. Maybe you want to do both.

Carol Cummings falls into that last category. A veteran of the legal system, she turned to the courts for pretty much any challenge that was thrown her way. After failing to pass a Head and Neck Anatomy class at local Cuyahoga County Community College (Tri-C), a course required for the dental hygiene program, Cummings opted to forego studying or retaking the class, and instead sued the school for failing her.

But it wasn’t Cummings’ first legal rodeo. Several years earlier, when her husband filed for divorce, the proceedings dragged out for almost six years, going through three judges, a magistrate and eight attorneys, before deciding to represent herself. 

In the midst of the divorce, she enrolled in a dental-hygiene program at Lorain County Community College. School proved challenging, and she flunked out in the first semester. Clearly, this was not her fault. She blamed the school, the professor, classmates and various staff members, claiming racial discrimination, bias and that her teacher had a vicious grudge against her (which she probably did, after all this drama).  When she didn’t get anywhere with the school, she stole her classmate’s typodent model jaw, and sent out a bizarre email bragging about the heist.

Luckily for LCCC, Cummings moved on – to Tri-C, where she proceeded to file a federal lawsuit against the school, her professors and the college president over the flunking of the fated dental anatomy class. (Then things got really weird and convoluted; Cleveland Scene magazine has an excellent breakdown of the strange progression of events here.) However, in a bout of good luck for Tri-C, Cummings ran out of money and was forced to drop the suit.

Maybe she should just do what she was clearly destined to do, and become a lawyer.

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When idiotic plans go wrong…

What’s the best way to get out of federal drug charges? Kidnap a woman, establish her dental records under your own name and then kill her to fake your own death. Voila!

Easier said than done for Tonica Jenkins, who decided to get those pesky authorities off her back by faking her own death. Jenkins was arrested for attempting to buy 22 pounds of cocaine from two undercover federal agents. She posted bail, but had eight long months before her trial in which to plot like an evil villain.

The dastardly plan? Find a woman who resembled Jenkins and take her to dental appointments to establish records under Jenkins’ name. Then, murder the woman and burn her body. Once the woman’s body was found, the dental records would match Jenkins, fooling authorities into believing she was dead. Brilliant? Not so much.

Jenkins did find a woman, Melissa Latham, who was willing to go to the dentist posing as Jenkins (under the belief that they were just scamming insurance). While the visit to the dentist went all right, the murder bit proved to be difficult. Although Jenkins and a friend beat her up and injected her with insulin, Latham managed to escape, and Jenkins and her crony were arrested at the local KFC.

Jenkins was subsequently sentenced to 24 years in prison for her part in the cocaine-buying extravaganza, where presumably she has lots of time to plan her next evil plot.

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Oklahoma: Land of the unlicensed

Things keep falling apart

It’s bad enough to go to an unlicensed dentist. It’s even worse when that unlicensed dentist is really, really bad at dentistry. Carroll Jarrett got to experience this firsthand when two temporary teeth he’d had put in by self-proclaimed dentist Elizabeth Hinojosa popped out when he bit into a piece of fried chicken.

“It was gross,” said Jarrett. “I had two little bitty nubs where my smile was.”

This wasn’t the first time Hinojosa’s handiwork hadn’t lived up to expectations: Braces that she put on Jarrett’s daughter came apart and fell out of her mouth during a family outing.

Despite her lack of skills, Hinojosa, a dental assistant, was surprisingly organized. Her daughter, Monica Salazar Orozco, served as her receptionist and made appointments. Hinojosa “borrowed” the tools she needed from her employer’s practice to perform tooth extractions, root canals and other procedures. For her efforts, the aspiring dentist was sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of probation. Her receptionist daughter received a five-year deferred sentence for her contributions to the illicit practice.

Jarrett never received the porcelain veneers that he had paid for from Hinojosa. Let’s hope a more reputable dentist took pity on him and fixed his nub smile.

The 13 scariest dental horror stories you told us

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Oregon: Home of the dental lawsuit

Rotten luck?

For most kids, spending the average one to three years in braces can seem interminable. Some kids, however, are in less of a hurry and like to stretch out treatment – for over a decade, in the case of Devin Bost.

Bost, who had braces put on by an orthodontist at age seven, was not pleased with the outcome of his extended orthodontic treatment, which spanned 11 years. When his braces were removed at age 18, Bost’s teeth had decayed so severely that some had rotted all the way to the jaw. How no one noticed that this was occurring is anyone’s guess, but Bost’s mother (who is a medical doctor) said the tooth decay was a big surprise to the whole family.

Bost’s reaction to his rotten mouth? Sue his orthodontist for $185,000 for corrective oral surgery and pain and suffering. Bost claimed that he began seeing Dr. Brad Chavtal in 1997, shortly after his braces were put on. He visited Dr. Chavtal periodically but did not get the braces removed until 2007.

The problem with the lawsuit, however, is that Chavtal did not become licensed as an orthodontist until 2002, making it impossible that he treated Bost in 1997. The case unraveled quickly from there, and the lawsuit was eventually dropped.

But the big question still remains… in 11 years, how did NO ONE notice his teeth were rotten down to the very roots?!

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Peer pressure doesn’t pay

In another tale of Oregon dental lawsuits, dental assistant Susan Muhleman received a payout of nearly $348,000 after her employer threatened to fire her if she did not attend a Scientology conference.

A Christian, Muhleman worried that the conference would conflict with her beliefs (or maybe she just wasn’t up to dealing with Tom Cruise’s crazy public shenanigans), and refused to attend. The dentist, Dr. Andrew Engel, continued to badger Muhleman about the Scientology event, and said she had to attend if she wanted to keep her job.

Not wanting anything to do with L. Ron or his buddies, Muhelman quit her job and moved out of state, despite not having another position lined up. She filed a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries civil rights division, who awarded her the $348,000 to cover lost wages, moving expenses and the emotional distress caused by a near brush with dianetics. 

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Pennsylvania: Midwest dental mischief

When patients misbehave...

Pennsylvania citizens have taken a new approach to getting dental care: Committing crimes so they can receive it in prison.

The toothless Evelyn Fuller decided the quickest path to new dentures was to get arrested. Fuller, who couldn’t get dentures through welfare until the following year, marched into the First National Bank right before it closed for the day, and demanded cash from the teller. She told the teller that she had a gun, and then patiently waited until the police showed up.

Philip Kienholz had a similar idea – but he took it to a new level, when he attacked his dentist with a tire iron so that he could be arrested and get a tooth extracted in prison.

Kienholz became angry with the dentist after he prescribed antibiotics for an infected tooth, rather than pull the tooth. Kienholz hit the doctor in the arm with a tire iron while he was treating a young patient, and then ran out of the operatory, probably instilling a lifelong fear of dentists and sneak attacks on the poor kid in the chair. After a quick subsequent arrest, Kienholz was charged with aggravated assault and possessing an instrument of crime. It is unknown whether or not he got the tooth in question removed during his luxurious stay in the state penitentiary. 

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Secondhand stolen goods

A Pennsylvania woman was left toothless after a burglar broke into her car to steal her dentures that she left on the dashboard. While the dentures’ owner, Kathy Saunoras, questioned why the thief would take something of no use to them, we question why the heck she stored her dentures on the dashboard of her vehicle.

The tooth thief was also suspected in a month-long crime spree, breaking into numerous vehicles to steal iPods, GPS units and other electronics. The purloined pearly whites were the only non-electronic item stolen, begging the question, what IS the resale value of used teeth?

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Rhode Island: Keeping it classy

Gotta look good for the ladies

While we’re all about self-improvement, taking pride in one’s physical appearance and, of course, good oral hygiene, we question Joshua Walsh’s methods to achieve these goals.

Walsh was caught on camera stealing over $1,300 worth of electronic toothbrushes and Rogaine from a local CVS. His big score included seven toothbrushes, two Sonicare Air Floss systems and two boxes of the men’s hair restorer.

Unfortunately for the well-groomed young man, his actions –and face – were clearly caught on the store’s security cameras. After his photo was circulated on the news, Walsh turned himself in to police and admitted to the shoplifting. At least he’s… honest?

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South Carolina: No room for nonsense

New York is lovely this time of year

When your dental license is suspended, the only clear solution is to move to another state and apply for another one, right? Easier said than done. Dr. David Holloway was arrested in his home state of South Carolina for getting a little too generous handing out the Vidodin. His conviction for unlawfully distributing the Schedule III Controlled Substance resulted in his dental license being revoked.

That didn’t stop Dr. Holloway from continuing his dream of practicing dentistry. He moved to New York and filed an application for recertification of his dental license. “Have you been convicted of any crimes,” the application asked. “Why, no, of course not,” the full-of-bologna Holloway answered.

As it turns out, the State of New York looks into that sort of thing. Holloway was busted for the lie, and was convicted on a single count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony. He also had to surrender his license to practice in New York. No worries, Dr. Holloway, there are still 48 other states you can try once you get out of prison!

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Slap on a (gap-toothed) smile

Some people think politicians are criminals, and although unfortunately they can’t be charged for their smooth-talking ways, it’s always fun to hear stories where their polished, P.R.-perfected personas are shattered, if even for a moment. One of these tales recently came out of South Carolina.

Dr. Ben Carson wants to be president. He also wants to keep his teeth for the duration of his campaign. The GOP presidential candidate didn’t get his way (on the second count, at least) when he was eating breakfast in South Carolina last month. Carson stopped by Tommy’s Country Ham House for a good old-fashioned Southern spread, but got an unexpected garnish on his plate: His own front tooth.  Truly the consummate politician, Carson pocketed the tooth and gave a planned speech, despite his new gap-toothed look.

We do have to give him props for being completely unfazed by his tooth ending up in his breakfast, which is something that would throw a lot of people off their game. 

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South Dakota: A quiet sort of place

Smile for your mugshot!

South Dakota is a quiet place with not much in the way of dental news – or dental insurance, apparently. A local woman in Sioux Falls recently decided to forgo the hassles of getting her own coverage, and stole someone’s identity to get over $10,000 of dental work done at a local practice.  Sioux Falls police still haven’t uncovered the true identity of the sneaky woman. We suggest looking for someone with a newly brilliant smile.

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A prehistoric snack

Since there’s not much going in S.D. in terms of dental crime, we’re turning to news involving a different sort of dentition: T-Rex teeth.  Paleontologists in South Dakota discovered the giant tooth of the awesome predator embedded between the vertebrae of a hadrosaur (if you’re not up on your dinos, that’s the duck-billed one). Scientists are thrilled by the discovery, which proves that the T-Rex hunted and ate live prey, rather than just scavenging from carcasses of already-dead animals.

While those little arms might not have been good for much, the gigantic, ferocious teeth apparently got the job done just fine for Rex.

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Tennessee: Land of the missing teeth

Wanted for trespassing: Tooth Fairy

The idea of the Tooth Fairy coming into a home to trade money for teeth becomes significantly less endearing when the Fairy turns out to be an adult male intruder.

Deputies were dispatched to a home in Cumberland County when a woman reported that someone had broken into her home overnight. The only missing item? Her seven-year-old grandson’s tooth, which he had lost the day before and placed under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy. Understandably, Grandma was shaken when she went to swap out the tooth for some cash and found that there was already a quarter beneath the pillow.

Police, who have no imagination and don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, suspected that the boy’s father (who did not live at the residence) might have been behind the heist, as he had broken into the home previously in an unrelated incident.

This all begs the question of what is worse: having your house broken into by a fairy carting around a bag of teeth, or by a man handing out quarters?

Tooth Fairy pays record $255 million for lost teeth in 2014

Not sure you’d want those back…

One unlucky fellow in the intensive care unit in a Chattanooga hospital is looking forward to getting new dentures after his dentures accidentally got buried with another man. Hospital officials accidentally included the false teeth with the personal items of another patient who passed away at the hospital. The personal items were subsequently buried with the man, though it’s unclear what use he would have for dentures once six feet under.

The mix-up was discovered, and the deceased man’s family strongly (legally) suggested that the hospital should get the dentures (that did not belong to the departed!) out of the coffin. The man was exhumed on the hospital’s dime, and the dentures were retrieved (and hopfully immediately discarded).

 Luckily for the living patient, the hospital quickly scrambled to avoid further legal action and paid for new dentures.

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Texas: Home of the avian dentist

There were plenty of dentists up to no good in Texas, but our top pick was some unlicensed dentistry by a most unexpected dentist…

Birds gone wild

A Texas man got an unwanted tooth extraction at the hands (wings?) of some very angry birds. Trucker Benny Hines was innocently walking back to his rig across a parking lot in Channelview, Tex., perfectly happy with the state of his dentition, when a bird swooped down and attacked his head. “I took off my cap and started waving it away,” Hines told a local media station. “All of a sudden, it was more than one bird.”

Four birds began dive-bombing Hines, knocking him over as he attempted to run away. “The more I tried to fight them off, the worse it got,” said Hines. When he fell to the ground, he was knocked unconscious – and also knocked out a tooth. After a trip to the hospital and some stitches to the gouges the birds put on his face, Hines was back on the road. It is doubtful that he will be stopping anywhere near Channelview ever again. 

More tooth extractions: The 9 craziest ways people have pulled teeth

For more in bird tooth extractions, check out this helpful parrot (who does significantly less damage to his “patient”).

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Utah: Where change reigns

That just doesn’t make cents

Cash or credit? One disgruntled Utah patient chose the cash route, and is now facing disorderly conduct charges as a result. Jason West became enraged when his dentist claimed that he had an outstanding balance of $25. West, who didn’t believe he owed any money, decided to share his frustration with the office staff by paying the bill entirely in pennies.

“After asking if they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies on the front counter and demanded that they count it,” reported one news outlet. “The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor.”

Now, instead of just owing $25, West must pay a $140 fine for the disorderly conduct citation.

A recommendation for the practice: Consider only accept credit or check from now on.

Trending article: How to handle team members who have a verbal confrontation

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Vermont: Full of maple syrup and mischief

No love lost (teeth)

Having a tooth knocked out doesn’t normally make people affectionate, but it inspired Thomas Popke to share a little love. Popke lost his tooth when he crashed his car while driving more than 100 miles per hour; the vehicle flipped twice, knocking out the tooth and gashing open his head. Then sans vehicle, Popke walked a mile to the home of Sandra and Reginald Robinson, who were awakened when Popke entered their bedroom.

“He kissed me on the cheek an said ‘Hi, Mom,’” said Sandra. “Then he went around to the other side of the bed and kissed my husband and said ‘Hi, Dad.”

The Robinson’s recognized Popke, who lived nearby. He politely apologized for bleeding in the house and then left the house.  Police caught up with him and arrested him for unlawful trespass, operating a vehicle without an owner’s consent, and careless and negligent operation. Police aren’t sure what prompted Popke’s bizarre behavior, as he hadn’t been drinking, but the head injury –and missing tooth – may have played into his eccentric adoration. 

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Sticky fingers (not from maple syrup)

An ambitious bookkeeper at a Vermont dental practice decided that their hourly wage just wasn’t sufficient – and that perhaps several thousand dollars might round out the paycheck quite nicely. The embezzling employee, who stole over $60,000 over a few years, was busted when dentist Thomas Heydinger noticed that a cash payment from a patient that was supposed to be deposited didn’t appear on the bank deposit slip.

In addition to pocketing payments, the bookkeeper, Penny Lussier, was also caught writing checks from the dental practice payable to herself. That’s one way to supplement the paycheck…

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Virginia: For lovers of dentistry

Dentistry in the dark

What better place to perform a root canal than a root cellar? That’s what one Fairfax County wannabe dentist thought. Amparo Rodriguez set up a nice, cozy illegal dental practice in the basement of a local home.

Rodriguez, who was in no way a licensed dentist, took precautions to avoid authorities discovering her clandestine practice by not only housing her practice in the basement, but also worked behind a locked door that was hidden behind a refrigerator. When police discovered her subterranean dental cave, they found that she had “an office consistent with a dentist … complete with a dental chair,” according to an affidavit. Consistent, except for that whole basement/refrigerator thing, of course.

In addition to a felony invasive procedure charge, Rodriguez was also charged with felony money laundering and misdemeanor unauthorized distribution of a controlled substance. Which just goes to show, only supervillains can really pull off the whole secret-underground-lair gig. 

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Just don’t sell teeth. Of any variety. Just don’t.

In other toothy news, a Virginia man was arrested and convicted for illegally importing and trafficking teeth – sperm whale teeth. Richard Ertel was sentenced to one month in prison, 90 days of house arrest and ordered to pay a $40,000 fine for his ambitious illegal import business. On a reassuring note, Ertel wasn’t just stockpiling all sorts of teeth in a terrifying house of horrors; sperm whale teeth are used in scrimshaw, popular artwork that can be sold for extravagant prices.  

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Washington: It’s a wild world

Getting piggy with it

Lots of people talk about their pets incessantly, and dental assistant Tina Alberts was no exception. Alberts, whose family raised potbelly pigs, frequently mentioned them at the dental practice where she worked. So when it came time for Alberts to get some dental work done, dentist Robert Woo decided to have a little fun.

While Alberts was under anesthesia to have two of her teeth replaced with implants, Woo installed temporary bridges that he had designed to look like boar tusks. He snapped a couple of pictures of the porcine dentition before removing the tusks and installing normal replacement teeth.

Woo didn’t mention the gag to Alberts, who was unaware of it until coworkers presented her with pictures of it on her birthday. Horrified, Alberts quit her job and sued Woo.

The dentist’s insurance refused to cover the claim, saying it didn’t dabble in practical jokes, so Woo settled with Alberts out of court to the tune of $250,000, making it the most expensive joke in history. In defense of his humorous procedure, Woo then sued his insurance company for not covering it, claiming that although bizarre, the joke was an integral part of Alberts’ oral surgery. After several appeals, the state Supreme Court finally sided with Woo, saying that the surgery should trigger the professional liability coverage included in his policy.

Hopefully Woo will remember not to ham it up so much in the future.

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West Virginia: Wild and wonderful lawbreakers

Words, words, words

Threatening court officials doesn’t usually end well, but a Parkersburg dentist managed to get away with it. Dr. Dale Brum was accused with threatening the lives of a family circuit court judge, a local police office and an attorney, after the state Supreme Court refused to recuse the judge presiding over his divorce case with his wife.

Upon receiving the letter, Brum allegedly drove by the homes of the judge, officer and attorney (who was representing his wife in the divorce) and made threatening comments about them. He then stopped by a gun show, presumably to procure a firearm with which to carry out said threats. Classy. For all of this, he earned an indictment charging him with two counts of retaliation against a public official or employee, and one count of retaliation against a person participating in an official proceeding.

However, since Brum never actually made the threats directly TO his intended targets, but only in front of his 11- and 13-year-old children, a jury found him not guilty. Apparently as long as you just say terrible things in front of your children, it’s totally fine. Let’s hope he doesn’t say such positive things to his patients as well.

Trending article: HR Hot Topics: Tattoos and piercings in the dental practice

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Wisconsin: Home of criminal dental care

A new sort of dental emergency

A five-year-old girl staunchly against cruel and unusual called 911 when she felt her mother was abusing her. The abuse? Mom was getting ready to take her daughter to her first visit to the dentist. At first, the amazing dispatcher couldn’t figure out why the girl was calling, but once she got it sorted out, the transcript of the conversation from Dodge County is pretty fantastic:

Dispatcher: “Is everything ok with Mom?”

Girl: “Yeah, kind of.”

Dispatcher: “Kind of? What is she doing?”

Girl: “Shes’s going to take me to the dentist and I don’t know what the dentist is going to do to me.”

At this point, the dispatcher clearly wanted to laugh, but she instead reassured the little girl that everything would be ok at the dentist. “That is very exciting! They are going to make your teeth so pretty!”

You can listen to the full conversation here. Major kudos to this dispatcher who handled the situation with total class.

Trending article: Why women don't get along in dental practices

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Wyoming: Where sharing is (dental) caring

Keeping it all in the family

Why sell prescribe to only a few people, when you can give them to everyone you know instead? Dentist Sare Rhodes figured the latter was a better option, at least until she was arrested for illegitimately writing prescriptions for addictive painkillers including Oxydocone for her family members, friends and patients.

The ambitious Rhodes was charged with 10 misdemeanor counts of prescribing controlled substances to people known to be dependent, and 10 misdemeanor counts of refusal to keep required records (apparently she wasn’t keeping good track of all those drugs she was handing out willy-nilly).

An area pharmacist busted Rhodes when he became concerned that her patients were bouncing between several different pharmacies to fill their narcotics prescriptions. In the ensuing investigation, it was discovered that the generous dentist began prescribing Oxycodone to her husband in 2009. From that point on, she quickly accumulated a long list of patients who suddenly needed Oxycodone and other opiates, including her mother-in-law, sister and brother-in-law, and more than six other people.

While it’s lovely to share, that concept really shouldn’t extend to illegal drugs.

Trending article: Dentistry shouldn't be a pain in the neck: Strategies to avoid discomfort in the operatory

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