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Kristen Mott is the associate editor for Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics.
Alaska dentist Seth Lookhart is facing 17 counts of fraud and ‘unlawful dental acts.’
There are certain things one expects to see when visiting the dentist for a checkup: toothbrushes and floss, mouth mirrors, X-ray machines and various instruments. Then there are things that have no business being in a dental office, like say, a hoverboard.
Apparently, Anchorage dentist Seth Lookhart of Clear Creek Dental didn’t get that memo. Lookhart was charged with 17 counts of Medicaid fraud in 2016 and “unlawful dental acts.” What constitutes an unlawful dental act? Investigators say they found a video on Lookhart’s phone of him pulling out a sedated patient’s tooth while riding a hoverboard. To make matters worse, Lookhart allegedly texted the video to a few of his buddies, joking that it represented a “new standard of care.” The patient told investigators she had no idea what had taken place while she was sedated.
Besides being designed to be used in open spaces and not inside a dental office, hoverboards are also known for their safety risks, as evidenced by this video. Clearly, Lookhart didn’t learn anything from Mike Tyson!
As if the hoverboard incident isn’t bad enough, Lookhart is also accused of billing nearly $2 million in IV sedation without proper justification and illegally diverting funds from his employer. His office manager, Shauna Cranford, is facing 16 charges herself and is allegedly the person who told Lookhart to use IV sedation more frequently for procedures that didn’t require it.
If Lookhart is convicted, he can face up to 10 years in jail, up to $100,000 in fines and be ordered to repay Medicaid and affected defendants as much as $2.5 million in fees, according to Gizmodo. His next court hearing is scheduled for June 6.