4 Regrettable Times Dentistry Made the News

September 13, 2017
Nour Seleem

Dentists are hardly seen as the edgy rebels of the medical industry. In fact, a career in dentistry usually comes with a clean reputation and rarely makes headlines. But like any demographic, there are outliers. Below are dentists who have made the news for the wrong reasons.

1. Lion Killer

How could we forget this new story? Walter Palmer, an American dentist, traveled to Zimbabwe to hunt big game and killed one of Hwange National Park’s most prized lions, Cecil. Palmer hit Cecil with a compound bow and then finished him off the next day with a rifle. Palmer claimed that he didn’t know Cecil was such an important attraction at the time of the killing, but this didn’t stop the public outrage that ensued when word got out about the “Lion Killer.” Angered animal lovers and conservationists protested Palmer, even vandalizing his home and gathering outside his dental practice in Minnesota.

2. Dirty Dentist

Nearly 600 veterans who have received care at Tomah VA medical center in Wisconsin may have been exposed to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV after receiving care from one particular dentist. You don’t need to go to dental school to know that tools need to be properly sterilized between patients or disposed of altogether, as VA rules require. The medical health provider put veterans at risk by using his own equipment, improperly cleaning them, and then reusing them. The dentist simply resigned and refused to speak to investigators.

3. Dishonor at Dalhousie

Male students in the dentistry school at Dalhousie University made degrading comments about women online, sparking an investigation by the university president. The students, who belonged to a controversial Facebook group, rocked the DU administration, inciting more than 200 students to march in favor of expelling the authors of the comments. After having their clinic privileges suspended, the responsible parties were allowed to graduate. The incident cost the university more than $600,000 in total.

4. Money Hungry Howard

Dr. Howard Schneider of Jacksonville, Florida was accused of abuse and malpractice, particularly to children. Medicaid paid him per tooth pulled, crowned, or capped, so he would do more work than needed just to receive more money. Schneider has been accused of pulling out seven teeth when only one tooth needed to be pulled. In 1995, Dr. Schneider was also apart of a malpractice suit, accused of unnecessarily placing 16 crowns in a 3 year old’s mouth.

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