The DMD Check-Up: Illegal Dentist Also Made Meth, Cops Say

March 24, 2017
Joe Hannan

Authorities have charged a 42-year-old California man with practicing dentistry illegally and using his illegal dental practice to manufacture meth. The suspect was charged after a three-month investigation. Authorities have been unable to determine whether anyone was harmed by the suspect’s alleged treatments.

VIDEO: Man arrested after crude, unlicensed dentist office found in San Carlos. @aleciareid reports. https://t.co/NwIrTvPOt6

— KRON4 News (@kron4news) March 17, 2017

Authorities say that an alleged illegal California dentist also knew a good bit of chemistry. Police say the man was using his “unsanitary” illegal practice to work on teeth and make meth. Across the pond, children in the United Kingdom are facing an oral health crisis. And the University of Washington School of Dentistry is in a crisis of its own, this one of the financial variety.

ILLEGAL DENTIST HAD A SIDE GIG: MAKING METH

It was a different kind of dental lab. This one, authorities say, wasn’t producing prostheses, but meth.

Fox News reports that Joseph Hirsch, of Redwood City, California, has been charged with practicing illegal dentistry “in an unsanitary office where he allegedly cooked meth.”

Hirsch is accused of possession and manufacturing of a controlled dangerous substance. He also allegedly had brass knuckles and ammunition, according to Fox News. Authorities aren’t sure if any patients were harmed by Hirsch.

Hirsch’s arrest was part of a three-month investigation, Fox News reports. When authorities served a warrant on the alleged illegal practice, they found an X-ray machine, dental instruments, the meth, and meth-making equipment.

The rotten truth about kids' teeth | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/IF46lQvIA4

— DentalPracticeGrowth (@dentalpracgrow) March 22, 2017

TROUBLING STATISTICS ACROSS THE POND

It would seem that the United Kingdom’s children are in the midst of an oral health crisis.

The Daily Mail reports that tooth extractions among pre-school-aged children have increased 24 percent over the last ten years. Just last year, the Daily Mail reports, 47 infants less than a year old had a baby tooth removed.

What’s to blame?

The Daily Mail’s report indicates that parents who give their children bottles to lull them to sleep may be a part of the problem. Milk lactose residue accumulates on children’s teeth, and during sleep, salvia production slackens, leaving the sugary lactose there to do its damage, the report says. Constant breast feeding, the report indicates, can also be a contributing factor, noting that breast milk contains 7 grams of natural sugar per 100 ml.

Sugar-sweetened baby foods are also a problem. Marketed toward health-conscious but busy parents, many baby foods contain fruit juice for added sweetness, the report notes. One popular U.K. brand contains nearly 20 grams of sugar.

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY AWASH IN RED INK

The Seattle Times reports that the University of Washington School of Dentistry, which has been struggling financially in recent years, finds itself another $6 million in the hole. It’s debt load now totals $35 million, the newspaper says.

The school is under austerity measures to try to stanch the bleeding and the school’s dean, Joel Berg, has said a reorganization is in the works.

The Seattle Times’ report indicates that off the record, faculty members are saying the true money pit is the school’s Center for Pediatric Dentistry.

DENTIST SUSPENDED, HIT WITH HEFTY FINE

A dentist in West Des Moines, Iowa will pay a $10,000 fine over allegedly faulty dental implant work.

The Des Moines Register reports that Steffany Mohan, D.D.S., was accused of incorrectly installing dental implants in several patients last year. The Iowa Dental Board commissioned an independent investigation into the complaints about her work on two patients. USA today says that this expert ruled that Mohan lacks “the clinical skills and knowledge for providing dental implant and denture prosthetics.”

When accused last May, the Register reports that Mohan denied any wrongdoing and said that she had never been accused of any poor work in her 20 years of practice.

A report released by the state dental board shows that Mohan did not admit to doing poor work. She will pay the $10,000 fine, be retrained and retested before she can practice again.

Got a news tip? See something you’d like to have included in the DMD Check-Up? Email Dentist’s Money Digest managing editor Joe Hannan: jhannan@dmdtoday.com

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