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Unethical Dentist

I used to work in an office with a dentist that was very unethical. I have been out of that office for more than 2 years now but it still bothers me. He was not only unfair with patients (that had no idea), but he was unfair and horrible to his employees. I worked at that office for several months, and only stayed that long because I was looking for another office before I left. While I was there, I was told frequently that I didn’t know what I was doing, my patients didn’t like me, and that I didn’t know how to be a hygienist. This was especially hard for me to hear because this was my first job after I passed my boards. This office had no hygiene department when I started there. He had hygienists before, but none stayed very long and the same went for all his other employees. While I was there, I can’t even remember how many people came to work for him, and left soon after. He rarely kept return patients and if he did, they were either friends with him, or people that believed his front that he put on. For the most part, he acted nice to the patients, but he was somewhat scamming them the whole time. He would recommend treatment that I didn’t feel was needed, or he would rip people off by up-charging a patient if they were “difficult”. I tried calling the dental board in my state but they told me that since I was never a patient there and didn’t have any of this happen to me, I had no case against him. I witnessed so many nice people get ripped off by him and now I can’t do anything about it?

He also had bought me loups soon after I started working there (which I told him I did not want and didn’t need at this point), but he got them anyway. When he gave them to me, he said “You just can’t get these and turn around and leave”, so I felt like I almost had to stay or else I would be responsible to pay him back for these expensive loups that I didn’t even want. Well I stayed for about 9 months or so I think, and when I finally found my new job, I put in my two weeks, and he seemed strangely fine with it. Once the 2 weeks were over, I had offered to stay on for a few hours a couple days a week to help with the hygiene patients until he found someone. The first day at my new office and the day I was going to go in to the old office for a few hours, I found out that he took 600 dollars out of my check as the “first payment” to pay himself back for my loups. Well when I found this out, I went to his office to get back my money. When I did, he said “Oh, so you are just going to steal the loups then?”. I told him he could have them back and that I didn’t want them. He told me that they had my name on them and he had no use for them. After a pretty heated discussion, I got my money back, and I kept my loups. Luckily I had some advise from a lawyer so I went about everything the proper way when it came to that.

He also has still been bad mouthing me to patients after I’m gone saying how awful I was and that I didn’t know what I was doing. A previous employee that was still there after I left, said she was in the room when he said to a patient “Your last cleaning appointment was horrible wasn’t it?” and the patient said that it went really well, and he said “Oh, I’m sure it was awful because that last hygienist I had didn’t know what she was doing and that’s why she is gone.”.

Even though it has been 2 years, this still bothers me and I wish there was something I could do to protect the patients he sees. He is now red flagged on multiple insurance companies due to possible insurance fraud and irregular billing. His license has been suspended and he has been on probation multiple times which leads me to believe he is never going to stop what he is doing. Another suspicious thing is that he used to have horrible reviews online, and now those reviews have magically vanished and he has 5 start reviews everywhere. I just don’t understand and don’t think this man should be able to call himself a dentist and am wondering if anyone has advise. Is this to long after the fact to be able to do anything? Has anyone else had a similar boss or situation to this? I just need some feedback and to see if there is anything I can do about this. Thanks in advance!

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Author Note:
Sorry for such a long post!


1 Answer

Wow, what a horrible situation you found yourself in! I am so happy to hear that you were able to get out of that office and move on. Unfortunately, you aren’t alone in dealing with dentists like this. While there are plenty of good doctors, who go into dentistry for the right reasons, there are a sizable amount who are only about the money. Patients and employees don’t matter, they are just a means to make more money for the doctor. I have experienced it firsthand.
What’s even more dis-concerning is that the Board wouldn’t hear your concerns. We have a duty to report malpractice and unethical behavior and that’s exactly what you did. It may be worth contacting the Board again and speaking to someone else. It doesn’t seem right to me that the complaint must come from a patient. That’s just my thoughts though.
That all said, I think you really need to evaluate how much time and energy you want to spend trying to bring this guy down. You may find yourself in a situation where the upside is knowing you did the right thing, but the cost is a lot of emotional energy spent for a battle that might not ever end up feeling like a win.
If you do decide to do something about this doctor, prepare for a long battle. He will probably paint you in a very bad light and do whatever he needs to do to protect himself. This is where it might be worthwhile getting the media and an attorney involved. I say an attorney because of the slander and the taking of money out of your paycheck. The local news would probably be interested in a story about a doctor who is practicing with a suspended license and has been on probation quite a bit. The bad publicity might get him to change his ways and the Board to take action, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on it. And again, you will probably get dragged into it and the doctor will have no problem smearing your name even further.
I wish I could give a better answer than this, but if the Board isn’t going to do their job I really don’t know what to say!

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