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Dentist’s License Suspended After Patient Death


When patients go to the dentist, they may be scared to some degree. In fact, many people have a fear of the dentist. The tools may be scary, but nobody really expects to die at the dentist’s office. Unfortunately, this has happened many times before. This recently happened to a dentist in Washington and now his dental license has been suspended.

The dentist had his license suspended by the Dental Quality Assurance Commission. He allegedly failed to provide safe anesthesia for a patient, an elderly man, and he died while being treated. The dentist also had insufficient treatment records for the patient.

The dentist performed teeth extractions on an 86-year-old man in August 2022. The patient had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During the extractions, the man stopped breathing. He was unresponsive and taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where he later died.

However, the dental office took its time calling for emergency services. It was approximately 40 minutes after the first signs of distress when an employee of the dental practice finally called 911.

The dentist, who had been licensed for the last 28 years, was charged with failing to properly administer anesthesia as well as having insufficient patient medical records. The Department of Health is investigating both of these charges. There are also claims that the dentist allowed an employee to assist with a procedure even though the assistant had an expired dental assistant credential.

The dentist is not legally allowed to practice in Washington until the charges are resolved. He has 20 days to respond to the charges and can ask for a hearing. 

Deaths in Dental Offices

Dental procedures can be painful and if a dentist is not prepared, they can also be deadly. Fatalities do not happen on a regular basis in a dental office, but dentists do need to be prepared for possible emergencies. Most patient deaths occur during the sedation process, when the patient is under anesthesia. Unfortunately, many dentists do not properly administer anesthesia, and when emergencies happen, there are often no plans in place.

Dentists need to be prepared for such occurrences. Offices that choose to be unprepared will have breaches in patient safety. There will be chaos. When a death does occur in the office, the dentist can be sued for wrongful death. There can also be license suspension and other penalties.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Dentistry License Lawyer

Dentists have to abide by the rules, just like any other medical professional. They should not be allowing patients to die while in their care.

As a dentist, you need to meet state standards. If you are having issues with your license, seek legal help from a Tampa dentistry license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. I can help you hold onto your license. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.