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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
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Dental Drama and Oral Oddities

Feb 24, 2012

Mark Twain famously observed, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

If Mark Twain had come across the dental stories we’ve encountered, there’s no telling what adventures ol’ Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer might have had.  But you know, we’ve written plenty in this blog recently about dental insurance, dental plans, and dental do’s and don’ts, so today let’s have some fun! I’d like to share some of the wacky dental stories that have crossed my desk:

 Story #1 – A former Massachusetts dentist was sentenced last month to one year in jail when he was found guilty of using paper clips rather than stainless steel posts in some root canals he performed. Not surprisingly, some patients reported infections and other problems.

Prosecutors said Dr. Michael Clair was trying to save money by using parts of paper clips rather than the stainless steel posts traditionally used for root canals. And my wife thinks I’m cheap!

Dr. Clair was sentenced by Judge Richard Moses to two and a half years with all but one year suspended, followed by five years of probation.  It could not be confirmed whether Dr. Clair would have received a harsher sentence if he had used gorilla glue or lead-based staples.

And speaking of previously practicing dentists…

Story #2 – A Naples, Florida woman was arrested for allegedly practicing dentistry in her garage. Rosa Maria Toledo had converted her garage into a dental office before Collier County deputies found a cabinet containing dental castings, molds, dental crown glues, partial dentures and bridges.

“Patients” were made comfy in a black recliner during procedures.

Law enforcement officials recovered a ledger listing information for hundreds of patients. Deputies said they had information that Ms. Toledo previously practiced as a dentist in Mexico before relocating to the United States.

Charges against Toledo included practicing dental hygiene without an active license and being a non-licensed person leasing or operating dental equipment. It was unknown whether or not Toledo ever used paper clips when performing root canals. Speaking of oral confessions…

Story #3 – Last spring a 20-year-old South Korean woman told Martian Virus, a popular South Korean television show whose name I am not making up, said that she had not brushed her teeth for the last ten years. 

The TV show features guests that have peculiar habits or characteristics. Ji-Hyun-ji, nicknamed “Cutey Yellowish,” told Martian Virus viewers that she was ten the last time she brushed her pearly whi – uh, teeth.  She says she doesn’t understand why people should brush daily. 

Ms. Hi-Hyun-ji told the audience that people aren’t going to be looking into her mouth and besides, the accumulating layers of food piled on her teeth prevented decay, she said. Ms. Hi-Hyun-ji said she does wipe her front teeth occasionally with a tissue.  We’re pretty sure the ADA does not consider that a general oral hygiene practice.

Dentists examining Ji-Hyun-ji’s chompers told Martian Virus that while her case was shocking, her teeth were in surprisingly good shape. The show did tell its audience that the dentists were going to try to persuade “Cutey Yellowish” to make brushing her teeth a daily habit.

Is it just me or is there a bit too much reality in reality TV?

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk. And remember: we’re all about smiles, because a smile is a curve that sets everything straight!  Email me with topics you’d like to see in our blog at:

Find me on Twitter at Twitter@ToothTeller

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Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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