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Odd case includes criminal charges for dental assistant

Florida readers may be aware of an unusual news item involving a Jacksonville dentist and members of his staff. The dentist is accused of multiple misdeeds, including the abuse of children under his care, Medicaid fraud, and acts of malpractice. One member of his staff, a dental assistant, has been arrested under related criminal charges.

The 39-year-old woman worked as a dental assistant in the man's office. According to police, she overstepped her duties while serving in that role. She has been charged with child abuse, Medicaid fraud and the practice of dentistry without a license. She turned herself in to police and was booked and released in the same evening.

Reports indicate that a claim has been made that the dental assistant performed at least one tooth extraction on a juvenile patient. There is no word on how investigators learned of this alleged act, or what evidence may be held to support those claims. However, what is certain is that children rarely enjoy a trip to the dentist, and that from their perspective, many dental procedures would seem akin to abuse.

As the case moves ahead, the dental assistant will determine how to respond to the criminal charges against her. The dentist was also arrested the same week, and he is charged with defrauding Medicaid and performing dental procedures on kids without the consent of their parents, among other charges. Additional details may be forthcoming, and many in Florid are waiting to learn more about the charges that these two individuals face, as well as how the dental practice was run.

Source: news4jax.com, "Former assistant for embattled dentist arrested", Jim Piggott, Nov. 17, 2015

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