Oklahoma Dentist Could Face Criminal Charges

Share
Copy

The instruments for infected patients were given an extra dip in bleach in addition to normal cleaning methods, but they had red-brown rust spots, indicating that they were "porous and cannot be properly sterilized," according to the complaint.

While 7,000 patients may have been exposed, Joseph Perz, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said it's "extremely rare" to see dental transmission of HIV and hepatitis B or C. In July 2012, 8,000 Coloradans were notified that their dentist had reused needles, potentially exposing them to the blood-borne viruses. But not a single case was identified, according to the CDC.

Dental transmission is not impossible, however. Perz cited a dental fair three years ago in which hepatitis B was transmitted between patients.

In July 2012, more than 1,800 veterans who received dental care at a St. Louis VA Medical Center were warned that improper cleaning of dental tools may have exposed them to HIV and hepatitis.

The Tulsa Health Department has set up a hotline at (918) 595-4500 for people with questions. The department will set up a free clinic to test patients on April 1.

ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser and Katie Moisse contributed to this story.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...