The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is warning dental patients in the Denver area that they might need to get themselves tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
8,000 people have received letters expressing the danger. Each of those persons had submitted to dental treatment at two clinics in Denver that were under the ownership of a man being accused of using unsafe injection practices. The individual, who has since had his license suspended for unrelated reasons, owned these clinics between September 1999 and last June.
Standard medical care calls for needles and syringes to be used only once in patient administration procedures. During an investigation, though, officials determined that the aforementioned dentist may have been reusing these items in his patients’ intravenous lines during various dental implant and surgical procedures. This practice promotes the spread of infections.
No one has reportedly contracted HIV or hepatitis at this time, at least from what’s been ascertained thus far. Unfortunately, though, the dentist allegedly kept poor records, so there might be additional patients that the department has not been able to make contact with. Concerned patients can call a hotline that’s been set up.
The dentist’s lawyer has stated that the accused individual is lending his full cooperation to the investigation.