Pain management is often a challenge for dentists. They often provide their patients with Novocain to ease the pain, nitrous oxide to calm the nerves, and prescribe or recommend antibiotics to deal with pain from oral infections. However, one Virginia dentist is accused of taking pain reduction one step farther.
The 50-year-old dentist, who owns a practice in Oakton, has been charged with the illegal distribution of narcotics. According to the charges, he obtained pain prescriptions illegally, and then distributed the drugs to patients and a girlfriend, as well as used the medication himself.
The news report did not mention the name of the drugs, other than to say they were pain medications and sedatives.
The criminal complaint claims the dentist indicated to friends that he gave drugs to his dates to help them pass out. The prosecution also claims the dentist took sexually explicit photos of the women.
The charges against him began with a complaint from one woman with whom he had a two-year relationship. She claimed that he provided her with drugs that were unrelated to any dental treatment.
Former patients also claimed that the dentist prescribed pain medication and then asked that any unused pills be returned to him. The prosecution asserts that, over the period of about three years, the dentist obtained nearly 2,000 prescriptions illegally.
Dentists are, in many cases, allowed to prescribe medication for legitimate reasons such as pain management. It remains to be seen whether all of the dentist's prescriptions were actually illegal. Nevertheless, he is facing serious criminal drug charges, as well as a possible medical license suspension. If convicted, he could serve up to 20 years in jail.
Virginia residents with similar concerns will want to keep a close eye on the case as it proceeds in court.
Source: NBC, "Dentist Accused of Illegal Drug Distribution," March 16, 2012