By Thomas Durante
For some, going to the dentist is already an anxiety-inducing matter, but an appointment with this guy could have brought on potential health risks.
Michael Clair, 53, pleaded guilty Friday to a slew of accusations stemming from his substandard dental practice in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Among the charges are illegally prescribing prescription drugs, assault and battery, witness intimidation and conning Medicaid out of $130,000.
In addition, Clair is accused of trying to save a few bucks by using a paper clip instead of a stainless steel bar for a root canal procedure.
Using anything other than stainless steel puts patients at risk of pain and even infection.
Prosecutors said Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002, but continued to file claims from August 2003 to June 2005 using the names of other dentists in his practice, located in the New Harbour Mall.
The Herald News reported that Clair’s trial was scheduled to start yesterday but took a new course when Clair changed his plea to guilty.
He will be sentenced on January 30 at New Bedford Superior Court.
Clair’s attorney, John Dingee of Taunton, Massachusetts, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley told Fox 25 that the case ‘paints a picture of someone who shouldn’t be practicing dentistry in Massachusetts, or anywhere else for that matter’.
Clair, whose dental licence expired in 2008, had his licence revoked in the states of Florida, West Virginia and Maryland, the Herald News reported.
Coakley’s office is recommending that anyone who may have been treated by Clair see a dentist as soon as possible.