Last week, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the arrest of four men for practicing dentistry without a license. The event reminds us that it’s always important to confirm the credentials of a dentist before agreeing to treatment.
Owners Not Charged
The four men who were arrested, Konstantin Shtrambrand, Ilya Zolotar, Sergey Tolokolnikov, and Hakob Gahnapetyan, were Russians operating out of two different offices in Brooklyn. Although the investigation is ongoing and the charges have not been proven, if the men are convicted, they each face up to four years in prison.
The arrests came as the culmination of an undercover investigation in which the men were observed supposedly performing dentistry. Investigators allegedly saw the men put their hands in patients’ mouths. They all gave medical advice, which is illegal for anyone other than a licensed dentist to do. One of the fake dentists was seen drilling a filling.
Although the men were arrested for practicing at two locations of J.S. Atlantic Dental, which are owned separately by a father-son team of licensed dentists. The owners have not yet been charged.
Search warrants were executed at both offices, and documents were seized, but charges have not been leveled against the dental practice owners.
Always Check Credentials
This story remind us to always check the credentials of a dentist before we have any kind of health treatment professional. And remember, it’s always important to check the credentials of all dentists at a practice. Before you decide to work with a dental practice, check the website to find the credentials of all the dentists that practice there and make sure you feel comfortable working with them. At a minimum, check to make sure they have a valid dental license with the State of New York.
If your current dentist or someone else at the office suggests you will have to have treatment with another dentist at the practice not known to you, it’s okay to refuse, and if the person wasn’t on the website, it might be a good idea to. Say you will feel more comfortable waiting for your normal dentist. Then take the time to check the credentials of the dentist before your next visit.
On the one hand, this may result in some minor inconvenience for you or the dental office, but it will safeguard you from receiving dental care from an unlicensed dentist.