Woman, 79, accused of pretending to be dentist

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:08:08 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 29 2013 06:26:15 PM CST
Mary Contreras Diaz
HOUSTON -

A 79-year-old woman has been accused of taking dental impressions and charging people for dentures, but she isn't a dentist.

Mary Contreras Diaz, 79, has been charged with practicing dentistry without a license.

Diaz said she was a dental technician and the dentist she worked for died after suffering a heart attack in March 2012. She said the office was closed after the dentist died and she retired.

Prosecutors said after the dentist died, Diaz took dental impressions for two patients and charged them a total of $1,800 for dentures.

Diaz said one of the patients who was charged for dentures received partial dentures because they had been ordered before the dentist died. Prosecutors said neither patient received the dentures.

Diaz has never been licensed to practice dentistry, prosecutors said. After her court appearance on Tuesday, Diaz said she had some sort of dental license but it expired.

Diaz said she is ill and that she was recently hospitalized for three months.

Diaz was released from the Harris County Jail after posting $5,000 bond.