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Investigation: Questionable discipline, lax oversight of dentists

Dental board in Texas says a small number of patients have died since 2010

HOUSTON – A Channel 2 investigation has found instances of patients dying in the dentist’s chair or shortly thereafter and is preparing an investigation to show people how to keep themselves and their kids safe.

Specific numbers of deaths associated with visits to the dentist are hard to come by, because Texas doesn’t track such deaths.

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners tells Channel 2 Investigates its computer system is not configured to track such incidents, even though dentists are required to report patient deaths or hospitalizations that occur within 72 hours of a dental procedure.

Channel 2 launched a major investigation two months ago, and investigative reporter Jace Larson will reveal the results Thursday night at 10 p.m.

He discovered lax state oversight of dentists who make mistakes and questionable inspection practices that the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners says it wants to change but cannot.

Also at 10 p.m., find out the questions patients need to ask their dentist before being sedated to make sure the dentist is qualified to help them if an emergency health concern arises while the patient is under anesthesia.

HAS YOUR DENTIST BEEN DISCIPLINED?

If you’ve ever wondered whether your dentist has been disciplined before, check out a recap of our web chat in the window below Staff of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners answered your questions.

Have a tip about this story or another story idea? Email investigative reporter Jace Larson at jlarson@kprc.com or text him at 832-493-3951.

 

See a recap of the chat in the window below:

App users, please click here to see the chat.