On Friday, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton convicted dentist Seth Lookhart of 46 felonies and misdemeanors. You may recall that Lookhart infamously "performed a dental extraction procedure on a sedated patient while riding a hoverboard" and sent the video to his pals. In 2017, the state filed a suit charging Lookhart with "unlawful dental acts." His sentencing is in April. From CNN:
In at least one conversation, Lookhart joked that performing oral surgery on a hoverboard was a "new standard of care," the lawsuit said, citing phone records.
Lookhart was also charged with medical assistance fraud for billing Medicaid for procedures that were either unnecessary or not properly justified and theft of $25,000 or more by diverting funds from Alaska Dental Arts, among dozens of others.
The evidence indicated Lookhart "believed that he could get away with his fraud indefinitely, and that he believed his scheme was foolproof," Judge Wolverton said, according to the Department of Law's news release. That evidence "was often supported, and often in excruciating detail, by Lookhart's own texts, photos and videos."
Driving near Pittsburgh, PA, my wife Heather noticed this excellent billboard featuring a woman saying “Scared of the dentist? No, I called and got SEDATED!”.
Dentistry has always been medicine's poor cousin, lower in prestige and funding, with much less definitive research; this means that it's harder for someone to point at a procedure and definitively say, "That was unnecessary."
It's been ten years since the people of Juneau, Alaska succumbed to conspiracy theories and voted to ruin their kids' teeth by removing fluoride from the drinking water, and it shows.
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