Dentist uses paper clips in root canals, gets one year in jail

Former dentist Michael Clair was sent to prison for one year for using paper clips instead of stainless steel in root canals, the Guardian reported.

Clair performed the paper clip surgery in Massachusetts, but had a practice in Maryland. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, but one year was suspended after he pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid of $130,000. On top of this, the dentist is also charged with assault and battery, illegally prescribing medications and witness intimidation, the Guardian reported.

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Prosecutors claimed Clair used sections of paper clips during root canals on patients, including children, in order to save money. Many were left with infections and other problems after the root canals, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Brenda Almeida, the mother of a boy who went through a root canal with paper clips, was upset after learning the verdict, the Associated Press reported. She said after the root canal her son’s tooth turned black and to be removed.

"He put my kids in pain for months … I hope he rots there,” Almeida said, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Judge Richard Moses considered the dentist acceptance of responsibility, and also took into account the fact that Clair is dealing with “certain mental issues,” the AP reported. He was also order to stay away from his victims and his former staff. His dentistry license was suspended in Massachusetts in 2006. He is no longer able to be a dentist in any state.

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