Former Patients Of Tulsa's 'Dirty Dentist' Speak Out
OKLAHOMA CITY - Dental patients exposed to dirty tools, which could have infected them with HIV and Hepatitis, are speaking out.
The state health department is reaching out to about 7,000 patients, recommending they be tested as soon as possible.
"Life changing, could be," said a victim.
For this victim, her biggest fear is testing positive for HIV or Hepatitis B and C.
"The timing of it, for me personally, is awful with my daughter getting married and the stress of that. And also having to worry about this," she said. "It's pretty tough."
It was Thursday night that this victim, who was not ready to reveal her identity, learned that her oral Surgeon, Dr. Scott Harrington could have exposed her to two life changing viruses. She says Harrington pulled her wisdom teeth at his Tulsa dentist office back in 2003.
"I had to go back like two or three times for a follow up," she said. "I'm just still in shock."
An investigation uncovered that for years the oral surgeon was practicing in an unsafe and unsanitary way, didn't keep a proper drug log and used the same vials for multiple drugs.
"It's difficult to understand how a staff of people could knowingly let these sorts of things go on and, not on their own, speak up somehow or another," said Larry Andrews, the victim's stepdad.
The doctor is also accused of allowing his dental assistants to do IV sedation. The Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry says that's illegal.
"I was thinking, ‘Oh, I'm going to get laughing gas, or the shots.' and they said, ‘Which arm would you rather get your IV in?' and I remember I got an IV and I thought that was kind of odd," said the victim.
"The outcome of the test is our single biggest concern right now," said Andrews. "Our hope and prayers for her is that she does not test positive."
Free testing is available for metro residents who may have been exposed as one of Harrington's patients at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. The state health department is sending letters to all patients who have visited Harrington's Tulsa and Owasso practices since 2007.