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Massachusetts Dentist Pleads Guilty To Fraud ~ Used Paper Clips For Root Canals

Updated on March 7, 2013
A nice clean modern dentist's office... hopefully they won't use paperclips!
A nice clean modern dentist's office... hopefully they won't use paperclips! | Source
A diagram of a root canal, I don't see paper clips here!
A diagram of a root canal, I don't see paper clips here! | Source
This one looks friendly enough...
This one looks friendly enough...
Gotta just hope they'll do things the right way!
Gotta just hope they'll do things the right way!
Did he buy 'em from Wal Mart or Office Max? That can cause a price difference!
Did he buy 'em from Wal Mart or Office Max? That can cause a price difference!
If this is your doctor.... RUN!!!
If this is your doctor.... RUN!!! | Source

What's Next? Rubber Bands For Facelifts? Or Duct Tape Instead Of Stitches?

SO, I'm going through the news... Browsing the latest headlines while having a nice hot cup of Yuban with Caramel Macchiato creamer, when I come across a story about a dentist who pleaded guilty to fraud for using paper clips when he was doing root canals, instead of steel posts. Then he billed Medicare for the use of steel posts, so he could receive a higher payment for the more expensive material.

Did I just read that right? Yep, it seems that a dentist in New Bedford, MA, named Michael Clair, pleaded guilty to fraud for using paper clips while doing root canals. And it can only be guessed that maybe the price he charged was somehow not even directly related to the cost of those paper clips?

My first thought was what's next?

I saw a greeting card a while back that had glued on the inside of it - AS A JOKE - a "do it yourself" plastic surgery kit. It was a rubber band that one could use to do their own "at home" facelift. You know, put the rubber band around your face and under the chin to "lift" the chin... now anyone knows that won't work! Once that puppy "snaps" the "extra chin" drops back to where it was before. Do they think I was born yesterday?

And I don't even want to think of the possibility of duct tape being used instead of stitches. I mean, duct tape can be used to repair a lot of things... especially if one has a bit of a "redneck nature"... but c'mon, once it's time to remove it, even the most staunch "redneck" would have to agree... probably NOT a good idea! Heck, that stuff will tear the hair right off of Earl's or Darryl's hairy backs, makin' both of 'em scream like little girls!

All kidding aside, I actually DID read that "superglue" WAS used back during the Vietnam war to close wounds in place of the usual bandages, and the wounds would stay closed long enough to transport the injured soldier to a hospital. It is possible to use superglue to close a wound, but using the kind you can buy at the local Ace Hardware store or even cheaper at Wal Mart is NOT advised.

Superglue contains something called "cyanoacrylate" an ingredient that when it contacts water, forms a "mesh" and forms a strong bond, effectively closing the wound. There IS a type of superglue specifically made for medical purposes, and that is what is being used today when it is deemed necessary to use any kind of superglue for this purpose.

Regular over the counter department store superglue contains something called methyl alcohol, which will create heat to form the bond, and will damage deep skin tissue. So, it was used back in the Vietnam war, but that was under a "MASH" type of situation. It worked, but may have also caused some skin damage when used.

Today, this special type of medical superglue is only approved by the FDA for veterinary use. It is advised to be used only on superficial type wounds, not on deep wounds. Those more serious wounds would require traditional stitches. The specially formulated medical superglue used today contains antibacterial agents, so using it not only closes the wound, but treats bacteria as well to help to prevent infection.

So, next time you get a cut and think... "maybe I oughtta have some stitches for this", if the doc comes at you with a bottle of department store brand superglue, RUN! He might just could possibly be... oh heck, he probably IS ... a QUACK!!!!


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    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Hi Kidgas, yes, he was a dentist, and since he pleaded guilty to fraud, I assume he could even face jail time! Pretty crazy, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by! :)

    • Kidgas profile image


      6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Interesting article. Unbelievable, but then again, I am not surprised. I assume he was really a dentist.

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      You're welcome, Marellen, and you're right, these days you have to be more careful than ever! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Kathy.....Wow, unbelievable what some professionals will do to make more money. You must be real careful these days. Thanks for the fun take on this.


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