Usually, a dentist administers laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to nervous or fearful patients in order to help them get through dental procedures, but in a bizarre juxtaposition of that scenario, the license of a DeBary dentist has been suspended amid allegations that she inhaled laughing gas before performing dental work.
After being accused of inhaling nitrous oxide before performing procedures – sometimes right in front of patients – the dentist entered a drug rehabilitation program at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Flagler County in June. According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), she was terminated from the program due to non-compliance in September, which led to the suspension of her license.
The Daytona Beach News Journal reports that she had tested positive for alcohol, opiates, and hydrocone while enrolled in the program.
According to the medical director of a rehabilitation center near Ocala, it’s not unheard of for dentists to become addicted to nitrous oxide. He told the News Journal that dentists tend to have solitary, stressful jobs, and that, combined with unfettered access to nitrous oxide, can lead to trouble. Laughing gas is less tightly regulated than prescription pain medications, he said.
Florida has a program that allows health care professionals who are addicted to drugs to keep their licenses, as long as they complete a drug treatment program and undergo regular drug screenings.
While dental malpractice is difficult to prove, patients have been awarded millions of dollars in dental malpractice suits. If you believe you’ve been harmed by a dental procedure performed by a negligent dentist, it is essential that you call the Florida dental malpractice attorneys at Farah & Farah to see if you have a case. We can explain your legal options to pursue compensation for damages. Call us at (800) 533-3555.