Supervisor Questions Why Dental Clinic Back Open After Rash of Infections - NBC Southern California

Supervisor Questions Why Dental Clinic Back Open After Rash of Infections

"I even said, 'Are you sure she needs this done because it's seven things she's going to get done in one day?' And they said, 'Oh, it's better if we just get it over with.'"

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    OC Dental Clinic Back in Business After Infections

    An Orange County dental clinic accused of being responsible for multiple infections of children caused by unnecessary procedures is once again treating patients. Orange County Supervisor Scott Spitzer has questioned why the facility has been allowed to reopen. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016)

    It appeared to be business as usual Tuesday at Children's Dental Group of Anaheim though dozens of students are battling illnesses related to infections contracted at the clinic.

    That left an Orange County supervisor asking why the facility was allowed to reopen at all.

    Leonore Oliver says her 5-year-old daughter went in for a checkup at the clinic, and when she came out she had undergone five root canals and had two cavities filled.

    "I even said, 'Are you sure she needs this done because it's seven things she's going to get done in one day?' And they said, 'Oh, it's better if we just get it over with,'" Oliver said.

    Six months later, what started as an infection in her daughter Yaretzy Ramirez' gums moved into her lungs. Now her mother must give her antibiotics twice a day.

    Ramirez is one of 77 patients who have been evaluated at Children's Hospital for issues related to treatments at the Anaheim Facility.

    The infections were traced to an on-site water system, which has been removed and replaced. Last week the Orange County Health Care Agency allowed the dental group to start seeing patients again.

    In a letter addressed Tuesday, supervisor Todd Spitzer said neither medical experts nor the courts have determined why more than 50 children were infected with procedures that might not have been medically warranted. He questions why the facility was allowed to reopen.

    In Ramirez' case the surgical procedure left her gum so fragile, her mother was told the dentist had to stop out of fear it would fracture.

    "She's not going to be a normal child any more. She can't play. If she falls down she could do the fracture herself just by falling," Oliver said.

    Yaretzy went home from the hospital Tuesday.

    NBC4 contacted the Dental Board of California and the board said it is investigating the licensed dentist and all of the registered dental assistants involved. The CEO of the clinic did not respond to phone and email inquiries.

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