Dentist Who Inserted Paper Clips in Patients’ Mouths Scheduled for Jail Release

A former Massachusetts dentist sentenced last January to one year in jail for using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals, is expected to be released next month.

Dr. Michael Clair, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a list of charges, including assault and battery, defrauding Medicaid of $130,000, illegally prescribing medications and witness intimidation.

Dr Michael Clair

Dr Michael Clair

Prosecutors said Clair admitted he used sections of paper clips when performing root canals in an effort to save money. Some of his patients reported infections and other problems.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley stated that Clair had billed Medicaid for the costs of stainless steel posts, then submitted false claims using other dentists’ provider numbers.

“The defendant physically and emotionally harmed his patients by taking advantage of the trust they placed in him as their dentist,” Coakley said in a statement. “Dr. Clair brazenly cheated the Medicaid program and defrauded taxpayer dollars, billing for health care services he did not provide.”

Clair, who had a dental practice in Fall River, has spent the last 11 months in jail. His license to practice dentistry was suspended, and  a spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley reports that Clair is no longer licensed to practice dentistry in any state.

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We suspect that – generally speaking – doctors probably should never be seen buying their surgical supplies at Office Max.

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