Dentist accused of paper clip use in root canals

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Associated Press

Posted on January 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts (AP) — A former dentist in the U.S. has pleaded guilty to fraud for using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals.

Michael Clair will be sentenced next Monday after pleading guilty last week in a Massachusetts court to a variety of charges, including defrauding a government health program of $130,000, assault and battery, illegally prescribing prescription drugs and witness intimidation.

Authorities say instead of stainless steel posts for root canals, he used sections of paper clips — which can cause pain and even infection — in an effort to save money.

Prosecutors say the 53-year-old Clair was suspended by the Medicaid health program in 2002 but continued to file claims by using the names of other dentists.

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