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FOX31 confronts dentists with a dark side

Stephen Stein

DENVER — A Denver dentist accused of re-using dirty needles on 8,000 patients and practicing while high on prescription drugs may not be the only dentist with a dark side operating in Colorado.

A review of public complaints against Metro Denver dentists has uncovered a disturbing trend whereby dentists with suspended licenses or questionable backgrounds are still practicing medicine, and the state is doing little to stop them, a FOX31 investigation has found.

The complaints list includes Dr. Stephen Stein, who made headlines in Colorado when authorities discovered he had been reusing needles — potentially exposing some 8,000 patients.

Stein’s practices were uncovered in July when the State Health Department issued a warning to his patients. Denver police are still investigating whether or not to file charges against Stein, who has since stopped practicing.

Yet a FOX31 investigation looking into public complaints against Denver area dentists, found Stein is hardly an isolated case.

The Colorado Dental Board has taken action against more than 50 dentists in the past year. 

The accusations range from dentists who were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, to those with felony backgrounds and even one dentist who wrote himself a prescription for powerful pain killers.

Watch FOX31 News tonight at 9 p.m. as Heidi Hemmat confronts these dirty dentists and see their reaction to being exposed.

One metro area dentist served time in prison in connection with an elderly woman’s death.

Other dentists are dirty, like the one we found who stored extracted teeth in a Dixie cup. Another dentist was found to have threatened a patient with a sword.

As a result of the investigation, the Colorado Dental Board has improved its website where you can verify the license of your dentist and see if complaints have been filed against him or her.