Dental board weighs bringing more charges against Kippax

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AUGUSTA — Lewiston oral surgeon Jan Kippax is not off the hook yet.

Though the Maine Board of Dental Practice determined last month that the longtime dentist had not violated professional standards of care in his treatment of five patients who filed complaints, the board is leaving the door open to hearing more cases.

The nine-member board recently declined to renew Kippax’s dental license, which expired Dec. 31. Instead, the board has opted to keep his existing license in place until it makes a “final determination.”

Kippax, who has strongly denied mistreating patients, is allowed to continue his practice while the board weighs its options.

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One of the patients whose complaint was not part of the hearing, Donna Deigan, said Tuesday the board needs to keep trying.

“The repeated tortue that Dr. Kippax inflicts upon vulnerable human beings needs to be taken seriously,” she said. “He is abusive, and the board cannot continue to enable him and overlook the facts.”

Deigan said she “was in that chair” and “I know what he did to me.”

“I have not been to a dentist in three years because of him” and now “may lose all my teeth,” Deigan said. “I have nightmares every time I see his face.”

The Kippax case has raised questions about whether the public has been protected properly by Maine’s regulatory system.

At a session of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee this month, Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio, D-Sanford, questioned if the dental-oversight system is adequate.

She told the dental board’s executive director, Penny Vaillancourt, “You know exactly what I’m referring to in terms of an oral surgeon who had so many complaints,” Maine Public reported recently.

Vaillancourt, however, said she is satisfied the system works. She also mentioned the case remains open.

It is not clear what the dental panel might try next, if anything. Its members were told by a hearing officer last month not to discuss the case since it might not be over.

Almost a year ago, the board suspended Kippax from practicing for a month, citing 195 allegations leveled by 18 patients. The suspension lapsed in March when the board failed to bring Kippax before a hearing within the statutory time limit.

By the time the board held a hearing, which began in September, assistant attorneys general who were handling the case had pared down the case to charges lodged by five of the patients who saw Kippax in 2015 and 2016.

By the end of December, after two expert witnesses testified that Kippax had done nothing wrong, the board ruled the state failed to prove its case on any of the charges.

It can, however, return to some of the other allegations raised by the 13 patients whose cases were not heard. There may also be complaints filed that never have been mentioned in public.

For now, Kippax is free to work as a dentist in Maine. He also has licenses to practice in Vermont and Massachusetts.

scollins@sunjournal.com

Dr. Jan Kippax at Maine Board of Dental Practice in December. (Sun Journal file photo)

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  • FrankE

    Talk about unable to reach a decision. This so called board admits it hasn’t found any wrong doing, yet they can’t come to a conclusion. Basing all this on one complaint is asinine. How many thousands of patients does he treat every year? I’d be willing to bet the guys not perfect but then again who is.
    I’m convinced the discomfort the complainant felt was a result of her own past history to abusing drugs (pain killers?) I have been treated for chronic pain for 14 years and take strong pain medication. it definately diminishes the effects of normal anesthesia even general anesthesia. Was this case ever heard in a court of law? If so what was the outcome? I just feel your punishing this doctor unfairly and should just let him do as he’s been doing, which has not shown to be anything unethical or illegal…………………

    • Mammie

      Talk about ASININE, look in the mirror…you keep going to bat for this IDIOT! READ again what is written, there are multiple victims that will be speaking up in round 2, hopefully this will be the round he is knocked out of practice in Maine. There is way more than meets the eye with this butcher. I know of 4 cases that the victims are not former drug abusers, or on the state. One is actually a very educated doctor in the area, I am positive there is well documented details. When a doctor can laugh in your face, have a smug ass look as he does above, there is an issue. He has beat his wife, put on probation for 5 years 2002 to 2007. Fined for improper sanitation practices, the tools he used on you may have been full of dog $hit, yes he had cleaned his dogs feces with towels you may have wiped his hands on as well… Why would you want to keep him in business, does he have a prescription waiting for you??? I do not know anyone that under any circumstances would every step foot in his office.

      • FrankE

        I’m well aware of Dr Kippax’s history. I’ve been using his office for well over twenty years. A lot of people I know use his services. A close friend of mine had her entire mouth and jaw reconstructed by him after a bad accident. I’m well aware of the incidents involving his use of laundry equipment to wash his towels from a kennel. Unless there is a malfunction with the washing machine what could happen. His instruments as every other doctors instruments are sterilized in a separate equipment designed to sterilize surgical instruments.
        In which court of law was your supposed malpractice case heard? What was the outcome? If what you are saying is true, surly a jury would have yanked his license long ago.
        I don’t care whats been written, I have twenty years of successful procedures performed by Dr Kippax. You should pay closer attention to the wording you use, and the accusations you make. That little comment about “a prescription waiting for you?” is just as inflammatory toward me as your alleged accusations are toward Dr. Kippax. It seems the less your believed the more gruesome your false accusations become. Please be very careful as to whom and what you accuse anyone of………….

        • Mammie

          Again maybe you should be reading all the documented history on this butcher. First off look above the cases i speak of have yet to be heard. They are in the process of reconstruction surgery to repair the damages done by this animal. As you state you have used him for years with drugs in your system.. your words. Leading people to believe you are one of his clients he belittles behind their backs. He has stated i have many drug addicted clients.. he repeats this often, they arebon the state and drug addicts.. That is who he targets as clients. Where does he receive his paychecks, mainly from us taxes payers.. so its time for us to step up and cut that cash flow.
          Read the article once again so in sinks in, they have many more cases that they are working with against him. One is the one I speak of that was just over a year ago. Medical malpractice in Maine is a bit an easy task, you must first go through all the steps of surgeries to correct the damages, and then try to plan over the next 30 years of life what other surgeries are needed. And this also takes thousands of dollars paid out of pocket by the victims, which most of his clients do not have. And most malpractice lawyers are not pro bono. I think we have seen enough become victims to this man. The time has come, has he treated many yes, but unfortualty he doesn’t know how to keep standards and morals at a higher standard.. enough said you probably have his same mind set..

  • Mercy Smith

    They need to look farther back at his history in this state and other states. At one time he was suspended here and went to Vermont to work until his suspension was up. I know of more than five patients he has endangered.