Jan Kippax appeals to dental board to drop remaining charges

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AUGUSTA — Lewiston oral surgeon Jan Kippax is asking the Maine Board of Dental Practice to consider dropping all of the remaining charges levied against him early last year.

The panel determined in December that the state failed to prove that Kippax had acted unprofessionally in his treatment of five patients, dismissing every allegation brought to a hearing after two experts testified he had not done anything wrong.

But there are 13 other patients whose allegations are still pending.

One of them, Donna Deigan, said a state investigator spoke with her this year about her experience with Kippax. She said he told her there was an active effort to try to make a case against the longtime dentist.

The dental panel is slated to consider a motion Friday from Kippax to reconsider its decision in February 2017 to suspend him, a move that also included bringing charges from 18 patients who accused him of mistreating them. Kippax is asking the dental overseers to clear the remaining cases..

The board’s agenda also includes an adjudicatory presentation by the hearing officer who has been dealing with the Kippax case. That’s slated to occur after Kippax’s motion is dealt with.

Deigan said recently she hopes the panel will give her a chance to testify against Kippax.

She said she went to him shortly after Christmas in 2014 so he could extract a tooth that had gone bad.

Deigan said he wouldn’t give her enough pain medicine to help and proceeded to yank one of her front teeth while she screamed.

In the board’s notice of hearing, Deigan is identified only as “D.D.” who filed what it called “Complaint 16-38” sometime in early 2016.

After an investigation, the state determined Kippax treated her between Dec. 29, 2014, and Jan. 7, 2015, and allegedly committed nine transgressions worth noting, including performing extractions without proper consent, continuing a “painful dental procedure” despite a patient instructing him to stop or expressing distress and failing to keep proper records for consult with her referring dentist.

Her complaints are similar to the ones the dental board heard during five days of hearings late in 2017 — charges it dismissed for lack of proof.

The attorney general’s office is responsible for making the case against Kippax, who has been allowed to practice for nearly a year while the charges are pending. But his attorney said the dentist has had a hard time making a living because of the publicity surrounding the allegations and the state’s refusal to pay for Medicaid patients to see him.

The board initially suspended Kippax more than a year ago, but it could only prevent him from practicing for 30 days unless it held a hearing that found he had violated professional standards. It did not end up beginning a hearing until the end of September, well after he had reopened his Lewiston office.

Kippax is also licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Vermont.

The dental panel is scheduled to discuss Kippax’s motion at 1 p.m. Friday at the board’s 161 Capitol St. office in Augusta. The session is public.

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Dr. Jan Kippax at a session of the Maine Board of Dental Practice. (Steve Collins/Sun Journal)

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