LEWISTON — The Board of Dental Practice has taken emergency action to suspend the license of Jan Kippax, an oral surgeon operating on Main Street. According to the Board, Kippax operated on patients without adequate anesthesia, used expired medications for sedation and extracted the wrong teeth from patients, among other things.

According to a letter issued to Kippax through his attorney, James Belleau, the board ordered the “immediate suspension” of his license to practice dentistry for incompetence and violation of ethics and professional conduct. That order took effect Feb. 15 and lasts until March 17.

This is the third time since 2002 that Kippax has been disciplined by the Board of Dental Practice.

In 2002, Kippax was briefly suspended and placed on a five-year probation for unprofessional conduct. Five months later, in April 2003, he was suspended again and placed on a second five-year probation, which expired in April 2008.

The most recent discipline was based on 18 complaints received by the board in which patients reported Kippax:

• failed to provide adequate pain relief during surgery, sometimes beginning procedures before anesthesia took effect or continuing after anesthesia had worn off;

• continued with “painful dental procedures even though patients instructed him either to stop or to provide additional relief from pain”;

• instructed staff to restrain patients during procedures;

• exposed a pregnant woman in her first trimester to potentially harmful radiation;

• failed to wear gloves, or used contaminated gloves, during procedures;

• used expired medications during emergencies for patients who needed sedation;

• failed to document significant incidents during sedation;

• discharged patients without adequate post-surgical instructions or medication;

• allowed dental assistants to perform functions beyond their licenses;

• extracted teeth other than those intended to be extracted; and

• removed excessive bone, “limiting and possibly eliminating, a patient’s chances for successful use of prosthetic dental devices.”

In issuing its order, the Board of Dental Practice found Kippax to be incompetent and having violated standards of care under Centers for Disease Control guidelines and those of the American Dental Association.

According to the order, Kippax “demonstrated lack of skill, lack of empathy, lack of respect for his patients, and lack of commitment to serving his community in a safe and caring way.”

His actions, according to the order, “put the health and safety of his patients and staff in immediate jeopardy,” necessitating the immediate suspension.

During the 30-day suspension he is barred from practicing any aspect of dentistry or writing prescriptions.

Kippax will have an opportunity to contest the board’s findings at a public hearing, if he chooses. No hearing date has yet been set.

In 2002, the Maine Board of Dental Examiners determined that Kippax scheduled too many patients, creating a “hurried or rushed practice” with ill-trained staff who did not have time to learn the basics of dental assistant practice or time to adequately clean operating rooms between patients. As a result, there was a high turnover rate for staff.

The board also found that Kippax failed to routinely wash his hands between patients, and habitually “failed to wash his hands after petting his dogs and prior to surgeries.”

At the time Kippax, who lives in Greene, raised great Pyrenees show dogs.

The board also found that Kippax did not adequately sterilize equipment, or touched sterilized equipment with gloves contaminated with blood or saliva. He also routinely used or reused equipment that had been dropped on the floor without sterilizing the instruments before using them again.

He also washed feces-covered dog towels in the same machine with staff scrubs, allowed unlicensed staff to do dental procedures, ignored patient pain, failed to allow employees to leave the room before taking X-rays, removed healthy teeth and left the practice while patients were still under general sedation, according to board findings.

He was suspended for 15 days and required to reimburse the board $18,000 in costs associated with the seven-day disciplinary hearing. He was also placed on a five-year probation.

In 2003, the board considered 18 additional complaints against Kippax, all of which Kippax admitted under a consent agreement.

The admissions included failing to document procedures, removing teeth that were not designated for removal, discharging patients without proper medical evaluation, allowing unlicensed assistants to remove stitches and see patients, and failing to assess patient complaints of pain.

His license was suspended for two years, with all but three weeks of that suspended. He was also given another five-year probation, ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and ordered to reimburse the board $2,874 in hearing costs. He was further ordered to pay for dental implants for three former patients, at a total cost of $14,000.

Kippax, who graduated from Boston University with a doctorate in dentistry in 1985, has been licensed to practice in Maine since 1990.

On Tuesday, an answering service picked up the phone for the Main Street practice and said the office was closed.

A call to Kippax’s attorney has not been returned.

Dr. Jan Kippax

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