AUGUSTA — Opening the door for embattled oral surgeon Jan Kippax to practice again in Maine, his 30-day license suspension came to an end Friday.

Kippax, who faces a hearing next month that could result in disciplinary action, is apparently able to work as a dentist in Maine, at least until the hearing’s outcome. It’s not clear if he intends to do so.

One of the patients who filed a complaint against him, Donna Deigan, said Friday that she is “completely appalled that a person who has literally abused people would be allowed to continue practicing. With the accounts that patients and employees have given, his license should be suspended until the hearing.”

Dental regulators are close-mouthed about Kippax, who could not be reached, and any details of the case brought against him. Investigators found merit in the claims of 18 former patients, including Deigan, that Kippax had violated professional standards.

The Maine Board of Dental Practice pulled Kippax’s license a month ago, after it determined the charges were serious enough to warrant the 30-day suspension, the toughest action it can take until a hearing is held where Kippax can defend himself.

“What is the purpose of the dental board if a person can repeatedly inflict unnecessary pain, remove incorrect teeth, restrain patients and cause devastating trauma to a person?” Deigan asked.

At the time of the board’s initial emergency action against Kippax last month, the board’s chairwoman, Auburn dentist Geraldine Schneider, said he “put the health and safety of his patients and staff in immediate jeopardy” and warned that “if he is allowed to continue to practice in his reckless and harmful way, innocent patients are destined to continue to suffer dire consequences.”

Deigan said everyone who needs dental help “should be treated with dignity, respect and compassion — all of which this man does not have.”

Another of his former patients, Andrea Mayo-Strickland of Turner, said Friday that Kippax should never have a chance to practice again.

When she saw him years ago, “he ended up putting his knee on my chest” as he pulled out a tooth, she said. When she complained, Kippax told her to “shut up,” Mayo-Strickland said.

“He’s a butcher,” she said. “He’s just mean and cold and nasty.”

Initially slated for March 10, the hearing for Kippax was pushed back to April 14 without explanation, opening a four-week gap between the end of his suspension and the start of the hearing.

Though officials said they typically don’t postpone hearings unless they reach a consent agreement with the dentist who’s in trouble that keeps the suspension in place, there is nothing in the public record to indicate the panel reached a deal with Kippax that would keep him sidelined pending the nine-person board’s decision after the hearing.

In any case, Kippax remains a licensed dentist in Massachusetts and Vermont, where he’s been free to practice his profession.

The dental board voted Feb. 10 to suspend Kippax’s ability to work as a dentist in Maine, a move that took effect when it issued a formal letter on Feb. 15 laying out its preliminary findings.

In that letter, Schneider said that Kippax had “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.”

A number of Kippax’s former patients have told the Sun Journal details of what they considered to be poor-quality care from the longtime oral surgeon.

They said he yanked teeth for no reason, broke a jaw, snipped a nerve, sliced off a section of someone’s lip, refused to provide painkillers and didn’t do anything to stem bleeding.

At the hearing next month, dental board members will hear evidence from both Kippax and an assistant attorney general about the specific cases mentioned in Schneider’s February letter. If they find the charges are more likely than not to be true, then they will decide what disciplinary steps to take against Kippax.

They have the power to suspend him, put him on probation, issue rules he must follow, levy fines or revoke his dental license.

Kippax has been practicing in Lewiston since 1990. His Androscoggin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery office on Main Street has been a busy practice for years, though it was closed Friday. He is a past president of the Androscoggin Dental Society.

Kippax graduated from dental school at Boston University in 1985 and continued his training there to become an oral surgeon.

Dr. Jan Kippax’s dental office is at the intersection of Main Street and Mountain Avenue in Lewiston.

Maine Board of Dental Practice Chairwoman Geraldine Schneider presides at a recent board meeting.

A screenshot of the Maine Board of Dental Practice’s website listing of Dr. Jan Kippax on Friday afternoon.

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