LEWISTON — A colorful yellow flag out front of Androscoggin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery’s office in an old house on Main Street on Wednesday simply said, “OPEN.”

Out on the curb, a sign with white letters on a red background, said, “TOOTH PAIN? STOP IN!”

The other side of the sign promised “Wisdom Tooth Removal.”

All of it belongs to oral surgeon Jan Kippax, a dentist who has practiced there for more than a quarter of a century and whose name adorns a blue awning that hangs above the office entrance.

But it wasn’t clear whether Kippax, whose license was briefly suspended last winter, is actually working there.

Inside at midday Wednesday there were no patients, just a pleasant woman in a white medical coat who sweetly dodged every question, including her name and position, insisting that only Kippax could answer a reporter’s queries. She suggested emailing him.

Kippax is free to practice dentistry in Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont despite a preliminary finding by the Maine Board of Dental Practice that he had “put the health and safety of his patients and staff in immediate jeopardy” and if allowed to continue “in his reckless and harmful way” patients would “suffer dire consequences.”

The board suspended him in February for 30 days — the longest period allowed — pending a hearing on 18 separate complaints from patients about the care they received between December 2014 and the summer of 2016.

Former patients, including one of the 18 involved in the case, have told the Sun Journal a variety of stories of what they consider subpar care over the years, including claims that Kippax pulled the wrong teeth, sliced off part of someone’s lip and failed to provide painkillers.

Since March 17, however, Kippax has had the right to practice his profession until he gets the chance to face what amounts to an administrative trial that could strip him of his dental license, fine him or clear him.

Initially scheduled for March 17, the hearing was postponed until May, another date that slipped by without action. Since then, its status is simply a mystery.

Though Kippax and the dental board remain mum on the process, paperwork obtained through a Freedom of Access Act request from the Sun Journal last spring showed that Kippax plans an active defense to the charges levied against him. He strongly denied any wrongdoing.

Neither Kippax nor anyone with the dental board could be reached Wednesday for an update on the status of the charges levied against him almost six months ago.

While somewhat opaque, the dental board’s executive director’s response to a query last month about Kippax’s case appears to indicate that there is still an active effort underway to resolve it.

Penny Vaillancourt, the director, said a hearing officer assigned to the case “will coordinate with board staff, licensee’s counsel and the attorney general’s office in establishing a hearing date.”

While state officials work out the administrative details, Kippax’s office is looking for new patients.

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Dr. Jan Kippax

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