AUGUSTA — The long-delayed hearing about whether Lewiston oral surgeon Jan Kippax should retain his license to practice dentistry is likely to take place in the next few months.

The hearing officer in the case, Mark Terison, told members of the Maine Board of Dental Practice on Friday that he hopes to hear the case in September or October.

Kippax, whose license was suspended for 30 days last winter, is practicing dentistry while he waits to find out if the board will follow up its initial verdict that he poses a threat to patients.

More than a dozen patients have told the dental board that Kippax pulled the wrong teeth, ignored pleas for pain relief, left them bleeding uncontrollably and other practices that struck them as unprofessional.

Terison said he’s been talking with lawyers for Kippax and the state Attorney General’s Office, which serves as a sort of prosecutor in these types of cases. The dental board is basically a jury that will be charged with rendering a verdict on Kippax based on the evidence presented at the hearing.

It has the power to censure or fine Kippax as well as strip him of his right to practice his profession in Maine. Kippax is also licensed in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Terison quizzed members of the dental board Friday about whether they could perform their duties without bias or prejudice. All said they could.

“Depending on what happens in the future, you may see a lot of me,” Terison told them.

While no specific dates for a hearing were mentioned, Terison said the hearing would likely take more than one day.

“We’re not going to get through this” in one session, he said.

The dental board typically meets on Fridays and a second session could run into Saturday and perhaps beyond.

It would likely start on a Friday afternoon, Terison said, because he teaches a law school class in the morning. He said he chose that time weeks ago because he thought the Kippax case would be wrapped up this summer.

Terison said he was first assigned to serve as the impartial overseer of the Kippax case in April, met with the parties in May and used time in June “to bring some focus” to its workings.

He said the parties have been gathering evidence in July in preparation for a hearing that was first scheduled for mid-March. After being pushed off into April and then May, no further dates were ever mentioned.

At this point, it appears scheduling is mostly a matter of logistics as officials try to ensure that at least five board members can be present for at least a couple of days.

One member, Nancy Foster, isn’t allowed to participate because she served as an investigator on the initial complaints against Kippax. Another has a term that expires in September. Since the board has one vacancy as well, that leaves little room for absences.

Terison said he’s moving forward, though.

He said he has “something planned next week” with the two parties as he gets ready for the hearing.

A preliminary finding by the dental board found that Kippax 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.”

That finding was the basis of the preliminary suspension received by Kippax that was initially supposed to end only after a March 17 hearing where dental regulators could have taken further action to penalize Kippax or take away his license permanently. 

This story will be updated.

[email protected]

Hearing officer Mark Terison addresses Maine Board of Dental Practice members Friday on the upcoming case involving Dr. Jan Kippax, an oral surgeon with an office in Lewiston.

Hearing officer Mark Terison addresses Maine Board of Dental Practice members Friday on the upcoming case involving Dr. Jan Kippax, an oral surgeon with an office in Lewiston.

Comments are not available on this story.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.