Sutherlin dentist's use of dirty tools caused illness, patient says

The man says the use of improperly sterilized instruments amounts to malpractice.

Posted: Dec 9, 2019 6:48 PM

SUTHERLIN, Ore. – A man is claiming a Sutherlin dentist used dirty tools during a recent visit, causing him to get sick.

The dental clinic has admitted to using improperly sterilized instruments in six patients' mouths last month, and one of those patients is Jason Prebe. Prebe said he went to Umpqua Community Health Center in November for a teeth cleaning and a tooth extraction.

Last week, he received a letter from Aviva Health, the health care provider who manages the clinic. The letter said they had determined that some of the instruments were not properly cleaned before Prebe’s appointment.

The letter stated they will pay for Prebe to do blood tests through them to make sure he did not contract an infection from the incident.
However, Prebe said that’s not enough.

“You know, they already messed up, and they want me to go back to this dentist,” said Prebe. “I’m not going back there. No way, not if they expose me to disease.”

Prebe said he’s been sick with pneumonia for the last few weeks and has been out of work for weeks due to his sickness. After he received the letter, he said he suspected that he got the sickness from the incident at the dental clinic.

“They went to school for their jobs,” said Prebe. “They would know they need to sterilize their tools. No other dentist would do that like that, that’s their negligence, they did. I don’t see how that’s not malpractice.”

In a statement from Aviva Health, they said they “deeply regret” the incident that occurred and “offer their sincerest apologies to the patients involved.”

They said they are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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