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Report Says Dentist Who Reused Needles Also A Drug Addict

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Stephen Stein (credit: drstephenstein.com)

Stephen Stein (credit: drstephenstein.com)

DENVER (CBS4) – A dentist who reused needles, putting thousands of patients in danger of deadly diseases, is now accused of manipulating his clients to get drugs.

The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners says Dr. Stephen Stein was under the influence of drugs while seeing patients.

Denver police are still investigating Stein for possible prescription fraud. He had offices in Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek. He has agreed to surrender his dental license after the Colorado Department of Health and Environment found he used two addictive pain killers while practicing.

The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners says Stein admits being a drug addict. The board says he was using drugs that were meant for patients.

The state health department accuses Stein of writing prescriptions for vicodin and vicoprofen to his patients. Prior to their procedures he asked the patients to bring the actual prescription to their appointment, but used it for himself, according to the Board of Dental Examiners. Stein denies those allegations.

“It’s devastating, devastation,” Bonnie Wing said.

Wing is one Stein’s former patients along with Luke Crespi. Both were devastated when the health department asked them to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C.

“I’m in there hoping and knowing he’s my answer to take care of me and I’m going to walk out of there better, not worse,” Crespi said.

An investigation into the dentist began with an anonymous complaint that he was misusing drugs. In a final agency order the Board of Dental Examiners accuses Stein of saving unused drugs in syringes, and then combining the medications into another syringe to be used on another patient. Stein also denies those allegations.

The board also says Stein called in a prescription for a patient but picked it up for himself at the pharmacy.

“Shame on you in having a professional license and serving the public and inflicting what could be life-threatening to so many innocent people,” Wing said.

Of the 8,000 patients asked to get tested for HIV and hepatitis, the board says three people tested positive for the infectious diseases, although it’s unknown if the infections are related to Stein’s practice.

In the board’s report Stein says he continues to be treated for his drug addiction.

Although Stein relinquished his license, he can reapply for a new one in two years.

Below is a Summary of the Board of Dental Examiners’ disciplinary proceedings concerning Dr. Stephen Stein:

Dr. Stephen Stein entered into an Interim Cessation of Practice Agreement (“Interim Agreement”) with the State Board of Dental Examiners (the “Board”) on June 24, 2011 wherein he agreed not to engage in the clinical practice of dentistry pending further evaluation and investigation of his practice in order to determine what further action, if any, is warranted. The Interim Agreement remained in place until a final disposition was recently reached in the Board’s case against Dr. Stein’s license to practice dentistry in the state of Colorado, case number 2011-004851-B. On Thursday, August 23, 2012, Dr. Stephen Stein signed a Stipulation and Final Agency Order (“Final Order”) to voluntarily relinquish his license to practice dentistry in Colorado, which became effective that same day. Dr. Stein’s relinquishment shall have the same force and effect as a revocation ordered by the Board. Pursuant to the Dental Practice Law of Colorado, the Board cannot revoke a license for more than 2 years without then providing that individual an opportunity to apply for a new license. After 2 years have passed, any individual with a revoked license may apply for a new license to practice. If granted by the Board, the revoked license and the new license will be linked so that public is aware of both licenses, including any public discipline associated with the individual.

Dr. Stein’s license to practice dentistry (DEN 00007149) and his permit to administer deep sedation/general anesthesia (GEN 02778887) have been updated on the DORA website to a status of “voluntary surrender”. This is the final disposition in case number 2011-004851-B before the State Board of Dental Examiners. For the purposes of the Board, it has achieved its maximum discipline in the form of a voluntary relinquishment for at least 2 years, without going through the cost of litigation by taking the matter to a hearing, which is what is required to revoke a license.

The Board’s complaint process is confidential by statute and not open for public inspection. Therefore, the only case documents available to the public are the Interim Agreement executed on June 24, 2011 and the Final Order executed on August 23, 2012. The Interim Agreement has been available on the DORA website for some time and will remain available moving forward. The Final Order will be available on the DORA website in the near future. Until a link to the document is provided on the website a copy may be requested by emailing communications@dora.state.co.us.

For more information regarding the Board’s complaint process and this specific case, please click on the following link: www.dora.state.co.us/dental/steinannouncement.pdf.

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