Mass. Dentist Accused of Shoddy Work Pleads Guilty

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – A former Fall River dentist has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud for using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals.

Michael Clair is scheduled to be sentenced next Monday after pleading guilty last week in New Bedford Superior Court to a variety of charges, including defrauding Medicaid of $130,000 assault and battery, illegally prescribing prescription drugs and witness intimidation.

Prosecutors say the 53-year-old Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002, but continued to file claims from August 2003 to June 2005 by using the names of other dentists in his practice.

Authorities say he used pieces of paper clips instead of stainless steel posts for root canals – which can cause pain and even infection – in an effort to save money.

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