Hundreds of dental patients in Tulsa were screened for hepatitis and HIV on Saturday at a special testing clinic for those who might have been exposed to disease by what authorities called the unsafe practices of a local dentist.
More than 7,000 current and former patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington began receiving letters this week urging them to be tested at no cost. The first free clinic was held Saturday and 420 patients were screened, according to the Tulsa Health Department.
State officials said Harrington’s office was riddled with unsafe practices. An investigation found multiple violations of health and safety laws, including problems with sterilization, rusty instruments and an unlocked and unattended drug cabinet.
Office workers told investigators that they treated a high number of patients suffering from infectious disease and that they kept two separate sets of instruments, one for diseased patients and another for those not believed to suffer from infectious disease. The allegations were laid out by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry in a 17-count complaint against Harrington.