By Austin L. Miller
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.
OCALA, FLORIDA — An Ocala dentist whose office was visited in late July by authorities who removed files and interviewed employees has had his license suspended, according to the state Department of Health.
A report by the DOH ordered the emergency suspension of Dr. Michael Addair Tarver’s license to practice dentistry.
The order, dated Wednesday, states that Tarver is a board-certified pediatric dentist. He’s the owner and operator of Polliwog Dental, a children’s dentistry office at 255 SE 17th St.
DOH officials said the emergency suspension order is directed at the individual, not the facility. Therefore, while Tarver cannot practice in the state of Florida, his wife, Dr. Rebecca Tarver, also a licensed dentist, can practice, and therefore the facility remains open, DOH said.
Tarver disputes the allegations against him.
“I am profoundly disappointed and shocked that the Board of Dentistry would take such action without even reviewing the facts or giving me a chance to defend myself,” he said in an email to the Star-Banner, adding that his attorney is “fighting this decision” and that he expects to have his license reinstated soon.
Hailing his wife as an excellent dentist, Tarver said the office is open and “will continue to provide quality care.”
The 10-page document outlined the reasons for the suspension:
On April 17, 2012, a 4-year-old girl went to Polliwog for a tooth extraction. She was sedated with versed – a brand name for the drug midazolam, a sedative commonly prescribed prior to a medical procedure. During the procedure, staff members said the juvenile stopped breathing and turned blue.
Tarver allegedly administered Narcan to reverse the sedation and ordered a dental technician to retrieve a resuscitation bag. Narcan, the report states, is a brand name for naloxone, commonly used to counter the effects of opiate overdose. And, while naloxone is a legend drug, it’s not a controlled substance. Tarver, state officials said, performed CPR for a brief time and the minor regained consciousness.
Tarver recorded the incident in the patient’s record as a “period of brief apnea,” DOH said.
Tarver ordered staff members not to mention the incident and told them that, if they did, he would terminate and sue them, DOH said. No one informed the child’s parents that the little girl had stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated, the report states.
According to DOH, a second incident occurred on June 4, 2013 when Tarver performed a dental procedure on another 4-year-old girl whose mother told him not to administer general anesthesia on her child.
The mother believed she consented to local anesthesia only, DOH said. Tarver, the report states, placed the child under general anesthesia and at the conclusion of the procedure, the child had lacerations on her cheek and inside her mouth, bruises on her neck and shoulders and she had urinated on herself.
DOH officials chastised Tarver’s actions, saying he has shown an “inability and/or unwillingness to comport with the standard of care required in practicing pediatric dentistry.”
DOH said it felt Tarver likely may “continue to commit violations in the future.” His suspension, they reasoned, “will adequately protect the public from the danger that he poses.”
Responding to the allegations, Tarver said DOH presented “two factually inaccurate cases,” and that he believes the cases were “initiated by disgruntled former employees and patients.”
In the first case, he said CPR never occurred, and he said he has never performed CPR on a patient. In the second instance, he also said the incident never occurred, adding that his office does not have the equipment to perform general anesthesia.
Tarver added that the patient’s parent signed two separate documents that explained in detail about consenting to conscious sedation. He said that the patient had normal post-operative facial swelling that he said is the usual result of any dental surgical procedure.
Dr. Michael Addair Tarver, DDS dental license number DN18670 indicate no previous disciplinary actions by the Florida Dental Board, however his record does show an “emergency suspension” dated September 4, 2013.
From Polliwog Children’s Dentistry Website:
Dr. Mike was born in Lakeland, FL. He attended Wake Forest University where he majored in finance and accounting and earned his CPA license. After a brief stint in the finance industry, Mike attended Tufts School of Dental Medicine and the University of Florida where he specialized in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Mike enjoys sailing, skiing, model airplanes, full scale airplanes, and hanging out with his wife Rebecca and brother Jordan. Dr. Mike is an Airline Transport Pilot and is certified flight instructor. He is passionate about high quality, caring and gentle dental care for your child or teenager!
Dr. Rebecca Tarver (Dr. Rebecca), General Dentist for Kids and Teens
Dr. Rebecca is Dr. Mike’s wife. They met in dental school in Boston and it was love at first sight! Dr. Rebecca is from Tuscon, AZ and attended the University of California, Berkeley and Tufts School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Rebecca loves reading, boating, fishing and traveling. She brings her knowledge of advanced restorative techniques to the practice along with her compassion and love of children! Rebecca loves our cat Piper, a wild but tame “lap leopard” Bengal.
A secondary location is also listed on Tarver’s dental license – Dentistry For Children, 1111 NE Parkway Frontage Road, Lakeland, Florida 33803, home of Dr. Harry Bopp, DMD and Dr. Jordan Tarver, DMD.