Friday, September 07, 2012

Deaths and dental care, could this be one of the problems?

Dennis Yamashita DDS, Chairman and Director of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Los Angeles County/USC, Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC, and Children's Hospital Los Angeles, is charged with incompetence, gross negligence, and multiple counts of negligence for his treatment of a 44 year old who died under general anesthesia that he administered while performing a biopsy in his office in 2009. Dr Yamashita has been involved in the training of dental oral surgery residents for many years in Los Angeles and currently remains at this position as the Program Chairman and Residency Director at USC and affiliated hospitals.

The California State Dental Board, according to an online public record released a few months ago on its website ( is moving to revoke his license to practice and general anesthesia privileges for incompetence -- presumably for treating this patient without prior consultation or consideration of her extremely high blood pressure and other medical problems that resulted in her having suffering a stroke under his care, failing to do a proper medical examination prior to anesthesia, failure to control the patient's high blood pressure on two occasions (she had had a prior surgery at his office a year before), failure to keep proper records during the surgery and anesthesia, and failure to call emergency services until 7 hours after the surgery and anesthesia were completed.

Is this the role model of the standard of care representing our current crop of dental trainees?