Knoxville dentist fined $11,000 over sanitation issues

Knoxville dentist hit with $11,000 in fines. / Source: (WVLT)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Knoxville Dentist is being hit with $11,000 in fines after state officials say he delegated responsibilities to unqualified employees and failed to use proper sterilization methods among other violations.

The medical license of Clarence "Buzz" Nabers Jr. DDS has been placed on probation in addition to the fines.

According to case records from the Tennessee Department of Health, Nabers allowed dental hygienists in his offices to practice outside their area of expertise by providing comprehensive examinations, diagnoses, and treatment planning without a dentist present. Nabers testified that this was not a normal part of operations at his two offices.

The report said hygienists were also allowed to provide new patient exams, administer fillings, place permanent crowns and repair and insert permanent veneers, and insert dental bridges, all of which are not allowed.

Nabers reportedly admitted to not following proper sterilization procedures by reusing disposable tools.

According to the report, the handpiece used in dental procedures and air-water syringes were cleaned using only a sanitizing cloth, and leather dental chairs were not cleaned with a sanitizing agent between patients.

In addition, Nabers reportedly admitted to forging several certifications from Arrowhead Dental Laboratories which is located in Arizona.
Nabers admitted he did not attend the seminars and forged the documents sent to the board as part of his continuing education audit.

Nabers also admitted to having a dental assistant forge a CPR card with his name which was sent to the board for his 2015-2016 continuing education audit, but Nabers said that he had simply created a new certification card to replace one he had misplaced, according to the report.

According to state records, Nabers' license will remain on probation until he completes a TOSHA Consultative Services Program, provides proof of new sterilizing equipment and updates records.

Nabers must also complete thirty hours of continuing education before the probation is lifted.

Naber's dental offices are located on South Gay Street and Northshore Drive. No word on whether those businesses will continue to operate.

WVLT News reached out to Dr. Nabers' Office, but he was not available for comment.

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