An oral surgeon who needlessly pulled teeth and exorbitant payments from patients in Passaic, Hudson, Union and Monmouth counties had his license yanked and was fined more than $500,000, state authorities announced Tuesday.
Andrew Maron, 58, had been prohibited from practicing in New Jersey since the state filed negligence, gross negligence and professional misconduct charges against him in 2015. Still, he continued to practice in New York, authorities said.
New Jersey authorities said they pursued Maron after receiving complaints from no fewer than 17 patients, including a 93-year-old Medicaid recipient who was billed $31,000 and then conned into borrowing to pay it.
Maron -- who had offices known as "The Apprehensive Patient" in Clifton, Secaucus, Union and Eatontown, among other locations -- sedated patients without a license, drilled metal anchors into jaws for crowns and implants without taking X-rays and left victims with constant pain or implants that fell off, the New Jersey Board of Dentistry found.
His treatment of low-income, elderly, or disabled victims amounted to “hit and run dentistry” that reflected a “cavalier indifference to his patients’ well-being” and a “pattern of substantial deviations from the standard of care that existed unabated for years,” state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Tuesday.
So the dentistry board revoked his license and ordered him to pay $517,000 in penalties, costs, and restitution to patients after leaving a swath of harmful consequences in the four counties, Grewal said.
“Most dental practitioners are dedicated to the health and safety of their patients,” the attorney general said. “But revolving-door dentistry that puts practitioners’ financial gain ahead of patient health and safety erodes public trust and undermines the integrity of the entire profession.”
The list of complaints spanning five years, beginning in 2010, is long:
- Pulling natural teeth and replacing them with dental implants with little or no regard to the restorability of the natural tooth;
- Placing numerous implants that failed, some dangerously so by migrating into the sinus, or by patients swallowing them;
- Performing, planning and undertaking treatment without regard to a patient’s ability to pay for the treatment;
- Discussing treatment with patients who were already in the chair receiving anesthesia;
- Pressuring elderly patients into having implants placed without pre-operative diagnosis, review, or informed consent;
- Pressuring Medicaid patients into taking CareCredit loans which exceeded their ability to repay;
- Ignoring or failing to take patients’ medical histories;
- Submitting inaccurate and inflated billing for treatment; and
- Failing to ensure that the dentists in his employ practiced with patients' health, safety, and welfare in mind.
The Board ordered Maron to pay civil penalties totaling $138,500; restitution totaling $75,041.22 to 15 patients; and aggregate costs and attorneys' fees of $303,856.22.
The Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigation, Grewal said.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joan D. Gelber, from the Division of Law represented the state.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the state Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
ALSO SEE: Ten people -- six of them from Bergen and Hudson counties -- were charged by federal authorities with convincing unwitting elderly victims to invest their money in various businesses, pushing them into debt, and then scamming them again with a bogus debt-relief program.
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