State board suspends Cedar Rapids dentist's license

Order says Safabakhsh gave patient too much anesthetic, failed to use proper equipment

The Iowa Dental Board has suspended the license of a local dentist after he allegedly gave a patient too much anesthetic and failed to use proper equipment during a procedure.

Masih Safabakhsh -- whose listed address matches that of Gentle Dental, 1515 Blairs Ferry Road NE -- was charged by the board in December 2011 for "failure to maintain a satisfactory standard of competency, and gross malpractice in the practice of dentistry."

According to a board order dated July 13, Safabakhsh administered an amount of anesthetic to a patient that "far exceeds the maximum dosage." The patient was later taken to the hospital for a "medical emergency." Safabakhsh said he regularly used that amount of anesthetic and said he was unaware of current guidelines for dosage. Safabakhsh also allegedly told staff to change a patient's record to show he used less anesthetic.

Safabakhsh also performed a root canal without a piece of necessary equipment and "did not meet the standard of care" in a number of other incidents, according to the order.

Further, the order said Safabakhsh on multiple occasions billed patients for services that were not performed and, in another case, fraudulently documented treatment.

"The Board finds that the immediate suspension of [Safabakhsh's] ability to practice dentistry is necessary to avoid immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare, until this case is finally resolved," the order read. Interim safeguards would not be sufficient in this case, according to the documents.A representative from Gentle Dental declined to say whether Safabakhsh was still employed with the practice. Someone who answered a phone listing for Safabakhsh declined to comment.

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