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Iowa City oral surgeon's license suspended for using opioids intended for patients, board rules

In a group of close to 15,000 people whose first-ever prescription for opioid painkillers came from a dentist or dental
In a group of close to 15,000 people whose first-ever prescription for opioid painkillers came from a dentist or dental surgeon, researchers found about 7 percent filled another opioid prescription 90 to 365 days later. And in the year following their dental procedure, close to 6 percent of patients who left their dentist’s office with a prescription for opioids had a “health care encounter” in which a diagnosis of opioid abuse was documented. (Dreamstime/TNS)

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City oral surgeon has agreed to a temporary license suspension and a $10,000 fine for diverting opioids for his own personal use.

Andrew Hartwig, of Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center of Iowa City, has had an Iowa dental license since 1993.

The Iowa Dental Board charged Hartwig with unprofessional or unethical conduct based on allegations he diverted opioids intended to be used to sedate patients for his own self administration, according to a settlement agreement signed Dec. 3.

Hartwig’s dental license is suspended through Jan. 31. His general anesthesia permit will be suspended through March 31, and he will not be allowed to administer sedation until Sept. 1, and then only if he completes the Iowa Practitioner Program, for providers who self-report impairments.

Following suspension, Hartwig will be on probation for five years, during which time he will not be allowed to administer opioids for sedation, must have a practice monitor and must file quarterly reports, among other terms.

Hartwig has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10,000 within 90 days. The money goes to the state’s general fund.

Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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