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After a dentist left patients stranded with glued implants, Maryland senator wants reform oversight. State panel says not so fast.

The state board that regulates dentistry in Maryland investigated a Severna Park dentist for 10 years before he finally surrendered his license in the face of growing complaints.

Now state Sen. Pam Beidle wants to make sure dental work like that performed by Neil Woods never happens again.

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The Linthicum Democrat has co-sponsored SB 836, which would require the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners to move faster to address complaints and make its process open to greater public scrutiny. State. Sarah Elfreth, D-Annapolis, is co-sponsoring the bill.

“We need to make sure our constituents are well cared for,” Beidle said.

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Beidle was a dental assistant for five years while going through college. She also has had implants twice and says it is not an easy process.

Woods’ patients often got implants that fell out or broke, problems reported on in a series of stories in 2020 by The Capital.

Woods surrendered his dental license in February last year, after claims his office provided poor dental care to patients who paid and pre-paid for thousand of dollars of care. In his letter surrendering his license, he wrote 11 patients had improperly placed implants resulting in adverse effects.

One patient paid $30,000 to Woods to superglue her teeth.

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Three Annapolis-area dentists Brian Valle, Clifford Walzer and Tony Prestipino donated an estimated $200,000 of free dental work to help some of the patients harmed by Woods.

Murray Sherman, a legal assistant for the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners, said it would be hard for the board to comply with Beidle’s bill because of staffing issues and the amount of work required by the changes.

He said the board would have preferred to work with Beidle than oppose her bill. it officially opposed it in a meeting last week.

“The board would like to work with legislators to improve the process but this is not the way to do it,” Sherman said.

Beidle said she reached out to the dental board after reading about Woods’s treatment of his patients and was told it had been investigating Woods for over 10 years before the complaints were resolved.

She said the Maryland Board of Physicians can resolve a complaint against a doctor in a year. Beidle crafted her bill to mimic that process.

The senator wants the bill to create a more urgent process that eliminates long-term poor practices. Under her proposal, the board would post profiles of all licensed dentists on its website, and including complaints by patients.

“My bill has dentists doing the same process that the board of physicians does and much more transparent. People will see when there is an open case on a provider,” Beidle said.

Sherman, though, said the board doesn’t see a system like the one used by doctors as the right process for dentists.

“There is nothing in this bill that is appealing to us or that we think is going to work,” he said.

The board offered to set up a workgroup to study the issue, Beidle said. But she wants state lawmakers to decide whether there is enough reason to move forward with changes now.

A hearing before the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee is set for March 2.

“The assembly might prefer a study, I would hate to see this go on another year. When you see this poor dentistry that people have suffered through and how many people in a year can suffer the same consequences,” Beidle said.

Sherman said it doesn’t have to be a formal study but the board is willing to work with Beidle or whoever.

“We want to help the citizens in Maryland in the right way and we are willing to work with that to protect them,” he said.

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