LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas State Dental Association responds after a local dentist is accused of possibly infecting his patients.
The dentist in the case is the late Dr. William Jarrod Stewart. It's believed the drugs he was using for IV sedation were tampered with somehow. Officials say the patients potentially affected received it from November 20, 2011 to February 20, 2012.
The Arkansas Department of Health is asking 84 patients state-wide to get a blood test.
The Association released a statement Wednesday saying:
Earlier today, the Arkansas Department of Health announced its effort to contact about 100 patients of a dentist who may have violated infection control procedures during dental surgery involving intravenous (I.V.) sedation. The procedures were performed at dental offices in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Hot Springs and Jonesboro during a three-month period between November 2011 and February 2012. The Arkansas State Dental Association is closely monitoring the situation.
The rules and regulations that govern the practice of dentistry dictate that all dental offices adhere to standard precautions as established by the CDC, including those for intravenous (IV) sedation. Adherence to infection control procedures ensures a safe and sanitary environment for patients in dental offices and creates a safe working environment for dentists and their teams.
Dentists in Arkansas have an excellent record of providing safe and sanitary environments for their patients. Incidents as the ones described in the Health Department press release represent an extreme departure from normal sedation techniques and do not reflect the typical way sedation techniques are administered in Arkansas.
Patients are always encouraged to visit with their dentist about infection control procedures that are utilized in their office. The dental professionals of Arkansas are typically pleased to describe their procedures for keeping patients safe and healthy while undergoing dental treatment.
The clinics include four Ocean Dental sites in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Fayetteville and Jonesboro and Bevans Pediatric Dentistry in Little Rock.