LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Dental patients are voicing their concerns after a warning Tuesday from the state health department. More than 80 young Arkansans are potentially at risk of being infected by an Arkansas dentist.
Doctor William Jarrod Stewart died last year but the cause still unknown, and health officials are concerned that some of the sedation medication he used might have been tainted.
We want to stress there's no evidence to suggest that any of the dental offices we mention are using questionable practices. The health department is only concerned about the patients Dr. Stewart treated a year or so ago.
It all centers on specifically intravenous sedation administered by Doctor Stewart between Nov. 20, 2011 and Feb. 20, 2012 to patients ages 14-22. This does not include medicines injected into the mouth (local anesthetics used for numbing purposes) or anesthetic gases.
The health department said Dr. Stewart practiced dentistry at the following offices: Ocean Dental Clinics in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, and Little Rock. He also practiced at Bevans Pediatric Dentistry in Little Rock.
"We haven't received any notification that she should be tested," said Angel Robinson. Her two-year-old is a current patient of Ocean Dental in Little Rock, but Robinson is more concerned about her own sister, who she believes visited Ocean Dental in Little Rock during the dates in question.
The health department said Doctor Stewart died in February 2012, but will not say how he died -- only that he did not die of an infectious disease.
After his death - federal officials went to remove all controlled substances listed under his license. That's when they discovered vials of medicine that appeared to have been tampered with.
We'll stress again that the health department only recommended screenings for procedures performed by Dr. Stewart. This means if you saw another doctor in this practice, the health department said there is no need for alarm.
Both Ocean Dental and Bevan's Pediatric Dentistry have issued statements, which can be found with the stories below: