Wesley Shankland, D.D.S. Placed on Five-Years’ Probation

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
March 24, 2007

Wesley Earl Shankland, II, D.D.S., who operates the Central Ohio Center for Facial Pain in Columbus, Ohio, has signed a consent agreement (shown below) under which:

  • His dental license will be suspended for six months.
  • He must complete 300 hours of continuing dental education that includes at least 40 hours in ethics and 260 hours that must include medical history-taking; dental record-keeping; periodontics; diagnosis and treatment planning; and pharmacology.
  • He must not utilize any “alternative” dental or medical treatment without informing the patient that the procedure is nonstandard.
  • During 2008, he must not prescribe any opioid narcotics or central nervous system (CNS)-acting drugs.
  • His records must be available for review and monitoring by a physician or dentist who is experienced in the management of chronic pain.

The agreement settled a complaint filed in August 2006 that expressed concern about his care of twelve patients.

Shankland is a leading proponent of “neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis” (“NICO”) and improperly advises that amalgam fillings and root-canal-treated teeth are problematic. The board’s complaint did not indicate whether any of its concerns were related to these nonstandard theories and practices.
It is not clear whether the provision about “alternative” practices will make it more difficult to continue utilizing them.


This CONSENT AGREEMENT is entered into by and between, WESLEY E.  SHANKLAND, DDS, (DR. SHANKLAND) and THE OHIO STATE DENTAL BOARD, (BOARD), the state agency charged with enforcing the Dental Practice Act, Chapter 4715 of the Ohio Revised Code.

DR. SHANKLAND enters into this AGREEMENT being fully informed of his rights afforded under Chapter 119, Ohio Revised Code, including the right to representation by counsel and the right to pursue his appeal rights on the issues considered herein. DR. SHANKLAND acknowledges and agrees that he was duly notified of an Opportunity for Hearing by Notice dated August 23, 2006, attached hereto as Appendix A and made a part hereof.

This CONSENT AGREEMENT is entered into on the basis of the following stipulations, admissions and understandings:

A. The BOARD is empowered by Section 4715.30r Ohio Revised Code, to suspend, revoke, place on probation, limit, or censure a certificate holder for violation of any of the enumerated grounds.

B. DR. SHANKLAND is licensed to practice dentistry in the State of Ohio, License No. 30-015798.

C. The BOARD alleges that DR. SHANKLAND inappropriately diagnosed and/or treated patients from approximately December 10, 1997 through and including January 15, 2003, as more fully set forth in Appendix A.

D. For purposes of reaching a resolution of the pending matter, DR. SHANKLAND neither admits nor denies the allegations set forth in Appendix A.

WHEREFORE, in consideration of the BOARD suspending the disciplinary proceedings with respect to the Notice of Opportunity for Hearing dated August 23, 2006 and the additional allegations set forth in Paragraph C above, DR. SHANKLAND knowingly and voluntarily agrees to the following probationary terms conditions and limitations:

1. DR. SHANKLAND’s license to practice dentistry in the state of Ohio is suspended for a period of four months, effective May 1, 2007 through August 31, 2007, and Dr. SHANKLAND shall immediately refer all of his patients who may need treatment within that time period to other practitioners, including any patient on an opioid regimen. DR. SHANKLAND shall be permitted to resume practicing on September 1, 2007 through and including October 31, 2007, and shall cease practicing from November 1, 2007 -December 31, 2007.

2. DR. SHANKLAND shall complete three hundred (300) hours of continuing dental education from either the Ohio State University College of Dentistry or through the University of Toledo Medical Center or Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine or other provider as approved by the Secretary of the Board. Said hours shall be apportioned as follows:

A. A minimum of forty (40) hours in ethics.

B. Two hundred sixty (260) hours of continuing education that, at a minimum must cover aspects of general dentistry as determined by the Secretary of the Board after consultation with the approved educational provider. DR. SHANKLAND shall complete at least two hundred (200) of these hours before August 31, 2007. At a minimum, these hours must cover:

a. Medical Histories

  • How to take a proper medical history;
  • Risk factors when an adequate medical history is not taken; and
  • Proper forms to use to document medical histories.

b. Dental record keeping. At a minimum, these hours must cover:

  • Proper forms to use in documenting treatment;
  • What a complete dental record must contain;
  • Proper recording of prescriptions, and anesthetics.
  • Proper insurance billing.

c. Periodontics. At a minimum, these hours must cover:

  • Proper periodontal charting;
  • Appropriate forms to use for periodontal charting;
  • What information should be recorded in the chart;
  • Basics of periodontal disease including bone loss, gingival disease and conservative treatment plans for periodontal conditions; and
  • When to refer patients to a Periodontist.

d. Diagnosis and treatment planning. At a minimum, these hours must cover:

  • How to take proper radiographs;
  • When and how often to take radiographs;
  • What types of radiographs to take;
  • The proper uses and techniques for panoramic, bitewing and periapical radiographs;
  • Diagnosis of caries and periodontal disease;
  • Treatment planning and prioritization of treatment;
  • Presenting and explaining treatment to a patient and obtaining informed consent.

e.  Pharmacology.

3. It is expressly understood that the three hundred (300) hours of continuing education set forth above shall be in addition to the forty (40) hours of continuing education credit required for renewal of his license under R.C. § 4715.141. Documentation of successful completion of the coursework outlined above shall be submitted to the BOARD.

a. DR. SHANKLAND may not employ a licensed operator, i.e., dentists, and dental hygienists, and dental assistant radiographers to perform dentistry or dental hygiene duties or otherwise treat patients during the periods of suspension.

b. DR. SHANKLAND may not perform dentistry or dental hygiene duties or otherwise treat patients during the periods of suspension.

c. No patients may be billed under the name of DR. SHANKLAND during the periods of suspension.

d. DR. SHANKLAND may not receive directly or indirectly, either from a legal or a beneficial interest in any dental practice, any income generated during the periods of suspension, except for treatment provided before the beginning of the suspension.

e. A receptionist may answer the telephones saying “DR. SHANKLAND’s Office” for the sole purpose of answering questions, scheduling/rescheduling appointments, and making referrals.

4. Further, DR. SHANKLAND agrees to implement the following procedures/protocols in his practice prior to March 14,2007:

a. DR. SHANKLAND shall perform no exploratory surgical procedures of any kind unless said proposed treatment has been specified in writing to the patient, along with treatment alternatives/options, including endodontic therapy and other traditional dental treatment options, and the patient’s written informed consent has been obtained on a date prior to the proposed treatment;

b. DR. SHANKLAND shall not utilize or employ any ‘alternative dental or medical’ diagnostic aids, procedure or treatment without the written informed consent of the patient stating that such is not routinely utilized or employed in the traditional/typical practice of dentistry by dental practitioners;

c. A proposed treatment plan shall include the proposed fees for all treatment as well as the CDT/CPT codes under which said proposed treatment will be billed to and/or submitted to any insurance company or the patient;

d. The proposed treatment plan and informed consent must he provided to the patient’s referring health care practitioner, if applicable, after being accepted by the patient, and prior to performing said procedures;

e. A written patient treatment status shall be provided to the patient’s referring practitioner quarterly, unless said patient has not been seen or prescribed medications within any such quarter;

f. If applicable, a pain management/controlled substance contract shall be presented to and accepted/executed by the patient prior to prescribing controlled substances to any patient for chronic pain relief;

g. From January 1, 2008 until December 31, 2008 DR. SHANKLAND shall prescribe only non-opioids and shall prescribe no CNS-acting drugs but may prescribe NSAIDs. All prescriptions for controlled substances shall be in compliance with the manufacturer’s maximum dosages as reflected in the then current Physician’s Desk Reference;

h. For all treatment rendered after the effective date of this agreement, patient records shall be made available for review and monitoring by a physician or dentist who is experienced in the area of diagnosis and treatment of dental patients in the area of chronic pain and/or chronic pain management. DR. SHANKLAND shall cooperate in any such review and monitoring as requested.

5. DR. SHANKLAND’s license to practice dentistry shall be subject to the following PROBATIONARY terms, conditions and limitations for a period of not less than five (5) years:

a. DR. SHANKLAND shall submit quarterly declarations under penalty of BOARD discipline stating that he in compliance with the terms of the CONSENT AGREEMENT.

b. Upon BOARD request, DR. SHANKLAND shall make any or all of his patient records available for inspection and review. At the Board’s discretion, such records may be reviewed by a consultant to the BOARD.

c. DR. SHANKLAND shall appear for interviews before the BOARD or its designee as requested by the BOARD.

d. DR. SHANKLAND shall obey all federal, state and local laws, and all rules governing the practice of dentistry in Ohio.

6. DR. SHANKLAND agrees that if, in the discretion of the Secretary of the BOARD, he appears to have violated or breached any term or condition of this CONSENT AGREEMENT, the BOARD has the right to institute formal disciplinary proceedings for any and all possible violations or breaches, including but not limited to, alleged violations of the laws of Ohio occurring before the effective date of this CONSENT AGREEMENT.

Any action initiated by the BOARD based on alleged violations or breaches of this CONSENT AGREEMENT shall comply with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 119, Ohio Revised Code.

7. DR. SHANKLAND, with the intention of binding himself and his successors in interest and assigns, holds harmless from liability and forever discharges the State of Ohio, the BOARD, and any of their members, officers, attorneys, agents, and/or employees, personally or in their official capacities, from any and all claims that were raised or could have been raised in or relating to this matter, including but not limited to costs, expenses, attorney fees and/or all other damages.

8. DR. SHANKLAND acknowledges that he has had an opportunity to ask questions concerning the terms of this CONSENT AGREEMENT and that all questions asked have been answered in a satisfactory manner.

This CONSENT AGREEMENT shall be considered a public record as that term is used in Section 149.43, Ohio Revised Code and may be reported to any appropriate data bank or reporting agency. DR. SHANKLAND acknowledges that his social security number will be used if this information is so reported, and DR. SHANKLAND agrees to provide his social security number to the BOARD for such purposes.

It is expressly understood that this CONSENT AGREEMENT is subject to ratification by the BOARD prior to signature by the President and Secretary and shall become effective upon the last date of signature below.


FRANK R. RECKER, ESQ.                DATE
Attorney for DR. SHANKLAND


PAUL VESOULIS, DDS                      DATE

EDWARD R. HILL, DDS                     DATE

Acting Section Chief
Assistant Attorney General

This page was posted on March 24, 2007.