James Shen, D.D.S., who practices “biological dentistry” in Huntington Beach, California, has surrendered his California dental license in response to accusations of unprofessional misconduct.
- In 2005, he and his late wife, Rily Young, D.D.S., were charged with gross negligence, excessive prescribing, practicing outside the scope of their dental licenses, and obtaining a fee by misrepresentation. The charges center around the management of Mirjana Lukic, a 47-year-old woman who had been experiencing chronic pain in her head, neck, spine, lower back and leg; dizziness; fatigue; eye pain and blurred vision with accompanying headaches; and disturbed sleep patterns. The accusation document states that the pair diagnosed “neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis (NICO)” and other nonexistent problems and improperly removed many of Lukic’s teeth and portions of the her jawbone.
- In June , 2006, Shen was charged again with with gross negligence, excessive prescribing, and practicing outside the scope of his license. The Board alleges that in May 2006, Shen falsely told a board investigator who presented himself as a patient with tooth pain that he had extensive dental problems, was suffering from mercury toxicity, and should have his amalgam fillings removed. Shen also recommended intravenous vitamin C therapy in association with the amalgam removal. The accusation document (shown below) also charges that Shen failed to adequately evaluate the patient and recommended unnecessary and excessive treatment.
- In October 2006, Shen was further accused of inappropriately administering injections of hydrogen peroxide, vitamin C, and/or echinacea to patients who had complained of nondental problems. The stipulated settlement included surrender of his dental license.
A malpractice suit by Lukic has been settled with payment of an undisclosed sum, but several other patients are suing Shen and Young for removing teeth unnecessarily and mutilating them with “NICO” surgery.
Attorney General of the State of California
SUSAN FITZGERALD, State Bar No. 112278
Deputy Attorney General
California Department of Justice
P.O. Box 85266
San Diego, CA 92186-5266
Telephone: (619) 645-2066
Facsimile: (619) 645-2061
Attorneys for Complainant
DENTAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
|In the Matter of the First Amended Accusation Against:
JAMES SHEN, DDS
|Case No. DBC 02-2005-2168
1. Robert Hedrick, Executive Officer of the Dental Board of California (Complainant) brings this Accusation solely in his official capacity.
LICENSE HISTORY RE JAMES SHEN, DDS
2. On or about August 1, 1983, the Dental Board of California issued Dental Certificate Number 31978 to James Shen (Shen). The Dental Certificate was in full force and effect at all times relevant to the charges brought herein and will expire on December 31, 2007, unless renewed.
3. Accusation No. DBC 2004-105, a separate case, is currently pending against Respondent.
4. This Accusation is brought before the Dental Board of California (Board), Department of Consumer Affairs, under the authority of the following laws. All section references are to the Business and Professions Code unless otherwise indicated:
A. Section 1601.2 provides that the highest priority of the Dental Board is to protect the public. Wherever that priority conflicts with other interests sought to be promoted, public protection is paramount.
B. Section 1670 states: “Any licentiate may have his license revoked or suspended or be reprimanded or be placed on probation by the board for unprofessional conduct, or incompetence, or gross negligence, or repeated acts of negligence in his or her profession, or for the issuance of a license by mistake, or for any other cause applicable to the licentiate provided in this chapter. The proceedings under this article shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the board shall have all the powers granted therein.”
C. Section 1680 states in pertinent part: “Unprofessional conduct by a person licensed under this chapter [Chapter 4 (commencing with section 1600)] is defined as, but is not limited to, the violation of any one of the following: “. . . . “(n) The violation of any of the provision of this division. “. . . . “(p) The clearly excessive prescribing or administering of drugs or treatment, or the clearly excessive use of diagnostic procedures, or the clearly excessive use of diagnostic or treatment facilities, as determined by the customary practice and standards of the dental profession. . . . “. . . .”
D. Section 1684 states: “In addition to other acts constituting unprofessional conduct under this chapter, it is unprofessional conduct for a person licensed under this chapter to perform, or hold himself or herself out as able to perform, professional services beyond the scope of his or her license and filed or fields of competence as established by his or her education, experience, training, or any combination thereof. . . .”
E. Section 125.3 of the Code provides, in pertinent part, that the Board may request the administrative law judge to direct a licentiate found to have committed a violation or violations of the licensing act to pay a sum not to exceed the reasonable costs of the investigation and enforcement of the case.
CHARGES AND ALLEGATIONS
4. On or about May 2, 2006, Board investigator P. M., presented himself to Respondent Shen as a patient, complaining of tooth pain and with sensitivity on the right side lower arch, sometimes sharp pain and other times dull pain. He filled out an extensive questionnaire provided by Respondent that included questions related to pain in other parts of the body than his mouth, head, and jaw.
5. Respondent examined P.M. by taking one Panorex dental x-ray, using an intraoral camera to take pictures, and visually looking in the patient’s mouth with a dental mirror. Respondent did not use any other instruments to explore the mouth and teeth except the mirror. Respondent pressed with his fingers on P.M.’s teeth on the right lower side and placed a finger in each of P.M.’s ears and had P.M. open and close his mouth. Respondent pulled on P.M.’s arm first with P.M.’s mouth open and then again when it was shut.
6. Respondent neither conducted nor ordered any other testing of any kind by anyone.
7. Respondent asked P.M. about pain in various parts of his body outside the head and about fatigue.
8. Respondent noted a “scar” on the right lower wisdom tooth extraction site, which was the site where P.M. had complained of pain. Respondent said that the pain at that site could be treated either by opening up the gum and removing some bone or by injection of the scar with a local anesthetic to see if that would relieve the tooth pain. Respondent told P.M. that the injection could also help other pain in P.M.’s body such as his neck and back.
9. Respondent then told P.M. that Respondent would remove the mercury fillings and replace them with composite fillings. Respondent said that such removal could help with the headaches and back pain and that the metal in mouths causes electrical action between two different metals, such as the gold crowns and the fillings, and that that electrical action can kill the teeth.
10. Respondent told P.M. that the mercury needed to be removed now from his teeth for health reasons but that he would leave the crowns alone for the time being. He explained how bad mercury is and discussed Mad Hatter disease.
11. P.M. asked about root canals and what was wrong with doing them. Respondent stated that it kills the tooth, the tooth then decays and toxins from the decay then go into and effect the system. Respondent then asked P.M. to observe how close the teeth are to the brain.
12. While Respondent showed P.M. the intra-oral camera photos of his mouth, P.M. asked Respondent if Respondent was saying that he (P.M.) had mercury poisoning. Respondent answered “Yes.” P.M. then asked if taking out the amalgam fillings would make him feel better. Respondent answered “Yes.”
13. Respondent stated that P.M. would also receive IV vitamin-C therapy concurrent to the removal of the amalgams and post-treatment.
14. P.M. stated that he could not believe he had just come in for tooth pain and has mercury poisoning. Respondent again said, “Yes.”
15. Respondent proposed to inject the scar site with local anesthetic on the third treatment visit to see if it would help with the mouth pain.
16. Respondent did not refer the patient to a medical doctor for any evaluation and/or testing for mercury poisoning.
17. In fact, P.M. requires no restorative work of any kind. His existing silver amalgam fillings are intact and doing well, as are his crowns. He has no caries nor any significant periodontal problems. He has only some asymptomatic clicking and popping in the left TMJ area.
18. On or about May 16, 2006, P.M. returned to Respondent Shen’s office. Respondent again stated that P.M. had mercury everywhere; that he had mercury poisoning; and that he would think and feel better after the proposed treatment to remove the amalgam fillings and the adjunctive therapies.
First Cause for Discipline -James Shen
(Unprofessional Conduct: Gross Negligence)
19. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1670 for gross negligence or incompetence based on the his treatment and proposed treatment of P.M. as more particularly alleged above in paragraphs 4 through 18 and incorporated herein by reference and as more particularly alleged below:
A. Shen failed to adequately diagnose and evaluate the patient’s condition by failing, among other things, to take at least bite wing x-rays, examine each tooth and restoration using probes and explorers, and make periodontal findings;
B. There was no dental indication or necessity for extraction of any of the patient’s teeth;
C. Shen failed to refer the patient to a physician for evaluation of the alleged mercury poisoning;
D. Shen clearly excessively prescribed unnecessary and excessive treatment of this patient.
Second Cause for Discipline – James Shen
(Unprofessional Conduct: Excessive Prescribing of Treatment)
20. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1680 (p) for unprofessional conduct in that he clearly excessively prescribed treatment for this patient, as more particularly alleged above and incorporated herein by reference.
Third Cause for Discipline – James Shen
(Unprofessional Conduct: Practicing Outside Scope of License)
21. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1684 for unprofessional conduct in that his diagnosing of mercury poisoning and prescribed treatment for P.M. because of alleged mercury poisoning, as more particularly alleged above and incorporated herein by reference, constitutes the practice of medicine that is outside Shen’s scope of practice under his dental license.
WHEREFORE, Complainant requests that a hearing be held on the matters herein alleged, and that following the hearing, the Dental Board of California issue a decision:
1. Revoking or suspending Dental Certificate Number 31978, issued to James Shen;
2. Ordering James Shen to pay the Dental Board of California the reasonable costs of the investigation and enforcement of this case, pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 125.3;
3. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper.
DATED: June 21, 2006.
Dental Board of California
Department of Consumer Affairs
State of California Complainant