Dentist loses license following patient’s death

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A dentist who continued to do tooth extractions and implants after the dental board in Arizona barred him from doing them due to a patient dying after dental surgery has agreed to stop practicing, according to a story published on January 26 on ABC15.

The Arizona Board of Dental Examiners accepted a settlement offer in which Dr. Sergio Gomes De Souza agreed to have his license suspended for two years.

De Souza, who was scheduled to have a license revocation hearing in February, must have approval from the dental board before his license can be reinstated. If De Souza had moved forward with the scheduled hearing and had his license revoked, he would have had to wait five years to apply to have his license reinstated, according to the story.

In 2023, the board signed a disciplinary order against De Souza, of North Canyon Dentistry in Glendale, prohibiting him from administering anesthesia for at least one year after one of his patients died after receiving anesthesia for a dental procedure.

The board found that De Souza did not understand the severity of the patient’s cardiac failure, should have avoided administering five medications to sedate the patient, and should have sent the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon or used a third-party anesthesia provider that included heart monitoring. The board also banned him from extracting teeth and placing implants for six months and required him to take several hours of continuing education, according to the story.

Within months of the board’s disciplinary order, the board received a complaint that De Souza was continuing to perform extractions and implants. When De Souza appeared before the board in October 2023, he admitted to doing at least five prohibited procedures.

During this same proceeding, De Souza admitted that one of his patients, who he wasn’t supposed to be treating, swallowed a dental implant driver. The dentist informed the board that this patient seemed fine after the procedure. De Souza said he followed up with the patient and asked him to get an x-ray, according to the story.

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