Colo. dental patient tests positive for hepatitis

A patient has tested positive for hepatitis C after being treated by a Colorado oral surgeon who allegedly reused needles and syringes.

The man, who remains anonymous, was tested after 8,000 patients received warning letters from Colorado's health department about oral surgeon Stephen Stein, DDS, according to a Denver Post story.

Dr. Stein is accused of reusing needles and syringes for days at a time on his patients druing the course of 12 years.

The man had been treated several times by Dr. Stein, including the extraction of a premolar in 2009, according to the story.

Dr. Stein's patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and/or hepatitis C if they received intravenous medications, including sedation, under Dr. Stein's care from September 1999 through June 2011, according to the health department. He had two practices -- one in Denver and one in Highlands Ranch.

The department received a report of unsafe injection practices, triggering an investigation that determined that syringes and needles used to inject medications through patients' IV lines were saved and used again to inject medications through other patients' IV lines.

Stein Oral and Facial Surgery is closed, the department noted, and Dr. Stein agreed to stop practicing in June 2011.

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