"Biological Dentists" Charged with
Unprofessional Conduct in California

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


Imn 2p05, two dentists who practiced "biological dentistry" in Huntington Beach, California, were accused of serious unprofessional unprofessional misconduct.

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. In 2007, rather than contesting the charges, Shen surrendered his dental license. Young died in 2006.

BILL LOCKYER,
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

BEFORE THE
DENTAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA

In the Matter of the First Amended Accusation Against:

JAMES SHEN, DDS
18751 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Dental Certificate No. 31978

and

RILY YOUNG, DDS
18751 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Dental Certificate No. 31148

Respondents

 

Case No. DBC 2004-105

ACCUSATION

 


Case No. DBC 2005-106

ACCUSATION

 

Complainant alleges:

PARTIES

1. Georgetta Coleman-Griffith (Complainant) brings these combined Accusations solely in her official capacity as the Interim Executive Officer of the Dental Board of California, Department of Consumer Affairs.

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, 2005, unless renewed.

LICENSE HISTORY RE RILY YOUNG, DDS

3. On or about December 5, 1983, the Dental Board of California issued Dental Certificate Number 31148 to Rily Young (Young). The Dental Certificate was in full force and effect at all times relevant to the charges brought herein. It has been in “inactive” status since February 16, 2005 and will expire on October 31, 2005, unless renewed.

JURISDICTION

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:

“(a) The obtaining of any fee by fraud or misrepresentation. “. . .

“(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. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of any instrument or device in a manner that is not in accordance with the customary

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

5. James Shen and Rily Young are husband and wife. At all times relevant herein, they practiced at 18751 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA.

6. From on or about December 21, 1999 into June, 2001, Mirjana Lukic was a patient of Respondents at their dental practice at 18751 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA.

7. In December, 1999, Ms. Lukic was 47 years old and complained of 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. She had a past history of hypothyroidism and ear infection.

8. At the time she first went to Respondents, the only teeth of this patient with dental pathology were as follows: #3-distal decay, #30-buccal caries, #31-fractured mesial marginal ridge; #23-29-minimal gingival recissions.

9. Respondents conducted basal body temperature recordings to assess the patient’s thyroid function.

10. On or about January 10, 2000, Young operated on the patient and surgically removed teeth 11, 12, 14, 18, 20 and 21; did an open bone biopsy of the maxillary left quadrant from teeth 11-16, and a mandibular left quadrant open bone biopsy from teeth 17-21.

11. Young’s rationale for the above surgery included pulpal necrosis (dead teeth), rarifying osteitis, regional osteosclerosis or fibrosing osteomyelitis, neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis, subpontic osteonecrosis, and one RCT.

12. On or about February 7, 2000, Shen surgically removed teeth 2, 3, 4, 5, 29, 30, and 31; did an open bone biopsy of the maxillary right quadrant from teeth 1-5; and an open bone biopsy of the mandibular right quadrant from teeth 29-32.

13. Shen’s rationale for the above surgery included regional osteoporosis, atrophic and calcific pulpitis, bone marrow edema, ischemic osteonecrosis, cavitation osteopathosis, periodontitis, atrophic pulpitis, RCT with rarifying osteitis, chronic periodontitis and foreign body (dental amalgam) reaction.

14. During each of the above surgeries, Respondents’ removed not only teeth but supporting bone. As a result of the extractions and bone removal (decortication), Respondents created a state of serious ridge atrophy in the upper and lower quadrants of the patient’s mouth, making prosthetic reconstruction and treatment difficult.

15. The patient continued to have a lot of pain in June, 2000. Various follow-ups occurred throughout the remainder of 2000 and into March, 2001.

16. Before the surgeries on Ms. Lukic in January and February, 2000, each of Respondents, respectively, failed to adequately diagnose and evaluate the patient. There was no pulpal testing or culture and sensitivity testing, no periodontal and restorative evaluations, bone scans, CT scans, plain film radiographs, blood tests, etc. In short, there were none of the diagnostic testing normally performed to assess the conditions asserted by each Respondent to warrant the surgeries.

17. Neither Respondent recommended standard or conventional treatment alternatives to the patient as an alternative to the extensive extractions and supporting bone removal.

18. Neither Respondent suggested that the patient consult a physician for a medical evaluation and work-up with regard to her complaints of headache, neck, back and shoulder pain.

19. On or about June 11, 2001, Ms. Lukic complained to at least Respondent Young of bilateral temporal headaches, vertex pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and lower back pain all the time. The examination notes indicate that the patient had active abdominal surgical scars from plastic surgery. Young administered “neural therapy” to the patient by injecting one of the abdominal scars with superficial and deep injections of 20 cc procaine.

20. On or about June 20, 2001, Young administered further “neural therapy” to the lower abdominal scars with a10 cc injection of procaine.

21. Respondents represent themselves as “Dental Physicians and Surgeons” and “Biological Dental Physicians and Surgeons,” and obtained fees related to Ms. Lukic’ treatment while so representing themselves. Neither Respondent is licensed by the Medical Board of California.

First Cause for Discipline -James Shen

(Unprofessional Conduct: Gross Negligence)

22. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1670 for gross negligence based on the his treatment of Ms. Lukic as outlined above in paragraphs 5-9 and 12-18 and as more particularly alleged below:

A. Shen failed to adequately diagnose and evaluate the patient’s condition;
B. There was no dental indication or necessity for extraction of any of the patient’s teeth;
C. There was no dental indication or necessity for aggressive bone removal to treat bone infection;
D. Shen failed to recommend treatment alternatives to extraction;
E. Shen failed to refer the patient to a physician for evaluation of her pain complaints;
F. Shen’s treatment of this patient was clearly excessive.

Second Cause for Discipline - James Shen

(Unprofessional Conduct: Excessive Treatment)

23. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1680 (p) for unprofessional conduct in that he clearly excessively treated this patient, as more particularly alleged in paragraphs 5-9, 12-18, and 22(B) and (C) above.

Third Cause for Discipline - James Shen

(Unprofessional Conduct: Practicing Outside Scope of License)

24. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1684 for unprofessional conduct in that his treatment of Ms. Lukic for non-specific non-dental related pain by dental extraction and aggressive bone removal constitutes the practice of medicine, which is outside Shen’s scope of practice under his dental license.

Fourth Cause for Discipline - James Shen

(Unprofessional Conduct: Obtaining a Fee by Misrepresentation)

25. Respondent James Shen is subject to disciplinary action under section 1680(a) for unprofessional conduct in that he obtained fees in connection with his treatment of Ms. Lukic while misrepresenting himself as a “Dental Physician and Surgeon” and “Biological Dental Physician and Surgeon” when, in fact, he is not a physician and surgeon and not licensed by the California Medical Board, as more particularly alleged above.

Fifth Cause for Discipline - Rily Young

(Unprofessional Conduct: Gross Negligence)

26. Respondent Rily Young is subject to disciplinary action under section 1670 for gross negligence based on the her treatment of Ms. Lukic as outlined above in paragraphs 5-11 and 14-20, and as more particularly alleged below:

A. Young failed to adequately diagnose and evaluate the patient’s condition;
B. There was no dental indication or necessity for extraction of any of the patient’s teeth;
C. There was no dental indication or necessity for aggressive bone removal to treat bone infection;
D. Young failed to recommend treatment alternatives to extraction;
E. Young failed to refer the patient to a physician for evaluation of her pain complaints;
F. Young’s treatment of this patient was clearly excessive;
G. Young’s injections of procaine into the patient’s abdominal plastic surgery scars.

Sixth Cause for Discipline - Rily Young

(Unprofessional Conduct: Excessive Treatment)

27. Respondent Rily Young is subject to disciplinary action under section 1680 (p) for unprofessional conduct in that she clearly excessively treated this patient, as more particularly alleged in paragraphs 5-11, 14-20, and 26(B) and (C) above.

Seventh Cause for Discipline - Rily Young

(Unprofessional Conduct: Practicing Beyond the Scope of License)

28. Respondent Rily Young is subject to disciplinary action under section 1684 for unprofessional conduct, as more particularly alleged below:

A. Young’s treatment of Ms. Lukic for non-specific non-dental related pain by dental extraction and aggressive bone removal constitutes the practice of medicine, which is outside Young’s scope of practice under her dental license.

B. Young’s injections of procaine into Ms. Lukic’s abdominal scars in June, 2001 constitutes the practice of medicine, which is outside Young’s scope of practice under her dental license.  

Eighth Cause for Discipline - Rily Young

(Unprofessional Conduct: Obtaining a Fee by Misrepresentation)

29. Respondent Rily Young is subject to disciplinary action under section 1680(a) for unprofessional conduct in that she obtained fees in connection with her treatment of Ms. Lukic while misrepresenting herself as a “Dental Physician and Surgeon” and “Biological Dental Physician and Surgeon” when, in fact, she is not a physician and surgeon and not licensed by the California Medical Board, as more particularly alleged above.

PRAYER

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. Revoking or suspending Dental Certificate Number 31148, issued to Rily Young;
  3. Ordering James Shen and Rily Young 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;
  4. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper.

DATED: May 31, 2005

_____________________________
GEORGETTA COLEMAN
Interim Executive Officer
Dental Board of California
Department of Consumer Affairs
State of California
Complainant

This article was revised on March 13, 2015.

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