Regulatory Actions against
Ralph A. Landerman, D.D.S.
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
In 1986, the California Board of Dental Examiners suspended the license of Ralph Landerman, D.D.S. after concluding that he had mistreated two patients. The accusation (shown below) describes how he used a Dermatron to diagnose "energy" problems with many of their teeth that he purported to treat with homeopathic injections followed by extraction of the teeth. (The Dermatron is a quack device claimed to identify diseased organs by detecting imbalances of electromagnetic energy flow throughout the body.) The board concluded that removal of the teeth—11 from one patient and 3 from the other—was unnecessary, caused the patients to become "dental cripples," and constituted "gross ignorance and/or inefficiency and also demonstrates incompetence and/or gross negligence."The case was settled with a stipulated order under which Landerman's dental license was suspended for five months and he was placed on five years' probation during which he was required to (a) take remedial education courses, (b) arrange for monitoring when he resumed practice, and (c) refrain from further use of the Dermatron device.
In 1992, the board revoked Landerman's probation after concluding that he had violated its terms by failing to engage a practice monitor. His applications for reinstatement were denied in 1993 and 1999, but in 2000 he was permitted to resume practice with probationary terms. His probation was ended in 2005, but in 2009, a former employee reported that Landerman had suffered a stroke and was practicing erratically. In 2011, after concluding that Landerman could no longer practice safely, the board revoked his license.
JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP, Attorney General
of the state of California
RUSSELL W. LEE
Deputy Attorney General
6000 State Building
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, California 94102
Telephone: (415) 557-2025
Attorneys for Complainant
BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
In the Matter of the Accusation Against:
RALPH ANDREW LANDERMAN, D.D.S.
NO. AGN 1985-12
GEORGETTA COLEMAN, as causes for disciplinary action against the above named and captioned respondent, charges against and alleges as follows:
1. She is the Executive Officer of the Board of Dental Examiners of the State of California (hereinafter referred to as the "board") and makes and files this accusation solely in her official capacity.
2. On or about March 18, 1968, Ralph Andrew Landerman, D.D.S. (hereinafter referred to as "respondent") was issued certificate number 19761 by the board to practice dentistry in the state of California. Said certificate is currently, and was at all times mentioned herein, in full and force and effect.
3. Prior to January 1, 1980, section 1670 of the Business and Professions Code (hereinafter referred to as the "code") provided that any dentist may have his license revoked or suspended or be reprimanded or be placed on probation by the board for unprofessional conduct and any licentiate under the Dental Practice Act (code §§ 1600-1820) may have his license revoked or suspended or be reprimanded or placed on probation for gross ignorance, or inefficiency in his profession, or for any other cause applicable to the licentiate provided in the Dental Practice Act.1
4. Effective January 1, 1980, section 1670 of the code provided and now provides, in pertinent part, that 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.
1. Section 1670 has been amended, effective January 1, 1980, to delete the terms "gross ignorance or inefficiency" and it now reads, in pertinent part, as follows: " . . . incompetence, or gross negligence, or repeated acts of negligence in his or her profession . . . " (Stats. 1979, ch, 1007, § 2.) This change was also chaptered with the notation that:
"Notwithstanding the amendments of section 1670 of the Business and Professions Code by this act, any acts or omissions which would constitute gross ignorance or inefficiency occurring prior to the effective date of this act shall continue to constitute cause for action under the provisions of the Dental Practice Act as written and interpreted at the time the acts or omissions occurred." (Stats. 1979, ch. 1007, § 9.)
5. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 1670 of the code in that respondent has demonstrated gross ignorance and/or inefficiency and has also demonstrated incompetence and/or gross negligence in his treatment of one Patient B.A.Y. as more particularly alleged hereinafter.
A. On or about October 12, 1976, Patient B.A.Y. (hereinafter "Patient Y"), a 35 year old female, went to respondent's office to obtain dental treatment for a toothache. Respondent took 2 periapical x-rays of tooth number 29 and thereafter performed an apicoectomy procedure for an apical abcess on said tooth. Thereafter, Patient Y returned to respondent for several more appointments over the next several years as a dental patient. Said appointments include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) On or about January 4, 1977, respondent took four bite wing and 7 periapical x-rays on Patient Y as part of an oral examination and also had the dental hygienist clean Patient Y's teeth. No endodontic, periodontal or other pathology was detected and Ybarra was given a 6-month recall appointment for July 1977.
(2) On February 14, 1977, respondent performed a distal filling on tooth number 11 and on March 17, 1978 respondent treated a fracture of the lingual cusp of tooth number 20 on Patient Y.
(3) On November 27, 1978, respondent performed crown preparations on teeth numbers 18 and 20 and also did a filling on tooth number 21. On December 21, 1978, respondent cemented said crowns.
(4) On February 6, 1979, respondent ,performed a filling on tooth #28 and on February 27, 1979, performed another filling on tooth number 11.
(5) On August 13, 1980, after about a year and one half from her last appointment, Y' returned to respondent for a general checkup. Y had no particular complaints about her mouth. Respondent did not perform a periodontal or endodontic examination nor did respondent take any x-rays, or examine for caries or other pathology. On this date and thereafter respondent began examining Patient Y using a machine or device called an "E.A.V. Dermatron" which involved the use of an electrode touched to various acupuncture points on the hands, feet " and face of Y for the purpose of determining certain energy measurements. On this date and thereafter, respondent advised Patient Y that abnormal energy readings indicated that Patient Y had intestinal, kidney, and liver problems and problems with other abdominal organs.
Respondent further indicated that the abnormal energy readings were due to negative influences caused by patient Y's teeth which interrupted the normal flow of energy through various energy meridians connecting the teeth with various abdominal organs. Respondent further used the E.A.V. Dermatron to determine whether the injection of various "homeopathic remedies" in liquid form would cure the abnormal energy readings and hence Patient Y's abdominal organ problems.
(6) On August 14, 1980, August 21, 1980, August 28, 1980, September 3, 1980, September 4, 1980 and September 11, 1980, respondent injected Patient Y with various homeopathic remedies and on occasions, gave Patient Y remedies to take home to self inject. Respondent continued taking energy measurements during this time with the E.A.V. Dermatron.
(7) On September 11, 1980, respondent also had the hygienist clean Patient Y's teeth and respondent took 4 bitewing and 4 periapical x-rays and performed an oral exam. Respondent determined that there were no endodontic or periodontal problems but that Patient Y may have had minor decay on teeth is 19, 29, and 31.
(8) On September 19, 1980, September 26, 1980, October 1, 1980, and on other occasions thereafter, respondent continued giving Patient Y homeopathic injections. At some point on or before March 6, 1981, respondent determined that the homeopathic injections were not effective.
(9) On March 6, 1981, Patient Y had no complaints about her mouth and had no periodontic or endodontic problems. Respondent determined, however, using energy measurements, that teeth is 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13, 14, 18, 20, 29, and 31 were "liabilities" to her health and advised Patient Y that said teeth had to be extracted. Respondent indicated in his records that said teeth either had "gangrenous pulps" or "chronic pulpitis".
(10) On March 13, 1981, respondent extracted the eleven teeth referenced above, trimmed alveolar bone , and resutured the gums. Respondent also took additional energy measurements.
(11) On March 20, 1981, respondent took additional energy measurements and on March 24, 1981, respondent administered additional homeopathic injections.
(12) On March 20, 1981, respondent performed a right side tuberosity and alveolar ridge reduction removing additional bone because respondent determined, from energy measurement, that there were still negative influences from that region of the mouth.
(13) During several more appointments between March 20, 1981 and December 22, 1981, respondent fabricated bridges and partial dentures for Patient Y and continued taking energy measurements and administering homeopathic remedies. Patient Y's abdominal problems did not improve.
B. The treatment of Patient Y by respondent demonstrates gross ignorance and/or inefficiency and also demonstrates incompetence and/or gross negligence in the following manner:
(1) Respondent extracted the eleven teeth referenced above in paragraph (5) (A) (9) on March 6, 1981 (hereinafter referred to as "the eleven teeth") without taking or having proper pre-operative x-rays.
(2) Respondent extracted the eleven teeth without performing any conventional periodontal examination to determine the periodontal health of said teeth.
(3) Respondent extracted the eleven teeth without performing conventional endodontic testing to determine their endodontic viability.
(4) Respondent incorrectly and/or fraudulently diagnosed said eleven teeth as having "gangrenous pulps" or "acute pulpitisn without performing the endodontic testing referenced above.
(5) Having made the diagnosis of "gangrenous pulps" or "acute pulpitis" for said eleven teeth, respondent thereafter failed to inform or advise Patient Y of the option of having root canals or other less drastic treatments performed bn said teeth either by respondent or by an referral to an endodontist, but instead extracted said teeth.
(6) Respondent extracted the eleven teeth, which were in fact endodontically and periodontically functional and healthy, or otherwise easily restorable, without any recognized dental justification.
(7) Respondent used a device called an EAV Dermatron on Patient Y for the purposes of diagnosing what respondent felt were liver, kidney, intestinal or other 'abdominal organ disorders in Patient Y such treatment is beyond the scope of the practice of dentistry.
(8) Respondent Further used the EAV Dermatron in conjunction with the injections into Ybarra of numerous different substances called "remedies" over numerous appointments in an attempt to cure Patient Y 's abdominal disorders as diagnosed by respondent. Such treatment is beyond the scope of the practice of dentistry.
(9) Respondent extracted the eleven teeth, with disregard for their otherwise healthy, functional, or easily restorable status, in an attempt to cure Patient Y's abdominal disorders as previously diagnosed by respondent. Said conduct is beyond the scope of the practice of dentistry and is, in fact, in direct contravention to the purpose and practice of dentistry.
(10) Respondent failed to refer Patient Y to a physician or other health practitioner for the proper diagnosis and treatment of the abdominal disorders suspected by respondent. (ll) Respondent's extraction of the eleven teeth has left Patient Y functionally and and esthetically a dental cripple, with continuing
6. Respondent is further subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 1670 of the code in that respondent has demonstrated gross ignorance and/or inefficiency and has also demonstrated incompetence and/or gross negligence in his treatment of one Patient P.E. as more particularly alleged hereinafter.
A. On or about September 4, 1981, Patient P.E. (hereinafter "Patient E"), a 35 year old female, went to respondent's office to obtain dental treatment. E: had been referred to respondent by a friend and colleague of respondent, one Dr. Craig Foster. Dr. Foster had previously treated E, with injections of homeopathic remedies for various systemic disorders but was not successful. Patient E brought with her to her appointment with respondent a set of x-rays taken by her general dentist, one Dr. Ronald Asti. Respondent treated E as a patient during this appointment and subsequent appointments as hereinafter set forth:
(1) During said September 4, 1981 appointment, respondent took energy readings with the E.A.V. Dermatron and another device called a Potentiometer, took a medical history, and performed an oral examination.
(2) With respect to the oral examination on September 4, 1981, respondent determined that tissues were acceptable, that there were no gross lesions, that restorations present were of acceptable quality, that the periodontal condition was acceptable with no notable mobility or pockets, and that root canals on teeth numbers 3 and 19 both had silver points in the root canals as part of the filling material.
(3} With respect to the E.A.V. Dermatron/Potentiometer measurements, on September 4, 1981, respondent advised Patient E that the silver points in teeth numbers 3 (upper right first molar) and 19 (lower left first molar) were negative influences causing her problems with her digestive tract, particularly her intestine, stomach, and tonsils and advised Patient E that the two teeth had to be extracted. Respondent also advised E that all of her amalgam fillings had to be removed as she was allergic to the amalgam. Patient E expressed concerned and wanted to know whether the silver points could be replaced with a different type of material as an alternative to having the teeth extracted. Respondent maintained that the teeth had to be extracted. Respondent gave Patient E various homeopathic remedies for her to take home and self inject and gave Patient E an appointment to return on October 8, 1981.
(4) On October 8, 1981, respondent saw Patient E and extracted teeth numbers 3 and 19.
(5) On October 9, 1981, respondent noted that Patient E was doing "OK" but that her symptoms were not improved.
(6) On October 20, 1981, respondent noted that Patient E had been using a cortisone lotion and that her energy measurements indicated a poor prognosis.
(7) On November 20, 1981, respondent removed all amalgams in teeth is 27, 29, and 3l and replaced the amalgam with a temporary filling material called translit which contains oystershell. Respondent also advised E that he could not fabricate bridges to replace the extracted teeth because there existed no material with which to construct the bridges that Patient E could tolerate.
B. The treatment of by respondent demonstrates gross ignorance and/or inefficiency and also demonstrates incompetence and/or gross negligence in the following manner:
(1) Respondent extracted teeth is 3 and 19 without doing any conventional endodontic and/or periodontic and/or radiographic examination to determine whether extraction was warranted.
(2) Respondent extracted said teeth without considering or performing endodontic therapy to replace the silver points with a different filling material pursuant to his diagnosis that the silver points were responsible for negative influences in Patient E 's gastro-intestinal organs, and/or without referring to an endodontist or oral surgeon for consultation.
(3) Respondent extracted said teeth without advising Patient E of the option of having the root canals redone with a different material.
(4) Respondent extracted said teeth because he felt the silver points were causing E gastrointestinal problems. In truth and in fact, tooth number 3 did not contain silver points as diagnosed by respondent.
(5) Respondent extracted said teeth, which were in fact endodontically and periodontically functional and healthy, or otherwise easily restorable, without any recognized dental justification.
(6) Respondent used devices called an E.A.V. Dermatron and a Potentiometer on Patient E, for the purposes of diagnosing what respondent felt were gastrointestinal disorders. Such treatment is beyond the scope of the practice of dentistry.
(7) Respondent further used the E.A.V. Dermatron/Potentiometer in conjunction with the injections into Patient E of numerous different substances called "remedies" in an attempt to cure Patient E of gastro-intestinal disorders as diagnosed by respondent. Such treatment is beyond the scope of the practice of dentistry.
(8) Respondent extracted the said teeth, with disregard for their otherwise healthy, functional, or easily restorable status, in an attempt to cure gastrointestinal disorders as previously diagnosed by respondent. Said conduct is beyond the scope o£ the practice of dentistry and is, in fact, in direct contravention to the purpose and practice of dentistry.
(9) Respondent failed to refer Patient E to a physician or other health practitioner for the proper diagnosis of and treatment of the gastrointestinal disorders suspected by respondent.
(10) Respondent further failed to advise Patient E prior to the extractions that he might not be able to fabricate suitable bridges to replace the extracted teeth.
(11) Respondent's extraction of said teeth has left Patient E functionally and esthetically a dental cripple, with continuing gastrointestinal disorders.
(12) Respondent, using the E.A.V. Dermatron and Potentiometer, determined that Patient E was allergic to amalgam and recommended removal and replacement of all amalgam fillings. Said conduct is beyond the scope of the practice of dentistry.
(13) Respondent failed to refer Patient E for allergy testing by a physician or other qualified specialist.
(14) Respondent, in fact, removed and replaced amalgam fillings in teeth is 27, 29, and 31, without any recognized dental justification.
(15) Respondent replaced said amalgam in teeth is 27, 29, and 3l, with a temporary filling material called translit, which is not acceptable.
(16) Respondent failed to utilize a complete medical history in conjunction with (and failed to perform) a complete and adequate dental examination including endodontic testing, periodontal examination, and x-rays but instead relied almost exclusively on one diagnostic modality—the EAV Dermatron/Potentiometer. Said conduct is in total contravention to the purpose and practice of dentistry.
WHEREFORE, complainant prays that a hearing be held on the matters alleged hereinabove, and that following said hearing the board issue a decision:
1. Revoking or suspending license number 19761 heretofore issued to Ralph Andrew Landerman, D.D.S., by the board; and
2. Taking such other and further action as the board may deem proper.
Board of Dental Examiners
State of California
This page was posted on August 13, 2013.