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Dozens of Oklahoma Dental Patients Possibly Infected With HIV at Dirty Dentist’s Office

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Dozens of dental patients in Tulsa, Oklahoma are being tested for HIV after potentially being exposed at W. Scott Harrington's dental office. Just three hours after its doors opened this morning, a line of patients waited outside at the Tulsa Health Department to be checked for possible HIV contamination after the dentist's office was found to have seriously unsanitary conditions through a recent investigation.

Nearly 7,000 patients were potentially contaminated and the Tulsa Health Department is doing all it can to make sure the patients know their health status. With plans to be open for four hours today, the health department has plans to be open 10 hours Monday through Friday of next week, but said it will not close until it has gotten through all of Harrington's patients treated within the past six years.

Harrington surrendered his dental license earlier this month after investigators found sterilization and staffing infractions at his office. The dentistry board launched an investigation after one of Harrington's patients came down with Hepatitis C. Unfortunately, dental investigations are not routine in Oklahoma and are only launched after a complaint is lodged. The horror stories originating from Harrington's dental office are enough to make anyone cringe, even those patients who don't already fear the dentist's chair.

Investigators say that they found expired medications in Harrington's medicine cabinets at the office, that staffers untrained to perform IV insertions were allowed to do so, and unsanitary dental equipment. Harrington also had an unusually high number of patients infected with HIV and Hepatitis, putting his other patients at greater risk when using the unsanitized dental equipment.