Florida Man Posed as Dentist, Performed Unlicensed Dental Procedures Without Anesthesia

Dental instruments and tools in a dentists officeA 53-year-old Florida man is now facing charges after practicing dentistry without a proper license. Procedures performed include tooth extraction without anesthesia and handmade dentures for patients who couldn’t afford specialized dental care.

It’s not uncommon for people to have their wisdom teeth extracted, as there’s only room in the mouth for 28 teeth, but pulling any teeth without anesthesia and without a dental license is dangerous and illegal. Robert Rheinlander claimed he owned a dental practice in South Carolina before moving to Florida, but the fact remains that he was practicing without a license.

Rheinlander was arrested after an undercover detective met him under the pretense of needing dental work done. Reports of botched extractions and homemade dentures led Rheinlander’s patients to research his practice, but when they found nothing, they called the authorities.

James and Rachel Potter reported Rheinlander after paying for dental procedures that later resulted in infection and a set of broken dentures. They explained that even after reaching out to Rheinlander about the pain, he told them he couldn’t get the necessary medication.

Another patient reported having 10 teeth pulled without any anesthesia. He told authorities that he paid approximately $1,800 less than what a licensed dentist would normally charge for such a procedure.

Upon further research, authorities discovered that Rheinlander was licensed as a dental technician from 2004 to 2006 in South Carolina. Additionally, reports claim that he used stolen numbing agents during his dental procedures and traded his services for painkillers in a few instances.

Both authorities and practicing dentists have expressed major concerns about Rheinlander’s activity. Alfredo Arauz, DMD, explained that performing extractions without the proper training and materials could lead to facial paralysis. He added that fake practices like Rheinlander’s can seriously hurt legitimate practices.

“To have someone doing this criminally is a concern, it puts people at risk, it gives dentistry a bad name,” Arauz said.

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