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Dentists accused of mutilation

Some practitioners in Paris have allegedly been taking nerves out of healthy teeth to fit unnecessary bridges and crowns

DENTISTS practising in a group of Parisian health centres are accused of damaging healthy teeth so they can charge high fees for crowns and bridges.

Health sector union CFDT Santé has raised the alarm over alleged practices by some of the dentists of Cosem, a non-profit-making body which has 375 health professionals in three centres, including 80 dentists.

Le Parisien said CFDT representative Jean-Paul Boidard claims a handful of them have been “devitalising” teeth (taking out the nerves, which leaves them more fragile) “so as to fit multiple ceramic dental prostheses, when the patients’ state of dental health did not require it”.

He claims the patients involved were usually on the CMU-C, a comprehensive healthcare cover for people on low incomes that has good reimbursement for bridges and crowns. Le Parisien said this was backed up by anonymous witnesses it contacted.

The president of the dentists’ professional body for the Paris area, Pierre-Charles Lansade, said if proved, this would amount to dentists “mutilating” teeth.
Investigations are reportedly being done by the local state health insurance body and by the regional health agency.

Le Parisien states that two dentists are especially concerned, including one who is in the habit of telling patients he will give them “movie star teeth without them having to pay anything”, said a dental assistant who spoke to the paper anonymously.

The dentist is said to have racked up a quarter of the turnover of his centre in one recent month, in which fitting prosthetics represented 95% of his work.

At another centre, some dentists are said to have emailed management to flag up “dubious” behaviour of a colleague, said to “practice abusive pricing out of all proportion, almost systematically”.

Cosem’s lawyer Patrick Atlan said “continual checks” were carried out and that the allegations were lies.

Photo: Sandor Kacso -

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