Regulatory Action against
Wesley Shankland, D.D.S.
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
In August 2006, Wesley Earl Shankland, II, D.D.S., who operates the Central Ohio Center for Facial Pain in Columbus, Ohio, was notified that the Ohio State Dental Board was considering whether to discipline or suspend his license. The official notice (see below) expressed concern about his care of twelve patients. The document charged that he:
- Performed surgery without adequate preoperative diagnostic testing
- Removed teeth without proper diagnosis supporting such extraction
- Performed excessive and/or unnecessary operations
- Caused injuries that were responsible for loss of teeth
- Failed to do proper testing for infectious organisms
- Prescribed excessive amounts of narcotic and sedative drugs
In March 2007, Shankland signed an consent agreement that included: (a) suspension of his dental license for six months; (b) probation for five years; (c) taking of 300 hours of continuing dental education; (d) making his records available for review and monitoring; (e) a one-year restriction against prescribing opioid narcotics or other drugs that act on the central nervous system; and (f) no use of "alternative" dental or medical treatment without proper informed consent.
Shankland is a leading proponent of "neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis" ("NICO") and improperly advises that amalgam fillings and root-canal-treated teeth are problematic. The dental board's notice did not indicate whether any of its concerns were related to these nonstandard theories and practices. It is not clear whether the provision about "alternative" practices will make it more difficult to continue utilizing them.
OHIO STATE DENTAL BOARD
77 SOUTH HIGH STREET, 18TH FLOOR
COLUMBUS, OHIO 43215-6135
August 23, 2006
The Suitability of
NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY
In accordance with Chapter 119. and Chapter 4715. of the Ohio Revised Code, you are hereby notified that the Ohio State Dental Board intends to determine whether or not to warn, reprimand or otherwise discipline you or to suspend or revoke your license to practice dentistry in Ohio for one or more of the following reasons.
From approximately January 8, 1999 to May 31, 2001, you performed surgery(ies) on Patients #2, #8 through #12 without adequate preoperative diagnostic testing.
During your treatment of the following patients, you removed teeth without proper diagnosis supporting such extraction.
Teeth26 and 29
2,3,13,14 and 15
11 and 12
Approximate Dates of Treatment
During your treatment of the following patients, you performed excessive and/or unnecessary surgery(ies).
Approximate Dates of Treatment
03/29/00, 11/17/00 and 05/3/01
From approximately December 10, 1997 through January 15, 2003, you caused iatrogenic injuries that were ultimately responsible the loss of teeth 23, 23, 26 and 27 on Patient # 2.
On the following patients on approximately the dates indicated, you failed to consider alternative treatments.
Approximate Dates of Treatment
During your treatment of Patients # 8, 9, 10, 11 you failed to do culture and sensitivity testing for microorganisms.
On or about October 19, 1999. you failed to diagnose and treat a chronic infectious process in the area of tooth 8 on Patient # 11.
From approximately January 8, 1999 to May 31, 2001, you prescribed excessive amounts of opioids to Patients # 3 and 5.
From approximately January B, 1999 to May 31, 2001, you prescribed meperidine chronically to Patient # 7. This opioid is unequivocally contraindicated for chronic pain management.
From approximately January 8, 1999 to May 31, 2001, you prescribed to Patients # 1 through # 7 approximately 2-3 times the maximum daily dose of APAP (Acetaminophen) without any periodic liver function tests to assure they are not experiencing hepatotoxicity.
From approximately January 6, 1999 to May 31, 2001, for Patients # 1 through # 7, you failed to measure pain intensity and/or document your findings in order to assess benefits from opioids therapy.
From the dates of September 1999 to April 2002 you prescribed carisoprodol (Soma) in amounts that exceeded maximum recommended daily doses to Patient # 13.
From the dates of November 19, 1999 to January 31, 2001 you prescribed Ambien in amounts that exceeded maximum recommended daily doses to Patient # 2.
From approximately January 8, 1999 to May 31, 2001, you prescribed opioids chronically, without evidence of efforts to wean the patients' dosages or attempt alternative management of their condition for Patients # 1 through # 7.
Your conduct as alleged in counts one (1) through fourteen (14) above constitutes dental care that departs from the accepted standards. In accordance with Section 471S.30(A)(7) of the Ohio Revised Code:
The holder of a certificate or license issued under this chapter is subject to disciplinary action by the state dental board for any of the following reasons . . . (7) Providing or allowing dental hygienists or other practitioners of auxiliary dental occupations working under his supervision, or a dentist holding a temporary limited continuing education license under division (C) of section 4715.16 of the Revised Code working under his direct supervision, to provide dental care that departs from or fails to conform to accepted standards for the profession, whether or not injury to a patient results.
Additionally, with regard to counts 8-10 and 11-14, in accordance with Ohio Revised code §4715.30(A)(6) a licensee is subject to discipline for: "Selling, prescribing, giving away, or administering drugs for other than legal and legitimate therapeutic purposes, or conviction of violating any law of this state or the federal government regulating the possession, distribution, or use of any drug;"
Pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Ohio Revised Code, you are advised that you are entitled to a hearing on this matter. If you wish to request such a hearing, the request must be made in writing and must be received in the offices of the Ohio State Dental Board within thirty (30) days of the date of the mailing of this Notice.
You are further advised that you are entitled to appear at such hearing in person, or by your attorney, or you may present your position, arguments or contentions in writing, and that at the hearing you may present evidence and examine witnesses appearing for or against you.
In the event that there is no request for such hearing made within thirty (30) days of the date of the mailing of this Notice, the Ohio State Dental Board may, in your absence, and upon consideration of the foregoing charges, in its discretion, warn, reprimand or otherwise discipline you, or suspend or revoke your license.
BY THE ORDER OF THE OHIO STATE DENTAL BOARD
EDWARD R. HILLS, D.D.S.
I, Lili C. Reitz, Executive Director of the Ohio State Dental Board, hereby certify that the foregoing Notice of Opportunity for Hearing was mailed to Wesley G, Shankland, D.D.S. by Certified U.S. Mail, on August 24, 2006.
Lili C. Reitz
This page was revised on March 24, 2007.