Dentist charged with homicide after extracting 20 teeth from patient who dies


By Crime Feed

As anyone who has ever had a tooth pulled can tell you, it’s not a pleasant experience. One tooth is bad enough, but 20 teeth in one procedure?

It all began on February 17, 2014, when 64-year old Judith Gan was having work done by Dr. Rashmi Patel of Enfield, Connecticut. Gan had existing prior health issues, including heart problems, but having 20 teeth pulled and replaced with dental implants all in the same surgery would be trying even for a patient in top condition. During the lengthy procedure, Gan lost consciousness and began to gurgle. Her oxygen levels fell, and Patel’s assistants begged him to stop the procedure. Patel, however, chose to keep pulling teeth. One of the assistants ran to the phone and called 911, but it was too late to save the patient. Gan was taken to the Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts approximately 20 minutes away, where she was pronounced deceased.

Patel’s license was suspended on April 21 pending a commissioning hearing in June. While the dental commission did not choose to revoke his license, they did ban him permanently from performing conscious sedation, as well as placing him on five years of probation. Police detectives in Enfield continued their investigation. Patel was already being investigated for an incident just three months prior, when a 55-year-old patient began to choke on gauze used to protect the throat from debris. That patient was also taken to the Bay State Medical Center, where he spent six days in the hospital. In 2011, a jury found Patel guilty of malpractice in a reconstructive procedure, and awarded the patient $442,000. His lawyers appealed, and Patel and the patient settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

On Tuesday, exactly one year to the day after Gan’s death, Patel was charged with criminally negligent homicide and an arrest warrant was issued. Patel turned himself in to Enfield police that day, and posted $25,000 bond. He is due back in court on February 24.

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