Dentist says patient, employee allegations are "social media character assassination"

A Washington dentist says he's the victim of a "social media character assassination campaign" by ex-employees, while former employees and patients claim the dentist violated privacy laws, disparaged patients and employees, and failed to follow regulations, The Daily News reports.

Both ex-patients and ex-employees say they are attempting to file a class-action lawsuit against Sam Wise, DDS, who bought Longview, Wash.-based Lower Columbia Oral Health last August.

The dentist is currently the focus of six investigations, Sharon Moysiuk, a Washington Department of Health spokesperson, told The Daily News Jan. 10.

Many criticisms against the dentist were posted on social media, which Dr. Wise told The Daily News are either false or from those who don't understand medicine as well as he does.

"Hundreds of patients are very satisfied," Dr. Wise told The Daily News, adding that the criticism is from "five or six deplorable, desperate employees that were fired." Dr. Wise said he has fired about 10 employees, for disloyalty, dishonesty or lack of knowledge.

One ex-patient, Jackie Baker, told The Daily News that Dr. Wise said she had "a horse face" and would need "extensive surgery" if she wanted to be pretty. Dr. Wise said he had told Ms. Baker he could fix a "horse smile" with a procedure that had both cosmetic and medical value.

Ms. Baker then had laser cavity fillings and said Dr. Wise removed a millimeter of her gum line without her permission. The dentist said he told her what he was doing during the procedure. Ms. Baker's version of events are backed by Tiffani Dschaak, a former dental assistant.

Ms. Dschaak said Dr. Wise violated patient privacy laws and, when she confronted him about it, told her, "I'm above the law." Dr. Wise denied violating privacy laws.

Austin Covington, former clinic director, who said he is gay, also claimed the dentist made homophobic slurs at him. Dr. Wise said he was harassed by Mr. Covington and plans to take Mr. Covington and his husband to court.

Read more here.

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