Virginia dentist fined $5K for unsanitary conditions

A Virginia dentist who was the subject of a WTVR investigation after a whistleblower alleged unsanitary conditions has to pay $5,000 to the Virginia Board of Dentistry.

The state board found Richard Byrd, DDS, "failed to maintain a safe and sanitary practice" at Richard Byrd, DDS & Associates in Richmond, Va. Bacteria in office water samples exceeded EPA and CDC drinking water standards in 2017 and water sterilization results failed multiple times in 2018.

The board also said Dr. Byrd's practice provided care to two patients Aug. 26, 2017, using unsterilized handpieces. The dentist failed to immediately inform the patients of the infection control breach, according to the board. Dr. Byrd said it was an "isolated incident" and cited a low supply of handpieces.

Dr. Byrd also must take two continuing education classes related to infection control, risk management and record keeping.

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