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Dentist who rode hoverboard while extracting patient’s tooth on trial

By Dental Tribune International
January 02, 2020

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, U.S.: When it comes to things dentists can do to ease patient anxiety, riding a hoverboard or a self-balancing scooter while extracting a tooth is not very high on the list. However, this is exactly what an Alaska-based dentist is alleged to have done, as he faces a litany of charges in court.

In video footage from 2016 that was played in court and broadcast by Anchorage’s KTUU television station, Dr. Seth Lookhart appears to extract a tooth from the mouth of his patient, Veronica Wilhelm, while moving slightly back and forth on a hoverboard. According to court documents, Lookhart proceeded to send the video to at least eight people, joking in an accompanying message that his actions depicted “a new standard of care.”

Wilhelm testified in court that she was sedated at the time of the procedure and would not have consented to Lookhart’s behavior had she been awake. She was unaware of the incident or of the video’s existence, until investigators from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit contacted her.

Lookhart is also alleged to have engaged in a series of unethical and/or illegal behaviors before his license was suspended in 2017 by the Alaska Dental Board. He currently faces 43 charges including the theft of approximately $250,000 from business partners. He was paid $1.8 million by Medicaid for intravenous (IV) sedation procedures in 2016—more than three times the amount of the next highest IV sedation biller in Alaska—and is accused of fraudulent billing.

If convicted, Lookhart faces up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, and potential total restitution payments of up to $2,500,000 to those affected.

“I don’t have anything bad to say about taking out my tooth, I appreciate that,” Wilhelm told Lookhart in court, according to KTUU.

“I just think that what you did was outrageous, narcissistic you know, and crazy. I forgive you for all of that, but there’s obviously a high-priced lesson that you’re going to have to learn,” Wilhelm added.

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