British Columbia

B.C. dentist barred from practising now being sued by 35 former patients

Former B.C. dentist Steven Krieger is being sued by 35 former patients, according to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

Former B.C. dentist Steven Krieger admitted to performing sub-standard fillings and crowns

Steven Krieger declined an interview when confronted by CBC News in October 2016. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

Former B.C. dentist Steven Krieger is being sued by 35 former patients, according to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

Vancouver lawyer Dianna Robertson said her clients all experienced pain and complications after receiving dental treatment from Krieger at the Clover Care Dental Clinic in Surrey.

Some alleged he drilled too deeply into their gums and performed fillings they didn't need.

Two women claimed his alleged mistakes led to "excruciating" pain and "dead" teeth.

Barred for one year

In January 2017, Krieger voluntarily withdrew his registration as a dentist on the heels of a Go Public investigation.

He has now been fined $10,000 and barred from practicing for one year after an investigation by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. 

In a consent order agreement published on Tuesday, Krieger admitted to performing sub-standard fillings, crowns and a root canal.

He also admitted he charged patients for "complicated" extractions, when they only needed a simple removal, and acknowledges that some of his actions amount to professional misconduct.

Robertson said that while her and her clients are "pleased" with the CDSBC's decision, the college's decision is completely separate from the lawsuit being brought by the former patients.

She said that while Krieger's acknowledgement of his professional misconduct could help her clients' case overall, dental negligence will still be needed to be proven in each of the 35 cases.

Conditions set

Robertson said its rare that dentists return to work after undergoing such serious disciplinary action, but it is possible Krieger could practice again.

If he wants to return to work after his year-long suspension, he'll be required to complete a multi-step remediation program and undergo an examination process.

If, or when, Krieger returns to work, he'll be under several limitations, including:

  • Treating no more than five patients a day.
  • Subjecting his practice to monitoring, random checks and reviews by the college.
  • Posting a sign in his office notifying patients he is being monitored.

Jerome Marburg, the registrar and CEO of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia, told CBC News its sole mandate is to serve and protect the public.

"An important aspect of that mandate is to investigate and resolve complaints about dentists. Removal from practice is the most serious remedy available to us under the Health Professions Act. We are satisfied that the resolution of this case protects the public," he said.

With files from Erica Johnson and Rhianna Schmunk