British Columbia

Steven Krieger fined, practice suspended after patients claim 'excruciating' pain

Patients alleged Krieger drilled too deep into teeth and gave unnecessary fillings, causing 'excruciating' pain.

Patients alleged he drilled too deep into teeth, gave unnecessary fillings

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

A former B.C. dentist sued by a dozen patients has been fined and temporarily barred from practicing after an investigation by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. 

In a consent order agreement published Tuesday, Steven Krieger admitted to performing sub-standard fillings, crowns and a root canal. He also copped to charging patients for "complicated" extractions, when they only needed a simple removal.

The former dentist, who worked at the Clover Care Dental Clinic in Surrey, agreed that some of his actions amount to professional misconduct.

Lawsuits

Krieger was sued by at least 12 former patients last year. 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.

Krieger "voluntarily" withdrew registration as a dentist in January and was ordered not to practice pending a public hearing as the college conducted its investigation.

The CDSBC said the discipline hearing was cancelled when he admitted misconduct.

The college has fined Krieger $10,000 and banned him from performing any dentistry work for one year. If he wants to return to work after that, the college said he must 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.

'It was excruciating'

A Go Public investigation last fall revealed Krieger was being sued by eight former patients. At least four more came forward after the information was published.

Tami Conlin, 37, claimed Krieger gave her four fillings and a root canal she didn't need in the spring of 2016. Months later, she told CBC News, she was still "in agony."

"My tooth is basically dead," Conlin said, "And because of him."

Last year, Tami Conlin told CBC News she had sharp jaw pain for months after former dentist Steven Krieger gave her four fillings. (Erica Johnson/CBC)

Kathe Atkinson also saw Krieger and asked to have four teeth bonded, hoping to make them whiter. Instead, she said, he suggested she have three mercury fillings replaced.

Weeks later, Atkinson said she was still in misery.

"My whole side of my face — I had shooting pain up, shooting pain down, into my ear … I just kept popping Advil, Advil, Advil," she told CBC News in October 2016. "It was excruciating."

Kathe Atkinson says a dentist botched routine work three years ago, and it has caused lasting pain 3:12

Atkinson ultimately had the the three teeth Krieger worked on extracted and filed her lawsuit against the dentist.

In statements of defence responding to several of the suits, the former dentist denied the allegations and said he treated patients with "reasonable care, skill and diligence."

The college's investigation is separate from the lawsuits, which are still proceeding in court.

With files from Erica Johnson