Betty Rosenbaum doesn’t hold back when talking about her experience with dentist Dr. Minseok Kang.
“Absolutely horrible,” she said.
In February, Rosenbaum said she went to him for pain in an upper tooth. Dr. Kang recommended surgery to extract the tooth, do a sinus lift and place an implant.
It didn’t go well.
“Everything had to be redone,” said Rosenbaum, who also developed a severe infection after the procedure. “Pus began to drain directly into my mouth.”
Rosenbaum, a retired nurse practitioner, allowed ABC15 to review her treatment records. The documents show that it took several months to redo the dental work and clear up the infection.
“I was so depressed, I would come home and cry,” Rosenbaum said.
Eventually the infection got so severe that she went to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist, who said she needed emergency surgery. The specialist found a fragment of tooth had been left in Rosenbaum’s sinus from the previous dental procedure.
“That’s what caused the infection,” she said.
Dr. Kang declined to comment for this story, saying dentist-client privilege restricts him from talking about what happened.
But Rosenbaum said after the emergency surgery, she called Kang and demanded money to repay her medical bills and for pain and suffering. She threw out a number “off the top of her head.” It was $25,000.
Kang’s office offered to pay up but only if Rosenbaum agreed to sign a document releasing the dentist of any liability, she said.
Rosenbaum refused. But Dr. Kang eventually paid up in a series of checks.
“I didn’t expect to see a penny,” Rosenbaum said.
Rosenbaum also just filed a complaint with Arizona’s Dental Board about her treatment. She’s also contacted ABC15 to tell her story.
“He needs to be held accountable,” she said. “Something should be done. And I’ve seen reports done about the board of dentistry, and the board of dentistry has done nothing.”
Rosenbaum is referring to an ABC15 report that aired two months ago about recent dental board decisions involving two dentists, including Dr. Kang.
In that report, patients and an attorney accused the board of going easy on Dr. Kang for a procedure he performed on an 11-year-old girl earlier this year.
In that case, the board only issued what’s called a “letter of concern,” which is the lowest level of discipline.
The letter stated: “Dr. Kang should ensure appropriate communication between the front office and himself.” That’s all the information available to the public about this case on the board’s website.
It doesn’t say anything about what happened to the 11-year-old girl.
ABC15 obtained audio from a recent board hearing involving the case. At the hearing, the girl’s attorney, Craigg Voightmann, spoke before the board.
Voightmann said Dr. Kang wanted to do a tongue surgery on the girl to correct a speech impairment. The girl’s mother “expressly declined” and said no one else has ever diagnosed her with any issues.
At a later visit, Voightmann said Dr. Kang decided to perform the surgery anyway, restrained the girl and cut below her tongue.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.