Newport Beach celebrity dentist Dr. Sherri Worth’s license to practice dentistry has been suspended, according to the Dental Board of California and Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office.
Worth, who for two seasons was the featured cosmetic and reconstructive dentist on the Fox reality show The Swan, has also appeared on Larry King Live, Dr. Phil, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, The Tyra Banks Show, NBC’s Today and Good Day LA. The former model and UCLA cheerleader is also saavy in digital media, with her own YouTube channel, and she has been featured in Vogue, In Style, Elle, Marie Claire, Variety, Riviera, In Touch, US Magazine, Men’s Health, Cosmogirl and Orange Coast magazines.
But the Weekly has previously reported on the state’s ongoing investigation of Worth, which prompted this statement to us from her previously: “These allegations are more than five years old and they originated as a result of professional jealousy by a competitor. Highly qualified independent experts have found no negligence on my part. I have and will continue to give outstanding and compassionate dental care to my patients as I have done for more than two decades. I am confident that when the whole story comes out and the final decision is rendered I will be vindicated.”
We have also separately reported on a 2012 malpractice lawsuit she lost.
The Dental Board action was sparked by complaints from seven patients of Worth. The board’s petition for an interim suspension of her license cited these violations of the state Dental Practice Act:
– Repeatedly over diagnosed: decay on teeth with no decay, fractures on teeth with no fractures and extreme wear on teeth with normal wear and stains with no staining. She repeatedly over treated perfectly healthy teeth with extensive and expensive unnecessary poorly seated porcelain restorations, referred teeth for extraction that did not have to be pulled and then provided the missing teeth restorations.
– Incompetence for Worth performing laser surgery on a patient with a “gummy smile” when she had no periodontal surgery training and failing to refer that patient to a periodontist when the procedure caused extreme gingivitis and pain and discomfort from normal activities like eating. Worth also failed to treat obvious decay and instead concentrated on extensive and expensive cosmetic dentistry for the patient.
– Gross negligence was cited for Worth, on four of the seven patients, repeatedly preparing teeth for porcelain restorations in ways that caused excessive tooth reduction, creating iatrogenic endodontic lesions the required root canals and unnecessary pain and suffering.
– Repeated acts of negligence for Worth providing 112 crowns and veneers for six patients, of which 60 of the porcelain restorations were shown to be defective. In the seventh patient, Worth most recently placed nine veneers and a three-unit bridge in a way that disrupted the person’s bite. That problem was exacerbated by Worth grinding the patient’s formerly healthy teeth until the patient’s bite hit in only two places.
– Billing two patients more than $11,000 for laser surgery that Worth never provided. The doctor received informed consent for fillings and then provided more expensive porcelain inlays without patient consent. Worth also did not replace clearly defective porcelain restorations and, for monetary gain, concealed defective work, provided unnecessary restorations and falsely informed patients they had to get endodontist and periodontist work done in her office where she shared in the exorbitant fees.
– Rewriting dental records and soaking them in soda to throw off forensic document examiners and falsifying records by transferring handwritten documents into computer records. Worth even photo-shopped a digital dental x-ray to make two defective porcelain restorations appear acceptable. Indeed, the board cited a “pattern or prevarication” that included Worth claiming she accidentally spilled Diet Coke on dental records two days before they were due to be examined and stating records she had in her garage that would supposedly exonerate her were damaged by mud in a flood.
“Respondent has committed extremely serious violations of the Dental Practice Act,” the board concluded, “and her continued practice endangers the health and safety of the public.”
Worth, her attorney Frederick M. Ray and Deputy Attorney General Shannon M. Brubaker on Feb. 2 signed a Stipulated Interim Suspension of License “to save time and expense.” In doing so, Worth waives the right to a hearing and is prohibited from practicing dentistry until the suspension is terminated.