THUNDER BAY — The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has suspended a Thunder Bay dentist from practising for five months after finding him guilty of unprofessional conduct.
The decision was handed down Tuesday against Dr. James Mao.
He must also pay the college $15,000 and take a professional/problem-based ethics course.
In addition, the college ordered that Mao's practice be monitored for 24 months following the completion of the suspension.
The allegations of which he was found guilty include:
- disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unethical conduct
- abuse of a patient
- failed to provide accurate information to the college
- contravened a federal, provincial, territorial law, municipal by-law or rule of a public hospital
- found guilty of an offence relevant to suitability to practise
The discipline hearing resulted from criminal charges of assault with a weapon which were laid against Dr. Mao in connection with incidents in 2015 and 2014.
According to the college, two individuals were threatened with a hypodermic needle.
In an interview earlier this year with TBNewswatch, Mao said he was training staff in how to suction a patient's mouth after a dentist administers anesthesia.
In each instance, he said, the dental assistants had trouble learning the technique.
"They still didn't get it, so I said 'How about I administer some anesthetic in your mouth so you experience the awful taste of it, so you can appreciate what the patient is going through," he explained.
The college alleged that Mao was verbally abusive toward both staff members, one of whom was also his patient.
It said he committed professional misconduct by providing the college with inaccurate information in a 2016 letter in which he denied threatening staff with a needle.
He pleaded guilty to the assault charges but was discharged on conditions of a 12-month probation order in May 2018.