A former Massachusetts dentist admitted using paper clips in root canals -- instead of stainless steel posts -- in a Medicaid fraud case, officials said.
Michael Clair, 53, pleaded guilty last week in Bristol Superior Court to charges he defrauded Medicaid of $130,000, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.
He faces sentencing next Monday for a variety of charges stemming from his substandard dental practice in Fall River.
Clair -- formerly of Fall River and now of Maryland -- was suspended by Medicaid in 2002, but filed claims until June 2005 by using the names of other dentists in his practice, prosecutors alleged.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division began investigating in 2005 after the matter was referred to the office from the state Medicaid program, Coakley’s office said.
He used paper clip sections -- instead of stainless steel posts -- for root canals, to save money, prosecutors said. Health experts note using unapproved materials in dental work can cause pain, infection and other complications.
Coakley says paper clips can sometimes be used temporarily, but Clair reportedly used the paper clips as a permanent fix.
Coakley’s office recommended that anyone who may have been treated by Clair see a dentist as soon as possible.