Dentist fired after patients speak out about problem care

Morristown dentist fired after patients speak out about problem care

Posted:
Dr. David Harrison (source: Affordable Dentures) Dr. David Harrison (source: Affordable Dentures)
Jennifer Harrison Jennifer Harrison

By DON DARE
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - The corporate office of a discount dental clinic took decisive action against a dentist in Morristown. Dr. David Harrison has been fired.

The decision came just days after more patients complained of irregular practices at Affordable Dentures.

The Morristown office is temporarily closed, but it will soon have a new dentist. Affordable Care, the clinic's corporate office, says its affiliation with Dr. Harrison has ended.

Dr. Michael Doyle will start a new Affordable Dentures practice in Morristown on August 6. He'll reach out to patients of Dr. Harrison who were featured in the 6 News investigations.

6 News investigation

  • July 16: Patients say unlicensed Morristown dental office worker performs care
  • July 25: More patients accuse Morristown dental office worker of improper care

"I think it's the best thing that could have happened," said Affordable Dentures patient Teresa Underwood. "People can now get the care that they need and get it done right."

She and June McClary were the first patients of Dr. Harrison who contacted 6 News in June.    They say the action by Affordable Care will protect future patients.

The focus of our investigations centered on Dr. Harrison's supervisory control at the clinic. Controversy surrounded his wife, Jennifer Harrison. She claimed to be a dental assistant with years of experience, but a search of state records showed she's not certified.

Teresa said Jennifer Harrison performed procedures that only a licensed dentist is supposed to do.

Another patient, Tracie Hopson, explained how Jennifer Harrison hurt her tender gums two months ago while trying to jam dentures into her mouth.

Despite numerous trips to the office, Annie Norwood said she had trouble with her ill-fitting dentures, purchased two years ago and fitted by the Harrisons. With the change in office management, she'll finally be able to bite into a burger wearing her teeth.

A sign posted on the front door at Affordable Dentures encourages patients of Dr. Harrison to call a toll free number 1-800-DENTURE (1-800-336-8873) for assistance.

Affordable Care assures 6 News that Dr. Harrison's patients will be taken care of.

6 News went to get a response from the Harrisons, but he and his wife weren't home.

Affordable Care says while the home office provides business support to it clinics, it expects affiliates to follow state regulations.

In a statement, Affordable Care said its contract with a dentist specifies it is "not obligated to provide business services to affiliates, (the dentist), who is not meeting high standards."

"He needed to be shut down and stopped from doing what he was doing and allowing what was happening to continue," June McClary said.

The action by Affordable Care will not likely stop or slow down the state's investigation of procedures at Dr. Harrison's office.

Although no one at the state dental board will comment, patients who were interviewed by the state were assured the investigation of practices under Dr. Harrison continues.

You can file a complaint with the Tennessee Board of Dentistry on its website.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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