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MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Disciplinary action taken by the Tennessee Board of Dentistry against David Harrison has been swift and decisive.
The board revoked the Morristown dentist's license, stripping him of his ability to work in Tennessee. It was the most extreme punishment available to the state.
In the consent order, "unprofessional conduct" was cited as one of the grounds for taking such extreme measures.
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
July 30: Morristown dentist fired after patients speak out about problem care
Aug. 6: Dental office reopens in Morristown with a new dentist
June McClary was one of Harrison's first patients to call 6 On Your Side and one of the first to contact state investigators about Harrison's practice.
"It was agonizing," said McClary. "I don't think he needs to have a license anywhere because if this is the way he conducts his practice, this is unacceptable, because he is harming people."
Four months ago, McClary showed 6 On Your Side pictures of burn marks to the roof of her mouth, suffered hours after her dentures were relined.
She said it was Jennifer Harrison, the dentist's wife, who relined the dentures. Harrison passed herself off as a dental assistant, but records show she was not licensed.
In the consent order, it said David Harrison allowed his wife to perform such services as mixing and making soft liners.
"She's the one who always saw me," said McClary "He did my first post-operation, but she did my second post-operation."
McClary and three other patients told similar stories, that Harrison's wife assisted in their care, that the dentist knew about it, but did nothing to stop it.
In the order, the board writes, "Dr. Harrison allowed his unlicensed wife to perform services" such as exposing x-rays, making impressions, adjusting dentures and assisting chairside.
The order also stated that he allowed her to sign his initials or name to treatment records for controlled substances, whether he was in the office or not.
David Harrison operated the Affordable Dentures office in Morristown.
6 On Your Side reached out to Harrison in early July for an interview, but received no response.
Days after the 6 On Your Side report aired, the company's corporate office, Affordable Care, fired Harrison and temporarily closed the clinic.
In late August, Affordable Dentures in Morristown reopened with a new dentist in charge and former patients like Annie Norwood and others have received new dentures.
Dr. John Osborn, president of the Tennessee Dental Association, said the dental board could have been easier on Harrison when issuing sanctions.
"There are fines, remedial actions, several other things they can do without revoking the license," said Dr. Osborn. "As dentists, we are behind the board because a bad actor reflects badly on all of us."
Over the past 12 months, 28 dentists were reprimanded and fined in disciplinary action by the dental board, according to public records.
Four dentists were placed on probation and fined. Two had their license suspended, one of them for two years.
David Harrison becomes only the second dentist in the past year to lose the privilege of practicing in Tennessee.
His revocation notice will be placed on a national database informing dental boards in other states of the adverse action.