Knoxville dentist sends letter to patients recommending HIV, HBV tests

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville dentist has sent patients who visited his office during a three-year period a letter saying they may want to get a blood test.

Patients of Dr. C. L. “Buzz” Nabers Jr. from Sept. 15, 2016, to Sept. 15, 2019, were sent a voluntary letter advising them that they may have been exposed to an infection.

The letter sent to patients states that “there have been no reports of any harm to patients,” but those who visited the dentist office during that time may want to have their blood tested.

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Nabers said Monday that the safety of his patients is his office’s priority.

“Although my attorneys did not believe the facts, or the law, required individual notices, I chose to do so to eliminate any risk to each and every one of my patients,” Nabers said.

According to the letter, a question was raised regarding sterilization techniques.

“Those processes have been revised and corrected. We have no reason to believe any harm has occurred,” the letter reads.

In August, Nabers’ license was put on probation after an investigation into alleged forged certifications and improperly sterilized equipment.

Patients are recommended to visit their primary medical provider and have tests for HIV and hepatitis B performed.

The memo also provides contact information for the Knox County Health Department and the Tennessee Department of Health.

“Our communicable and environmental disease team is evaluating the situation to determine if any patients may have been put at risk of illness,” a spokesperson from the state Health Department said Monday. “Any patients found to have been put at risk will be notified and given instructions for follow-up care, which will be provided at Dr. Nabors’ expense.”

It is unclear when the letters were sent to patients.

Patients can call the Knox County Health Department at 865-215-5371 or the Tennessee Department of Health at 615-532-3650.

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