Man Arraigned In Queens On Charges Of Assault And Unlicensed Practice Of Dentistry

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arraignment of a Massachusetts man who was charged with assault and practicing dentistry without a license. Investigators say Aaron Greenwald, 72, whose license to practice dentistry was revoked in 1988, allegedly treated patients in the dental specialty of endodontics (root canals) at a dental office in Flushing.

The charges against Greenwald include Assault in the Second Degree, Unlicensed Practice of a Profession and Scheme to Defraud. All of the charges are felonies and Greenwald faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Bail was set at $200,000 and he will return to court on March 28.

"By performing surgery on the wrong tooth this defendant turned a simple root canal procedure into a horrifying experience for this patient. Even though his license was revoked more than a decade ago, he continued to put the public at risk by continuing to practice," Spitzer said. "My office will work to ensure that those who break the law are vigorously prosecuted."

Greenwald began practicing endodontics at the Queens office in December 2000. Investigators said Greenwald would travel from his home in Plymouth, Massachusetts once a week to treat patients.

The assault charge stems from a procedure performed in February when Greenwald allegedly injured a patient during a root canal procedure. After the patient complained of pain, it was determined that Greenwald had performed the procedure on the wrong tooth. The patient then contacted the state Office of Professional Discipline at the State Education Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Ronda Lustman, of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Bureau Chief Janet Cohn. Investigator Joseph Richardson, of the State Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline assisted the Attorney General’s office in the case.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked Deputy Commissioner Johanna Duncan-Poitier of the Office of Professional Discipline for the assistance her office provided on the case.

The charges against Greenwald are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.