A judge sent a former dental assistant to prison for five years Wednesday for performing dentistry without a license, with one of her patients saying he lost two temporary teeth when he bit into a piece of fried chicken after she worked on him.
Carroll Jarrett, of Anadarko, said he paid Elizabeth Hinojosa for porcelain veneers that he never received.
“It was gross,” he recalled. “I had two little bitty nubs where my smile was.”
Jarrett also said Hinojosa put braces on his daughter, which came apart on a family outing.
Hinojosa, 48, of Jourdanton, Texas, pleaded guilty to practicing dentistry without a license, conspiring to commit a felony, second-degree forgery, medical battery and embezzlement.
She also received 10 years probation as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
“I conducted dental procedures on several individuals without having a license to practice dentistry,” Hinojosa wrote in court paperwork. “I performed extractions and injections which only a dentist should perform. I am not a dentist.”
As part of her deception, Hinojosa also admitted filling out false prescriptions and taking equipment from her employer without permission “to perform these procedures.”
She declined to comment outside of court.
Hinojosa's daughter, Monica Salazar Orozco, 29, of Jourdanton, Texas, also pleaded guilty to practicing dentistry without a license and conspiracy to practice dentistry without a license.
She received a five-year deferred sentence.
Orozco admitted assisting her mother with “tooth extractions, root canal procedures and the placement and adjustment of braces.”
“I helped set up appointments or assisted with dental procedures which can only be performed by a licensed dentist,” she wrote in court paperwork.
As part of their plea agreements with prosecutors, Hinojosa and Orozco agreed to never work in a dental office or perform dental procedures or services.
Hinojosa received prison time because “she was much more culpable,” Oklahoma County First Assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland said.
“She is the one who held herself out as a dentist and was performing the actual dental and orthodontic procedures,” Rowland said.
Hinojosa, also known as “Dr. Liz” by her victims, was a dental assistant and her daughter was a receptionist in Oklahoma City, where the alleged incidents took place between Sept. 1, 2010, and May 26, 2011.
Investigators with the state dental board alleged Hinojosa and her daughter performed unlicensed dental work on at least 22 adults and children, posing as dentists after hours and, if paid in cash, offered their services to uninsured customers who spoke little English
“The individuals were led to believe I was a dentist and only consented to a dentist treating them,” Hinojosa wrote.
The dentists Hinojosa worked for spoke no Spanish, and they relied on her or her daughter to translate for patients during procedures and to set appointments. But the women scheduled appointments after the offices closed and forwarded office calls to their personal phones, investigators said.
“… I aided Elizabeth Hinojosa in arranging after-hours appointments and diverting patients, monies and supplies which were used in the procedures …,” Orozco wrote.