Dentist Convicted for Using Paper Clips in Root Canals

A dentist has been convicted of an unthinkable act of greed—using paper clips in root canals on his patients to save money. INSIDE EDITION reports on the shocking story.

He's the dentist whose actions are outraging America.

Instead of using surgical posts for root canals, Dr. Michael Clair used paper clips. That's right—paper clips.

An X-ray of a genuine root canal shows the surgical post implanted in the tooth that is supposed to be made of steel. But Dr. Clair used a cheap paper clip that you can buy at Staples.

Joshua Almeida is one of the patients who had a paper clip inserted into a back tooth. He lost the tooth.

Dr. Michael Clair's practice was in a shopping mall in Fall River, Massachusetts. Authorities believe Clair didn't even sterilize the paperclips he used. He simply cut them up with a pair of scissors right out of the box.

Several of his patients complained that they developed infections after he performed root canals.

Authorities say the motivation was pure greed. Clair billed Medicaid for real surgical steel posts.

The 53-year-old disgraced dentist appeared in court Monday for sentencing after pleading guilty to defrauding Medicaid of $130,000. He was sentenced to a year in prison and led off in chains.

Almeida's mother Brenda summed up the public's revulsion.

"I never thought he would put a paper clip in my son's mouth like this. Never," said Brenda.