Ziplock bag of syringes in the living room
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has successfully secured a conviction against a woman investigated for practicing dentistry without a license from the living room of her Pico-Union home. At least one victim was allegedly hospitalized due to injuries sustained undergoing a procedure. "It’s outrageous for someone with no license or formal training to subject a patient to a root canal—a procedure we allege sent a victim to the hospital," said Feuer. "Unlicensed dentists and doctors prey upon people who can’t afford insurance or licensed practitioners, putting their victims in great peril."
Clara Medina, 58, entered a plea of no contest to one count of battery likely to produce serious bodily injury. Medina was sentenced to three years of probation and 30 days of County jail or 20 days of community labor. She was also ordered to stay 100 yards from the victim and pay full restitution, among other penalties.
In March, 2017, the uninsured victim made an appointment to see Medina in her home for an aching tooth after being referred by co-workers who had previously seen her for other dental work. Medina attempted to perform a root canal on the victim on a living room lounge chair while using various needles. The victim subsequently required hospitalization from the injuries she sustained and may have permanent nerve damage as a result.
The case was investigated by HALT – the Los Angeles Department of Health Services Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force - and referred to the City Attorney’s Office, where it was successfully prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney Heidi Matz of Feuer’s Consumer Protection Unit.