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Michael Clair, Former Dentist, Accused Of Paper Clip Use In Root Canals

Michael Clair

First Posted: 01/24/12 07:33 AM ET Updated: 01/24/12 12:52 PM ET

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- A former dentist in Massachusetts has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud for using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals.

Michael Clair is scheduled to be sentenced next week. He has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid of $130,000, assault and battery, illegally prescribing prescription drugs and witness intimidation charges.

Prosecutors say the 53-year-old Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002 but continued filing by using the names of other dentists in his Fall River practice.

Authorities say he used sections of paper clips instead of stainless steel posts for root canals to save money. The use of paper clips can cause pain and even infection.

Attorney General Martha Coakley says paper clips can sometimes be used temporarily, but Clair used the paper clips as a permanent fix.