As bad things so often do, a West Oak Cliff woman's run-in with a not-really-a-dentist dentist started with a medical consultation on Facebook. The woman was in pain and needed some dental work done.
Tiffany Gonzalez was happy to help, Dallas police say. Gonzalez set the woman, identified by The Dallas Morning News as Erika Martinez, up for a consultation with Mario Sabillon-Mejia, the dude for whom she said she worked as a dental assistant. Sabillon-Mejia told the woman he was a dentist in his native Honduras. He wasn't. He then arranged to do dental work on Martinez for $1,500.
Police say she paid him $500 for the two sessions she actually made it through, both of which occurred in her home. Sabillon-Mejia pulled five teeth, Martinez said, causing bleeding and intense pain. When he was done, he cleaned his dental equipment in Martinez's bathroom. Faced with a massive dental infection in early June, she reported Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez to the police.
Dallas police Lieutenant Tony Crawford said today that Sanillon-Mejia did his approximation of dental work on as many as 50 people in Dallas and Houston. He had no formal training.
"We think he was getting his experience from practicing on the people that were hiring him," Crawford said.
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Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez were arrested yesterday. Cops say they had extensive dental equipment, including tools to make dentures, which Crawford said was likely the primary aim of the enterprise.
The pair has been charged with practicing medicine without a license and possession of dangerous drugs.