Dentist Sentenced for Operating With Paper Clips
Michael Clair given a year in Massachusetts prison
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2012 3:34 PM CST
Dentist Michael Clair used these 20th-century devices on teeth during root canal surgery.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A former dentist who used paper clips instead of steel posts in root canal surgery was sentenced today to a year in prison and five years' probation, The Herald reports. Dr. Michael Clair pleaded guilty in Fall River, Mass., to a slew of other charges, including witness intimidation, assault and battery, and defrauding Medicaid of $130,000. But the judge denied prosecutors a longer sentence, siting Clair's lack of a criminal past and "certain mental health issues." The judge didn't name the issues, the AP reports.

Clair kept quiet during sentencing, saying only, "Thank you, your honor, for your consideration." The mother of one victim was less pleased: Brenda Almeida, whose son's tooth turned black and had to be pulled, said Clair had also done poor work on her other kids too. "He put my kids in pain for months ... I hope he rots there," she said. Rot or not, he'll be under court order to keep away from his victims and former employees, who expressed "have expressed concern for their safety," a prosecutor said.