EAST NAPLES, Fla.- An East Naples man has been sentenced to prison for practicing dentistry without a license in his apartment. Luis Fernando Suarez-Paz, 52, pleaded no contest to practicing dental hygiene without an active license and controlling dental equipment by a nonlicensed person at a July 12 hearing in Collier County Circuit Court.
Circuit Judge James Shenko adjudicated Suarez-Paz guilty of the charges and sentenced him to 30 months in prison.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office received information in December 2012 that Suarez-Paz was performing dental work on patients at his apartment on Santa Clara Drive. According to CCSO arrest reports: An undercover deputy set up an appointment with Suarez-Paz to be examined because of a toothache. The undercover deputy was taken into a small room in Suarez-Paz's apartment with a reclining chair, dental instruments and a dental exam light. Suarez-Paz performed a dental exam on the deputy. He told the deputy to bring back X-rays taken at a “real dentist office’’ in order for him to perform a root canal.
Suarez-Paz did not charge for the exam, but told the deputy a root canal would cost $350 and entail four visits. Detectives executed a search warrant at the apartment and found a “very dirty and unhygienic environment that had the outward appearance of a dental office.” The search turned up numerous teeth, dentures, crowns, bridges, false teeth, pliers, dental extractors and other dental equipment.
Detectives could not find any record for Suarez-Paz with the Florida Department of Health or any medical or dental licenses issued for him in Florida.