Memphis dentist suspended, documents detail unsanitary conditions at office

A Memphis dentist has had his license suspended and his office has been shut down.

Alfred Brown’s dental license was suspended by the State of Tennessee Department of Heath due to misconduct “so severe that it imperatively requires emergency action in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.” The suspension was handed down July 5, and documents detail the unsanitary conditions inside the office.

>> Read Alfred Brown's order of suspension

According to an order of summary suspension, an investigation into SPT Dental Center, located in the 2600 block of Lamar Avenue, began after a patient made a complaint stating the officer was unsanitary, the dentist did not change gloves between patients and dental crowns were reused on patients, among other complaints.

On May 26, two Department of Health investigators made an unannounced visit to the office and asked Alfred Brown to provide a walkthrough of the office.

Inside the first operatory, investigators found an extremely dirty and cracked floor, dentures laying on the countertop and not properly stored and a container “overflowing with dirty needles,” according to the document.

>> Orange Mound dentist closed due to "imminent health hazard"

In the second operatory, investigators found “very little” dental equipment and no cuspidor. They also found blood gauze on the floor, the sink crusted over with grime and dirt and “non-identifiable” substances in the drain, according to the document.

In that operatory room, the investigators also found the handpiece that goes into patients’ mouths lying on an “extremely dirty” floor beside the cabinet.

According to the document, the autoclave that would be used to sterilize tools and instruments was not readily available and was completely rusted on the inside. The dentist allegedly had a difficult time getting it to turn on, and no log could be presented that showed when equipment was sterilized.

The Health Department said Alfred Brown told investigators he had to leave and refused to continue the interview at this point of their investigation.

According to the documents, the dentist's receptionist could not provide all of the medical records that were requested by the investigators.

As the visit continued, the Health Department located more issues in the general office area, including electric cords running through windows connecting the operatories, leaking ceilings, an unsanitized public restroom and no receptacle cover on the electrical outlet in the waiting room.

According to the documents, Alfred Brown’s license was previously suspended in 1990 for prescribing controlled substances to at least 20 patients “in excess of what was necessary or medically advisable, prescribing controlled substances to patients he knew were abusing drugs and routinely oversedated patients or negligently administered sedation drugs.”

In 1992, his license was revoke for a violation of Board Order, and he was suspended for 30 days in 1996 for incorrectly reporting services that were never performed, according to the Health Department.

After the investigation, the Health Department found Alfred Brown to be in violation of a number of rules and regulations. As a result, his Tennessee dental license has been summarily suspended until the conclusion of a case hearing by the Tennessee Board of Dentistry.