AUGUSTA — It appears the state will try again to make a case against Dr. Jan Kippax, the controversial Lewiston oral surgeon.

Donna Deigan, a former patient of Dr. Jan Kippax, went in for a tooth extraction in 2014 and says the dentist refused to provide her with sufficient painkillers and didn’t stop the procedure after she begged. By the end of the surgery, she was missing one of her lower front teeth.

One of his former patients, Donna Deigan, said Monday she has been told by state officials they plan to bring a case against the Lewiston dentist that relies on testimony from her and several others.

“It’s going forward,” Deigan said. “This is good.”

Though neither the Maine Attorney General’s Office nor Kippax’s lawyer could be reached for comment Monday, there is reason to think Deigan could be called to the stand to detail her complaint about Kippax.

She filed one of 18 complaints cited by the Maine Board of Dental Practice when it suspended Kippax from practice in February 2017 because, it said, “if he is allowed to continue to practice in his reckless and harmful way, innocent patients are destined to continue to suffer dire consequences.”

By the time the state got around to trying to prove its case last fall, Kippax had already regained his license and reopened his Main Street office.

The effort by the Attorney General’s Office to prove Kippax should not have a license flopped when its own expert said state lawyers had not proved the oral surgeon did anything wrong. At year’s end, the dental board, sitting as jury, threw out the complaints by the only five patients whose cases were brought before it by the AG’s office.

Deigan is one of 13 patients whose cases were put on the shelf so lawyers could focus on about 60 specific charges raised by five former patients. But there are more than 120 other allegations that could still be raised against him.

In March, the dental panel agreed to hand the entire case over to District Court, where the attorney general’s office can try to make a case against Kippax stick.

Deigan said she is glad officials are going to try again.

She said she is eager to tell her story from late 2014, when she went to Kippax to remove a tooth that had gone bad, leaving the upper right side of her mouth aching. She accused Kippax of refusing to give her enough painkiller and starting work before it kicked in.

“It felt like he was ripping everything out of my mouth,” Deigan said, as if he “was digging something way down inside” of her.

As blood poured from her mouth, she begged him to stop, she said. By the time it was over, Kippax had yanked one of her lower front teeth, leaving her unwilling to smile and show off the gap.

Deigan ultimately filed a formal complaint with the Maine Board of Dental Practice, the first of what became a list of 18 people to ask the board to look into Kippax.

She said if someone went to a hospital with a broken leg and got a cast on her arm in response, authorities would act. Her case is no different, she said.

Steve Collins can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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