California Celebrity Dentist Suspended From Practice for Putting Patients in Danger

Celebrity dentist Sherri L. Worth has been temporarily prohibited from practicing dentistry in California. The state dental board suspended Worth’s license this month, based on allegations that she put her patients in danger. On February 2, Worth’s attorney and Deputy Attorney General Shannon Brubaker signed a Stipulated Interim Suspension of License to “save time and expense.” Through this, Worth has waived the right to a hearing and is prohibited from practicing dentistry until the suspension is terminated.

dentist chair

According to the Dental Board complaint, seven patients alleged that Worth committed incompetence, numerous acts of negligence and gross negligence, fraud, excessive treatment, and over-diagnosis. Examples include billing over $11,000 for two patients’ laser surgeries that were never performed, falsifying dental records, performing expensive restorations to already healthy teeth, and Photoshopping a digital x-ray to cover up two defective crowns. Worth’s actions, the board claims, demonstrated “a gross lack of clinical skill and diagnostic ability” and rendered her an immediate danger to patients.

The Newport Beach-based dentist obtained her California dental license in May 1995. A former model and UCLA cheerleader, Worth has worked on celebrities Tommy Lee and Anna Kendrick. She is most famous for appearing on the Fox makeover show “The Swan.” Her practice website, which contained numerous celebrity testimonials, has been taken down.

Worth’s actions first caught the attention of the dental board in 2012 when a malpractice insurer indicated that it had paid over $600,000 to a patient based on a civil lawsuit against Worth. The patient, a Laguna Beach resident, visited Worth in 2009 to fix a “gummy smile” and afterward experienced unbearable pain. Valdez alleged that Worth mishandled $46,000 worth of work. Specifically, she claimed Worth shaved off portions of her gums, which enabled bacteria to become lodged in her teeth. As a result, she suffered irreversible pulpitis and nerve damage that required several root canals. Worth erroneously insisted the patient’s oral hygiene was to blame instead of her own botched surgery.

In a statement, Worth claimed the patient’s allegations originated a result of “professional jealousy by a competitor.” She insisted that she was not negligent according to professional experts. The dental board has accused Worth of hiding and altering records connected to the lawsuit.

Worth first claimed the documents disappeared in a computer malfunction or a flood, and when she did produce them, they appeared biased and untrustworthy. When an expert was scheduled to examine the records, Worth claimed she spilled soda on the documents in a way that rendered them unreviewable.

In addition to “The Swan,” Worth has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “Access Hollywood,” “Dr. Phil,” “Inside Edition,” “Today and Good Day LA,” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” She has her own YouTube channel and has been featured in Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, In Style, In Touch, and a variety of other magazines.

In 2015, the dental board filed an accusation to discipline Worth. It has since been updated five times as additional patients continue to come forward. To view a dentist’s disciplinary record, visit this website.

The medical malpractice lawyers at Neumann Law Group represent victims throughout the Los Angeles area. Call us at (213) 227-0001 for a free consultation.

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