NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that the State Board of Dentistry (“the Board”) revoked the license of a North Jersey oral and maxillofacial surgeon and ordered him to pay more than $500,000 in penalties, costs, and restitution to patients for engaging in “hit and run dentistry” that left a swath of harmful consequences for patients in four counties.
Dr. Andrew Maron, who owned a string of dental practices in Monmouth, Passaic, Hudson, and Union counties, and also practiced as an itinerant oral surgeon in those counties, has been prohibited from practicing in New Jersey since the State filed multiple allegations of negligence, gross negligence and professional misconduct against him in 2015.
In a final decision that brings closure to the State’s case, the Board revoked the license of the 58-year-old Maron, finding that his treatment of patients - many of whom were low-income, elderly, or disabled – amounted to “hit and run dentistry” that reflected a “cavalier indifference to his patients’ well-being” and a “pattern of substantial deviations from the standard of care that existed unabated for years.”
“Most dental practitioners are dedicated to the health and safety of their patients,” said Attorney General Grewal. “But revolving-door dentistry that puts practitioners’ financial gain ahead of patient health and safety erodes public trust and undermines the integrity of the entire profession. That’s why it’s important for the Board to take decisive action in cases like this one, and we are pleased that the Board did so.”
According to findings in the case, Maron committed multiple acts of negligence and gross negligence and professional misconduct in his treatment of 17 patients between 2010 and 2015. Such conduct included:
•Pulling natural teeth and replacing them with dental implants with little or no regard to the restorability of the natural tooth;
•Placing numerous implants that failed, some dangerously so by migrating into the sinus, or by patients swallowing them;
•Performing, planning and undertaking treatment without regard to a patient’s ability to pay for the treatment;
•Discussing treatment with patients who were already in the chair receiving anesthesia;
•Pressuring elderly patients into having implants placed without pre-operative diagnosis, review, or informed consent;
•Pressuring Medicaid patients into taking CareCredit loans which exceeded their ability to repay;
•Ignoring or failing to take patients’ medical histories;
•Submitting inaccurate and inflated billing for treatment; and
•Failing to ensure that the dentists in his employ practiced with patients' health, safety, and welfare in mind.
“Dr. Maron placed patients at risk through egregious conduct that violated the most basic tenets of professionalism,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “His disregard for the well-being of his patients makes a mockery of the standards adhered to by those who are privileged to hold a license to practice dentistry. The revocation of his license not only protects the public from the threat posed by Dr. Maron, it removes a stain on New Jersey’s esteemed dental profession.”
The Board's decision to revoke Maron’s license largely upholds the findings of an Administrative Law Judge who heard the case in a series of hearings that concluded in January 2019.
In an Initial Decision rendered in May 2019, Administrative Law Judge Susan M. Scarola concluded that Maron’s practice was “so overextended it was almost impossible for him to provide quality care.”
“Respondent’s repeated acts of negligence and gross negligence, his professional misconduct, his dishonesty and deception, and his lack of providing appropriate and determined care for his patients warrant the severest possible sanction, namely, revocation of his license,” Judge Scarola concluded.
Judge Scarola also agreed with the State’s argument that Maron should be ordered to pay a substantial penalty for each unlawful act he committed, and that he be ordered to reimburse patients for deficient treatment, and reimburse the State for fees and costs associated with investigating and prosecuting the case.
Following a hearing on July 24, 2019, the Board adopted Judge Scarola’s findings and conclusions with limited modifications. Those modifications lowered the amount of restitution to one patient, and removed restitution to another patient who already received payment through civil litigation.
The Board ordered Maron to pay civil penalties totaling $138,500; restitution totaling $75,041.22 to 15 patients; and aggregate costs and attorneys' fees of $303,856.22. The Board filed its written decision on Nov. 1, 2019.
This investigation was conducted by the Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joan D. Gelber, from the Division of Law represented the State in this matter.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.