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The dangers of visiting illegal dental practices

Posted at 7:25 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 09:43:38-05

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Two people are in custody after being arrested Tuesday morning for practicing dentistry without a license.

It happened on the 1300 block of South San Mateo Avenue in North Port after an undercover operation for local police. Enrique Gravier, 48, and Adriana Hoyos, 47, had been performing dental work for five years with out anyone noticing.

“Shock and maybe feeling a little bit deceived by the prayer service message,” said Paul Muldoon, North Port.

The couple told Paul they had people over frequently for prayer services, when in reality it was for dental appointments. The living room was used as a waiting room and in the garage they would perform procedures, but not everyone could get an appointment. “You had to speak Spanish, you would call, you would have a referral,” said Josh Taylor, PIO, North Port Police Department.

The couple is from Colombia, and the police department doesn't know if they have a dental license from another country.

Fox 4 spoke with Dr. Eric Claessens, a dentist in North Port for more than 30 years, about the dangers of getting dental work from an unlicensed doctor. “How clean are their instruments? Are they transmitting diseases from the previous patients to you? You have one body, you start messing around with it, you can’t always fix what’s going on in there. That’s what I’d be scared of, is something that can’t be repaired,” said Dr. Eric Claessens.

Dr. Claessens says some diseases that can be transmitted by instruments are STD's and Hepatitis. He also says the state inspects your office and makes sure you are up to code and have your licenses. “You’re trusting me to do something to you and and you know the outcome is going to be as good as it could be,” said Claessens.

North Port Police say the case is now in the hands of the State's Attorney's office. The couple is in custody with no bond and on hold for ICE. Gravier and Hoyos both face two felony charges.