9 Investigates: Why state dental board took action against well-known Charlotte dentist

9 Investigates: Why state dental board took action against well-known Charlotte dentist

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The state dental board has taken action after several patients claim a well-known Charlotte dentist left them in pain, with cuts and even an infection.

Dr. Richard Rolle’s website touts him as the “official oral surgeon of the Hornets, Checkers and Charlotte 49ers.” But one former patient told Channel 9 anchor Allison Latos she experienced intense pain for nearly a year after Rolle removed one of her teeth.

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“I just had this sharp pain that went from my mouth to my head,” Loretta Williams said. “I kept having severe migraines. Every time I would try to eat on that side it was like something was stabbing me in my gum.”

Another dentist discovered part of a metal dental tool was stuck deep in Williams’ gum.

“I was mad about it, because you trust doctors to do what's right,” Williams said.

Williams filed a complaint about Rolle’s with the North Carolina Dental Board.

A consent order from the board this month shows four other patients complained about being under the care of Rolle. The complaints included residual pain, infection and extracted teeth that were not supposed to be pulled.

During an inspection, dental investigators said, they also found required emergency drugs missing or expired, no opioid reversal agent and an AED defibrillator that was not operational with batteries that had been expired for seven years.

Anchor Allison Latos stopped by Rolle’s office in Cornelius and she was told Rolle planned to speak with his attorney before commenting.

9 Investigates: Why state dental board took action against well-known Charlotte dentist

The Dental Board suspended Rolle's license for six months but immediately stayed that discipline, which means his license is active as long as he adheres to probationary rules for five years.

“That's like a slap on the wrist,” Williams said. “It's like telling him it's OK to do things like this.”

“We can't go back in time and take away that pain, so the only thing she can be offered at this point is compensation, so that she could be made whole,” attorney Donae Minor said.

“If I never went back to get those X-rays, that metal would probably still be in my mouth today,” Williams said.

The probationary rules Rolle must follow include allowing the dental board to randomly inspect patient records and interview employees. He must also complete continuing education classes on clinical and sedation record keeping, emergency drugs and follow-up protocol after operations.

It isn't the first time Channel 9 has looked into Rolle. We reported on him in 2016 when two former surgical assistants filed a civil lawsuit.

They claimed they were fired after raising concerns over what they called "unsafe practices."

Their attorney said that the case settled for a confidential amount.