A New York dentist was arrested after his assistants said he has been reporting to work for months while allegedly drunk and erroneously treating patients.
Dr. Robert Garelick’s dental hygienist and assistant in his Lindenhurst office claimed the dentist smelled of booze after drinking from a sports bottle and caught him making mistakes on the job.
The hygienist told police Garelick injected Novocain, an anesthetic for pain relief, to the wrong side of a patient’s mouth.
He looked for cavities on the right side of the patient’s mouth, but the cavities were on the left side.
The tooth doctor used a drill to treat another patient who had a chipped tooth, filing the tooth down.
The 57-year-old dentist initially told police he had drank a few beers with his pizza for lunch. He later corrected himself to say he had not had any beer, but had been drinking vodka from his squeeze bottle all day.
His staff also told police of an incident last year when they had to call his wife because the doctor was so drunk that he could barely stand up and treat a patient.
Garelick, a dentist for more than 30 years, has no record of professional discipline.
He was charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment and released on his own recognizance.