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Hilo dentist shuts down as complaints grow to 12

By Susan Essoyan

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:26 p.m. HST, Apr 11, 2014


Dr. John D. Stover, a dentist and surgeon who now has 12 complaints pending against him with the state, has told colleagues that he will stop working at the close of business Friday.

"Today is his last day of work," a Hilo dentist who had referred patients to him for oral surgery told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Friday morning on condition of anonymity.  "We did confirm that."

Anguished friends and relatives of Kristen Tavares had picketed Stover's office in Hilo, asking the state to shut it down, saying she had plunged into a coma while having her wisdom teeth extracted by him on March 17. She was flown to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she remained unresponsive. A mother of two, she turned 24 in the hospital.

Stover did not respond to calls and an email from the Star-Advertiser and his attorney, Arthur Roeca, said he had no comment.

The Hawaii Dental Association noted that Stover was not a member of its association and lamented the fact that he set up practice in Hawaii.

"It's a shame this person was allowed to practice dentistry in Hawaii," Dr. Lili Horton, president of Hawaii Dental Association, said in a written statement regarding Stover in response to an inquiry from the Star-Advertiser. "Over our objections, the Legislature created a loophole in 2005 that allowed several dentists to come to Hawaii and set up a practice, without going through a rigorous exam. Stover was one of those dentists."

"Dr. Lilly L. Geyer (nee Tsou) whose patient, three-year-old Finley Puleo Boyle, died after suffering massive brain damage while in Geyer's care was another. Neither of these dentists were members of the Hawaii Dental Association, which represents 92 percent of all Hawaii dentists. Our association encourages elected officials and regulatory agencies to protect the public's health by ensuring only highly qualified dentists are allowed to practice in Hawaii."

Stover was licensed as a medical doctor in Hawaii in 2001 and as a dentist in 2005. He was among 87 dentists licensed in Hawaii by regional exam or credential during a transition period after the Hawaii Board of Dental Examiners stopped administering its own test and before it began requiring dentists to pass a national exam. He had previously practiced as a surgeon and dentist in Louisiana.

His business, known as Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii, has offices in Hilo, Kona and Waimea. He specializes in oral and facial surgery, and is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, among others.

He has no disciplinary history in that state and those licenses remain active, according to the Louisiana dental and medical boards.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website shows that Stover had seven complaints filed against him this year as a doctor and dentist, most after the Tavares case was publicized. Three complaints were lodged last year. In 2012, two complaints were filed. All 12 complaints are still pending and under investigation, and no details are available from the department. Another complaint filed against him in 2010 was closed the following year for insufficient evidence.




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Slow wrote:
Hilo and all of east Hawaii has a serious problem with quality medical care. Hilo Hospital is a legendary nightmare.
on April 11,2014 | 12:11PM
Eradication wrote:
You don't know what you are talking about. Hilo Medical Center is a fine hospital. I've had my mother there and my wife. Both received the best of care. There are bad doctors in every city, state. Don't lump them all in the same boat. My Primary Care Physician is the best and I live in Hilo.
on April 11,2014 | 11:15PM
kainalu wrote:
It's about time. This isn't about Hilo, Slow. This is about a rogue sadistic **** that should be in jail, let alone practicing Dentistry.
on April 11,2014 | 01:20PM
Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
Tell that to Brian Schatz and Roz Baker, they wanted the loophole that got this dentist his license.
on April 11,2014 | 02:15PM
samidunn wrote:
Thought the State was suppose to protect us from people like this.
on April 11,2014 | 01:23PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
sami, so you blaming the State? How about blaming the Feds, or Hawaii Dental Association, even tho he was not their member? Who else you want to blame? How about blaming the Hawaii Better Business Bureau? How about blaming Louisiana State for not informing us of his incompetence?
on April 11,2014 | 07:40PM
krusha wrote:
The real problem was this guy's mental competence. Seems like most of the complaints stemmed from him blowing a fuse or acting strangely like a schizophrenic.
on April 11,2014 | 01:47PM
PTF wrote:
He's definitely cray cray.
on April 11,2014 | 04:43PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
It sounds like Alan Feinstone from the horror movie The Dentist. The Dentist 3 ought to focus on Stover.
on April 11,2014 | 05:23PM
localguy wrote:
All 12 complaints are still pending and under investigation. Really? As in how far along is the investigation? Who is in charge of the investigation? How many witnesses have been interviewed? Willing to bet with our clueless government bureaucracy, nothing was being done until this story hit the news. Now everyone is jumping to cover their behind, trying to spin their utter failure to do anything. Yes, just another day in the little 4th world, banana boat republic of Hawaii Nei.
on April 11,2014 | 04:41PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
local, if you not happy with the government, what you going do? Complaining here does absolutely nothing. Not happy with Hawaii nei? If you not trying to make it a better place, you're part of the problem. One option is to leave this place that you're unhappy living at.
on April 11,2014 | 07:43PM
samidunn wrote:
retired, this forum is for people to comment on the article and complain if they wish. Have you ever read the Constitution.
on April 11,2014 | 08:49PM
Buckykat wrote:
Whatever happened to guilty until proven innocent? Or is it the other way around? Sometimes I forget.
on April 11,2014 | 09:59PM
MililaniGirl wrote:
I may have missed something in the article or newscast, but the lastest person, Kristen Tavares, how is she doing? Is she still in a coma? God Bless each and everyone of his patients, may the heal with God's healing hands!
on April 12,2014 | 12:03AM
joeglick wrote:
What a quack. The government failed the people in this case, Condolences to the families and friends.
on April 12,2014 | 12:18AM
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