Paper clip-using dentist gets 1 year in jail

CAROUSEL -- Many people have silver fillings in their teeth called amalgams. Dentists put in more than 50 million of them annually. The Food and Drug Administration looked at whether they may be hazardous

FALL RIVER, Mass. - A mother is blasting the one-year jail sentence given to a former Massachusetts dentist who used paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in her son's root canal.

Brenda Almeida says she is very upset about the sentence imposed Monday on Dr. Michael Clair, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a list of charges, including assault and battery and Medicaid fraud.

Almeida says her teenage son's tooth turned black and had to be removed after Clair performed the root canal.

Mass. dentist used paper clips in root canals

Clair received a sentence of 2-and-a-half years, with all but one year suspended Monday in Fall River Superior Court after pleading guilty to defrauding Medicaid of $130,000.

Judge Richard Moses said he considered Clair's acceptance of responsibility and "certain mental health issues" Clair is dealing with in imposing the one-year sentence.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of five to seven years.

The 53-year-old Clair, who had a dental practice in Fall River, now lives in Crofton, Md.