Unlicensed dentist busted in North Port, ran business out of garage

Sarasota County

A North Port dental office in Sarasota County, doing business out of the garage of a house, has been shut down.

An undercover officer posing as a patient discovered a full-service facility in the middle of a neighborhood.

The home looks like the typical home in this area. But North Port police said the people who live there were seeing dental patients for the last five years.

Pictures from inside the make-shift dental office show two exam chairs and a tray of tools.

Customers, mostly Hispanic people, according to police, could receive a long list of services.

“Everything from a cleaning to even braces, items like that. So pretty in depth and certainly not being done with the right education, certification, insurance,” said Josh Taylor with the North Port Police Department.

Police arrested Enrique Gravier and Adriana Hoyos Gutierrez, charging them with practicing dentistry without a license.

“There is a reason that dentistry is a licensed profession and it’s really just to keep the public safe,” said North Port dentist Dr. Christian Becker.

He is concerned the fake dentist may not have proper sterilization, tools, equipment and know-how in case of an emergency.

“It actually makes me sad for the most part because I can sympathize. I understand that it’s not inexpensive to get a dental appointment,” said Dr. Becker.

Dr. Becker said people in need of dentistry who cannot afford it can take advantage of county-run clinics or free dental services offered by area professionals.

A neighbor said the people who live in the home off South San Mateo Drive seem friendly and would have prayer services on occasion.

“Obviously we had no idea what so ever that there was a dental practice occurring. I’d like to think they were trying to help people who couldn’t afford perhaps typical dentistry,” said Paul Muldoon.

The couple charged with this unlicensed dental office are from Colombia, in South America, where a relative tells us they used to practice.

They are on in the Sarasota jail with a hold from ICE, federal immigration officials.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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