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Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

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WATCH: There are now growing malpractice allegations against a Halifax-area dentist. Parents tell Global News that Dr. Errol Gaum allegedly left their children feeling traumatized. As Graeme Benjamin reports, the police are now involved – Nov 16, 2020

Parents in Nova Scotia are accusing a dentist in Bedford, N.S., of malpractice while doing dental work on their children and are calling for his licence to be revoked.

Ryan Binder from Glace Bay, N.S., says his six-year-old daughter had a referral from the Mayflower Mall Dentist in Sydney to Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S., to get a tooth removed.

Binder says he wasn’t able to attend the Tuesday appointment, as he was working, so his mother attended for him.

“She started screaming during the appointment, and my mother went to the secretary and said, is that Peyton screaming?” said Binder.

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Binder says his mother wasn’t allowed inside the room during the treatment. He claims the dentist, Dr. Errol Gaum, wasn’t letting his daughter breathe because he was holding her nose during the treatment, restricting her breathing.

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“She was screaming for my mother and Dr. Gaum told her to ‘shut up’ and said that ‘your grandmother is gone,’” said Binder. “My mother was so upset, then my fiancé told me ‘you need to get home now.’

“(My daughter) came up to me crying, she said ‘daddy, you said I was going to be OK. You were wrong, daddy.”

That’s when he decided to post about the experience on Facebook, which has since garnered thousands of shares.

Stephanie Walsh of Lower Sackville, N.S., says her son had a similar experience with Dr. Gaum back in August. She says her son was referred to him after it was determined he needed new caps.

“They advised me that I was not allowed to be in the room with him — I’d need to be in the waiting room, or I could wait in the van,” said Walsh, “which I thought was bizarre.”

“I carried him to the room, put him in the chair, they closed the door behind me and I sat in the waiting room and waited for what felt like an eternity while I listened to him scream in agony the entire time.”

In a statement to Global News, the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia said they are “aware of the recent concern posted on Facebook.  The Board is currently looking further into this matter.”

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“Individuals wishing to make a formal complaint about a dentist should file one directly with the Board by mail or on its website,” said Dr. Curtis Gregoire, deputy registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, in the statement.

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Halifax Regional Police also confirmed that they received a complaint about Dr. Gaum on Tuesday.

“At this point we have one report of this particular incident, but it’s important that we conduct our investigations and we make sure that we look into them thoroughly,” said Halifax police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod.

Dr. Gaum declined an interview with Global News, but his attorney says he’s aware of social media posts being made and is completely denying any allegations.

Both Ryan Binder and Stephanie Walsh are calling for Dr. Gaum’s licence to be revoked.

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“I’m kind of upset about the other workers that work there that obviously know what’s going on and nobody’s saying anything and being the voice of reason,” said Walsh.

“He does not deserve to do this to the kids,” said Binder. “It’s kids. I don’t understand what is going on, why are we not protecting them?”

— With files from Jesse Thomas.