The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has suspended a prominent Halifax-area dentist’s licence after several misconduct allegations came forward.
In a statement to Global News, Dr. Curtis Gregoire, deputy registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, said the board’s complaints committee held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening “to consider recent complaints made against Dr. Errol Gaum.”
“After reviewing complaints, the Committee ordered that Dr. Gaum’s license to practice dentistry in the Province of Nova Scotia be suspended indefinitely, effective immediately,” Dr. Gregoire said in the statement.
According to the Dental Act, Dr. Gaum is able to provide a written request to the complaints committee to have a meeting to review its decision to suspend his licence. However, the board said absent that request, the suspension is indefinite.
The board did not say whether that request has been submitted to the complaints committee. No other details on the decision were released and the board said it is not taking interviews at this time.
The decision comes after several parents and former patients came forward to accuse Gaum of professional malpractice by using excessive force on children in his dentist chair.
One account was from Ryan Binder, a parent from Glace Bay, N.S., whose six-year-old daughter was referred to Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S., to get a tooth removed.
Binder claimed Gaum “wasn’t letting his daughter breathe” because he was holding her nose during the treatment. He also claimed Gaum told his daughter to “shut up” during the appointment.
Binder shared the experience on Facebook, which has since garnered thousands of shares. He says the decision from the board provides some form of vindication.
“To finally hear that something is being done, you can’t wipe the smile off my face,” Binder said. “There’s a lot of people that are in their 50s that went to him that are reaching out and saying thank you, I’ve been waiting 30, 40, 50 years.
“It’s still hard, because all these kids are still going through a very rough time.”
Halifax Regional Police have confirmed that they’ve received at least four complaints since last week about a man who was working as a dentist at 1083 Bedford Highway in Bedford.
On Thursday, Halifax police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod told Global News they are now investigating “numerous” complaints, but did not provide a specific number.
“It’s still in the very early stages of this investigation, so we’re still looking into it to determine what happened and to investigate to the end,” Const. MacLeod said.
At this point, no charges have been laid.
Dr. Gaum’s attorney Joel Pink has declined repeated attempts for an interview, only saying Dr. Gaum will not be commenting until the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia’s investigation is complete. He also says Dr. Gaum is co-operating in that investigation.