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Father and Son Dentists Get Years in Prison After Thousands of Root Canals on Healthy Patients to Scam Social Security

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: September 9, 2022
Two French dentists received years in prison after conducting thousands of root canals on healthy patients to scam social security.
A dentistry-themed file photo. A father and son dentist duo in France received eight and five years in prison for conducting thousands of root canals on unsuspecting patients in a poor area so as to defraud social security. (Image: Pixabay via Pexels)

A pair of French dentists have been sentenced to years in prison after conducting thousands of root canals on otherwise healthy patients for the purposes of extracting extra money from social security.

The Guardian reported on Sept. 8 that 41-year-old Lionel Gudej and his 70-year-old father Carnot, who worked as his assistant, earned themselves an eight and five year prison term respectively for their crimes.

The article stated that during sentencing, the court, “Heard harrowing accounts of patients who had booked an appointment for minor issues, such as a cavity or loose crown, and ended up having scores of healthy teeth removed for no medical reason.”

Lionel conducted a stunning 3,900 root canals on 327 patients who did not need the procedure, “Simply because he wanted to fit bridges that would make him money,” the Guardian stated.

“Dental procedures that normally took 45 minutes to an hour were performed by Guedj in about 10 minutes – many of them resulting in infections, complications or permanent damage,” it added.

The larceny made Gudej 2010’s most profitable dentist in France, taking home €2.9 million in fees ($2.92 million USD approx~).

AFP stated that, according to the French National Health Service, which disbursed much of the money Gudej took, the pair, “Fitted 28 times more bridges than the average dentist.”

The Telegraph reported that, “Guedj drove a Ferrari and owned a €700,000 yacht, paintings by Andy Warhol, three flats in Paris, two in the Alps and a block of flats in Perpignan in southern France.”

They explained that the dentist specifically targeted low income patients so that he could extract funds from the public welfare coffers, “Most of his patients were from impoverished council estates in north Marseille and were on low incomes, so were able to claim the cost of the dental care back from the social security system.”

A Google translated version of an article from French media outlet LeParisian added that Lionel Gudej was also fined €375,000 and had his building seized, while his father was fined €150,000.

Gudej’s scoundrel actions were on full display during victim testimony, the Guardian noted, “One woman described going to him, aged 18, for a minor tooth enamel issue. He pulled out 24 of her healthy teeth without properly disinfecting the roots.”

According to AFP, the presiding Judge ordered the two to directly enter prison, regardless of if they intend to appeal, a decision that was met with cheering.

Outside the building, the pair were booed and heckled when they arrived at the courthouse.