wisdom teeth removal





Sexual Assault under Anesthesia for Wisdom Teeth Removal

The information presented on this site is of personal opinion and consequently is slanted and biased and not based on proper scientific research. The information presented is NOT written by a dental expert. Further the information presented has NOT been subjected to peer review by experts to verify accuracy and data integrity.

Unfortunately there have been many cases of women allegedly being sexually molested after starting to regain conciousness after having been given anesthesia, sedatives, and other drugs while under going oral surgery to have their wisdom teeth extracted.

MANY OF THE DETAILS DESCRIBED BELOW CAN BE EXTREME. Certainly it would be extremely rare to be sexually assaulted while under anesthesia for a dental procedure. 

In one case in 2017 in Maryland a 17 year old woman was assaulted by a dental assistant while having her wisdom teeth removed while sedated.The woman recalls waking up from surgery with blurry vision and a hand touching the inside of her pants and underwear. Please see http://blog.teethremoval.com/recent-cases-of-dentist-assistant-sexual-assault-during-wisdom-teeth-removal/ for some additional information. [42]

In one case in spanning from 2015 and 2016 in California a dental assistant assaulted 13 young women victims while they were having wisdom teeth extracted. Most of the sexual assaults were captured on security cameras that had been installed since 2009 but was not detected initially. The dental assistant was sentenced to 15 years in jail and admitted to penetrating one of the women. Please see http://blog.teethremoval.com/recent-cases-of-dentist-assistant-sexual-assault-during-wisdom-teeth-removal/ for some additional information. [41]

In one case in Pennsylvania in the late 2000's an oral surgeon was accused of sexual assault of 17 women who testified as such at a trial. The judge ruled that the women "thought" they were sexually assaulted due to the drugs they were on. One such drug named propofol is known to have a side effect of sexual hallucinations in rare cases. Please see http://blog.teethremoval.com/oral-surgeon-sexual-assault-acquital/ for some additional information on this case. [1] A good article to read that expands on this case is found at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08176/892099-52.stm. [8]

In one case in November 2010, a Massachusetts oral surgeon was found guilty of holding and cupping the breast of a fully clothed 16 year old female while she was under sedation to have her wisdom teeth removed. [37]

In another case a dental assistant was convicted of sexually assaulting a 23 year old woman in April of 2009, in Maryland. The woman was under anesthesia to have her wisdom teeth removed and she awoke to him kissing her mouth and fondling her breasts. [2]

In another case, a dentist lost his dental license and was sentenced for a year in jail for groping seven female patients in California. One of the patients included a 13 year old girl who awoke to find the dentist fondling her breasts while she was having her wisdom teeth removed in 2007. [4]

In another case, in August 2004, a New Jersey dentist and oral surgeon was found guilty of harassment of a 19 year old woman in college having all four wisdom teeth extracted. The surgeon grabbed her breasts and squeezed multiple times while performing the extractions. During the trial, the surgeon said he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as she was experiencing respiratory arrest meaning irregular breathing. The judge did not believe the surgeon as if he really did perform CPR he would have called for assistance and not have continued the surgery. The judge found evidence which established beyond a reasonable doubt that [the surgeon] "took advantage of the young, college student and her breasts with no legitimate purpose." [26]

In another case in 2003 in New Jersey a 19 year old woman had wisdom teeth removed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon while under intravenous sedation in an office based setting where the oral surgeon administered the sedation. The oral surgeon pulled on the woman's waistband on her pants while she was having the surgery and later fondled her butt as he walked her to the recovery room and he also rubbed her thigh and private area while she laid on a cot in the recovery room. The woman was awarded $275,000 in damages. [38, 39]

In yet another case, a dentist was accused of groping and kissing a woman's breast and tried to remove her pants until she told him no while she was still drowsy from the sedation after having her wisdom teeth removed. This occured in England in 2004. During the trial the jury was told the sedative midazolam which was given during the wisdom teeth surgery could in rare circumstances produce sexual fantasies in patients. The dentist was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to three years in jail. [6, 7]

In a case in February 1998, a 30 year old women went to see an oral surgeon to have her wisdom teeth removed. She was given general anesthesia and had her wisdom teeth removed. When she awoke she was startled because she felt a male organ in her hand and saw the dental assistant who told her to "lie down". In April 1998, a woman around 20 years old went to the surgeon's office to have her wisdom teeth removed. She was given general anesthesia and had her wisdom teeth removed. When she awoke from surgery she felt her crotch being touched yet could not move, open her mouth, and her eyes were closed due to the effects of the anesthesia. When her eyes opened she saw the dental assistant moving around "like he was cleaning up". During the trial a dental anesthesiologist testified as an expert that patients have been known to have sexual halluciantions while under the influence of anesthestics. Another anesthesiologist testified that sexual hallucinations occur only when the patient is under conscious sedation. Further this expert said a patient coming out of general anesthesia will not experience sexual hallucinations. After a 7 day trial the dental assistant was convicted of multiple counts of sexual battery. [27]

In another case, a surgeon extracted wisdom teeth of a woman in October 1988. As she started to emerge from the anesthesia she felt his hand on her breast. The surgeon also extracted wisdom teeth of a 26 year old female in June or July of 1990. This woman returned for a follow up appointment due to excessive swelling and infection from surgery. The surgeon put her under general anesthesia and she felt him place his hand under her blouse and fondle her breasts. She awoke and her blouse was unbuttoned. She continued to have some swelling and went to see him a third time and was again put under general anesthesia. This time .. "she looked down and saw her breasts exposed, and her bra, which was a front closure bra, open." She felt him remove her blouse and saw him place his mouth on one breast, and a hand on the other. The surgeon also extracted wisdom teeth of a 19 year old female in October 1990. She woke up to his voice telling her to take deep breaths and feeling his hand placed under her shirt on her left breast. She remembers waking up again and feeling her right arm placed near where he was sitting in a stool and her arm being moved in a backward and forward motion. The surgeon also extracted wisdom teeth of a another woman in September 1991. "While she was under general anesthesia she felt someone fondle her breast, and touch her nipples" and also felt the surgeon place her hand on his crotch. A total of 15 patients came forward and the surgeon's dental license was revoked in Nevada. During the trial a psychiatrist testified regarding the hallucinogenic effects of anesthetics used including diazepam (valium), meperidine (demerol), and methohexital (brevital). [28]

In another case, an oral surgeon was accussed of fondling a woman's breast when she awoke after having four of her wisdom teeth removed in Florida. Another woman also accused the oral surgeon of fondling her breast as she was waking up from anesthesia after having 5 teeth pulled. These surgeries occured in 1984. [5]

In another case, an oral surgeon extracted wisdom teeth of a 24 year old female in the spring and summer of 1983. During the final appointment he attempted to kiss her in the hallway to the waiting room. The surgeon extracted the wisdom teeth of another 24 year old female in the fall of 1983. As she awoke from anesthesia the surgeon touched both of her breasts while rubbing in a circular motion. The surgeon also extracted the wisdom teeth of another 24 year old female in February, 1984. After the extractions he rubbed his hand on her breasts. During the trial nurses testified of being present when the surgeries occured and that no misconduct occured. Experts testified that females may experience sexual dreams or hallucinations while under anesthestics such as those used The judge found that the allegations did in fact occur and were not dreams. The surgeon's license was suspended. [29, 30]

In another case, three women accused an oral and maxillofacial surgeon of sexual assault while under anesthesia when having their wisdom teeth removed in South Carolina. The women alleged that when they started to regain conciousness from the anesthesia, sedatives, and drugs they were on the surgeon was touching their genitals. All three of these oral surgeries occured in 1983. Each of the women brought a suit against the surgeon which said that he had taken "indecent liberties with private parts of her body and invaded her privacy." [3, 36]

In the following cases there was no mention of any wisdom teeth being extracted but it illustrates what has occured with other dental procedures. In 1999, a dentist plead guilty to five counts of lewd molestation. The reason was because a box full of Polaroid pictures of anesthetized semiconscious and blindfolded girls were found at his Oklahoma, dental office in 1998. 146 pictures of roughly 15 girls mostly between the ages of 8 and 16 performing oral sex on the dentist were found. He was sentenced to two 20-year terms and three 10-year terms, all running consecutively. This sentence equaled 70 years but by stacking five consecutive terms he would have to be paroled five times before being released from prison. [20, 21, 22, 25] Also in 1999, a retired dentist plead guilty to sexually and indecently assaulting 15 patients ranging in age from 11 to 54 between the early 1950s and 1997 in Canada. The indecent assaults consisted of him mostly fondling breasts and rubbing pelvic areas. [24]

While certainly not unique to wisdom teeth extractions and other dental procedures, dreams of a sexual nature have been implicated as a side affect of anesthesia since 1849. [33] Some of these cases are where women had dreams of a sexual nature and no assault occured; however, they were fully convinced that the assault had occured. These dreams included such things as touching the doctors male organ, performing oral sex, the doctor touching the crotch, the doctor fondling the breasts, and sexual intercourse. [32]

The lessons learned from these cases are that drugs given during wisdom teeth removal, particularly with moderate (conscious) sedation, which have known side effects of sexual hallucinations/sexually oriented dreams. Regardless of if you are a male or a female you should be aware of all of the drugs your oral surgeon would give you if you elect to have your wisdom teeth removed. You may want to consider electing to not use anesthesia and known drugs that cause sexual hallucinations.

There are many different sedating drugs and drugs which are associated with moderate (conscious) sedation used by oral and maxillofacial surgeons which include fentanyl, meperidine, propofol, ketamine, methohexital, diazepam, midazolam, and nitrous oxide. This is in addition to local anesthesia see the differences between anaesthesia and sedation for further information. [8, 9]

Fentanyl has listed on it's drug label "hallucinations", "abnormal thinking", and "abnormal dreams". [10] Meperidine can cause "hallucinations". [11] Propofol has listed on it's drug label "abnormal dreams", "amorous behavior", and "hallucinations"as possible side effects. [8, 12] Ketamine has a special note on it's drug label stating "... in approximately 12 percent of patients...psychological manifestations vary in severity between pleasant dream-like states, vivid imaginary hallucinations, and emergence delirium." [8, 13] Methohexital has listed on it's drug label "emergence delirium" as a possible adverse reaction. [14] Diazepam can cause "hallucinations", "delusions", and "changes in sexual desire". [8, 15] Midazolam has listed on it's drug label "hallucination", "emergence delirium", and "dreaming during emergence" as adverse experiences observed occuring at an incidence of less than 1% in patients. [8, 16] Nitrous oxide has been implicated in dreaming hallucinations in high concentrations but may just be an excuse for health professionals to sexually assault their patients. [17, 18, 19, 23] General anesthesia does not typically cause hallucinations but could be "...a consequence of misperceptions during induction or emergence from general anesthesia." [8, 27] Physical stimulation such as blood pressure cuffs, wiping instruments on the chest, removal of ECG electrodes, removal of a bib, and elbows rubbing the chest while the doctor is working in the mouth is sometimes the origin of sexual hallucinations. [17, 30] Other examples of the potential origin of sexual hallucinations include the dentist or oral surgeon leaning over a patient, helping the patient up, or having the patient hold or squeeze something (e.g. their hand, doctor's fingers). [8, 30, 32]

Unfortunately, some doctors, dentists, and oral surgeons use these drugs to sexually assault their patients while in rare cases a sexual dream may occur and cause the patient to be convinced they were sexually assaulted even though it did not happen. Hence it is necessary when these drugs are administered that nurses or other chaperones are present in the room so that a hallucination can cleary be distinguished from sexual assault. Ideally the nurse or other chaperones should be of the same gender of the patient. The number of false accusations of sexual assault due to a sexual hallucation occuring when one is given anesthesia is “infinitely small” compared with the number of cases of real sexual abuse. [8, 17, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40]

The cases above help illustrate that it appears an oral surgeon can sexually assault someone while he or she is having their wisdom teeth removed and not have any repercussions/loss of license/jail time occur. The defense simply is is that the drug he or she was given during surgery to remove wisdom teeth could have caused a sexual hallucination to occur and hence the sexual assualt is not real and did not actually occur. This makes it very difficult for the difference between a dream and actual reality to be shown in court.

As a closing thought, to understand that you can truly be sexually assaulted and even raped while having your wisdom teeth removed consider a woman's former comment on hillbuzz.org on sexual assault... (The article "question-when-do-women-come-forward-about-sexual-assaults-and-what-do-they-typically-do-about-it", July 27, 2010, link now dead)

"I was raped while under anesthesia for removal of my wisdom teeth. I was unaware of the rape until hours later when I was showering and saw the “aftereffects” on my thighs. Was in denial until several weeks later I went to the clinic for odd growths on my pubic area…I had contracted genital herpes. I was 18yrs old and in the Army. I kept telling the doctors I had not had intercourse with anyone for over six months.

After completing treatment I was called into my commanding officer’s office and asked if I remembered having my wisdom teeth removed and if the dentist (who was an officer) had ever “asked me out”… apparently this monster had infected several other females…it was a freaking nightmare…I have had reoccuring medical problems all my life…cervical cancer is my biggest concern…"

Updated October. 11, 2019

1. Daniel Malloy. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Oral Surgeon Acquitted of Assaults on Patients. July 09, 2009. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09190/982695-57.stm
2. Katie Leckie. FrederickNewsPost. Dental Assistant Gets Five Years for Fondling Patient. October 15, 2009. https://www.fredericknewspost.com/archive/dental-assistant-gets-five-years-for-fondling-patient/article_6b0466df-cc07-5e47-9558-9cfeeba677b0.html
3. Evening Herald. 3 Women Claim Dentist Took Liberties With Them. Wednesday, September 18, 1985.
4. Henry K. Lee. SFGate. Groping Dentist Will Lose License. January 30, 2010.
5. Sarasota Herald-Tribue. Battery Charges Filed Against Oral Surgeon. Wednesday, October 17, 1984. 5BTC
6. BBC News. Jail Term for Sex Assault Dentist. Friday, March 11, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/southern_counties/4339819.stm
7. BBC News. Sex Assault Dentist 'Faces Jail'. Wednesday, February 9, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/southern_counties/4250351.stm
8. Gabrielle Banks. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Doctor's Possible Defense: Alleged Sex Assaults Were Hallucinations. Tuesday, June 24, 2008. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08176/892099-52.stm
9. David H. Perrott and et. al. Office-Based Ambulatory Anesthesia: Outcomes of Clinical Practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003. 61. pages 983-995.
10. FDA label. FENTANYL patch [Sandoz,Inc.]
11. FDA label. demerol (Meperidine Hydrochloride)  injection, solution [HOSPIRA, INC.]
12. FDA label. DIPRIVAN (propofol) injection, emulsion [APP Pharmaceuticals, LLC]
13. FDA label. KETALAR (ketamine hydrochloride) injection [JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC]
14. FDA label. BREVITAL SODIUM (methohexital sodium) injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution [JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC]
15. FDA label. DIAZEPAM tablet [4UORTHO LLC]
16. FDA label. midazolam hydrochloride (Midazolam Hydrochloride)  injection, solution [HOSPIRA, INC.]
17. B. Balasubramaniam and G. R. Park. Sexual hallucinations during and after sedation and anaesthesia. Anaesthesia. 2003. 58. pages 549-553.
18. Karen Freifeld. Newday. Dentist Accused of Sex Abuse/Woman testifies to being touched under anesthesia. June 1, 2001. A30.
19. Austin Fennier. Daily News. Dentist Guilty of Sex Abuse. June 11, 2001.
20. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Dentist admits to molesting girls. January 9, 1999. 6.
21. Denver Post. Dentist sought in sex abuse: Man flees Estes Park ahead of authorities. August 6, 1998. A04.
22. Brian Barber. Tulsa World. Dentist's license permanetly revoked. September 3, 1998. 13.
23. Stanley F. Malamed. DDS. Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen: A New Look at a Very Old Technique. Journal of the California Dental Association. May 2003.
24. Wendy Darroch. Toronto Star. Dentist, 77, pleads guilty to sex offences. Retired man admits indecently assaulting 15 of his patients. April 12, 1999. page 1.
25. Bill Braun. Tulsa World. Ex-dentist sentenced; acted out “fantasy’. February 17, 1999. page 1.
26. State of New Jersey Plaintiff-Respondent v. Robert Hwang. Docket No. A-1847-06T5. Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. November 5, 2007.
27. The People v Randall Allan Yee. G027598. Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three. November 26, 2002.
28. Gregory A. Minton v Board of Medical Examiners. No. 24446. Supreme Court of Nevada. September 28, 1994.
29. In the Matter of the Disciplinary Action Against the Dentist License of Joseph H. Wang. No. C6-87-1337. Court of Appeals of Minnesota. December 29, 1987.
30. In the Matter of the Disciplinary Action Against the Dentist License of Joseph H. Wang. No. C6-87-1337. Supreme Court of Minnesota. June 9, 1989.
31. Kate Leslie and et al. Dreaming During Anesthesia and Anesthetic Depth in Elective Surgery Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study. Anesthesiology. 106. pages 33-42. 2007.
32. John W. Dundee. Advantages and Problems with Benzodiazepine Sedation. Anesth Prog. 39. pages 132-137. 1992.
33. Robert A. Strickland and John F. Butterworth. Sexual Dreaming during Anesthesia: Early Case Histories (1849-1888) of the Phenomenon. Anesthesiology. 106. pages 1232-1236. 2007.
34. Matthew Brown. Patients who report attack by doctor may have been dreaming. The Deseret News. September 25, 1991. M
35. Bruce Goldfarb, American Health. Sex, lies and anesthesia. October 1991.
36. South Carolina Medical Liability Insurance Joint Underwriting Association v. Stephen W. Ferry, D.D.S., [Three Women] No. 22685. Supreme Court of South Carolina. March 23, 1987.
37. Boston Herald. "Mass oral surgeon guilty of fondling patient," March 14, 2013.
38. Carly Rothman, "Oral surgeon found liable of groping female patients," The Star Ledger, Feb. 19, 2009, https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/oral_surgeon_found_liable_of_g.html
39. Ji et al., "Medical Malpractice Litigation Associated With Anesthesia in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery,"Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, vol. 76, pp. 1606-1610, 2018.
40. Schneemilch et al., "Sexualbezogene Halluzinationen und Träume unter Anästhesie und Sedierung" Der Anaesthesist, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 234–241, Mar. 2012, based on machine translated English.
41.Monica Garske, “This Has Ruined Me: Victim of Sexual Assault by San Diego Dental Assistant,” NBC 7 San Diego, Aug. 26, 2016, Updated Aug. 27, 2016, https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Luis-Ramos-San-Diego-Dental-Assistant-Sentencing-Sexual-Assaults-of-Patients-391407941.html.
42.Abigail Constantino, “Dental assistant found guilty of sexually abusing minor during surgery,” wtop, May 17, 2019, https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2019/05/dental-assistant-found-guilty-of-sexually-abusing-patient-during-surgery/

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