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Local

State suspends dentist’s drug license

Accusations ‘unfounded,’ Wells says

STERLING – The state is suspending a local dentist’s controlled substances license for the next 2 years.

On Dec. 20, Wendy Wells, who runs Wells Family Dentistry, 1840 First Ave., signed a consent order with the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. She received a number of penalties.

The state accused Wells of aiding the unlicensed practice of dentistry and using or prescribing controlled substances other than for therapeutic purposes. Wells neither admitted nor denied the accusations, the consent order said.

However, in a statement Thursday, Wells said the accusation about unlicensed practice of dentistry was false. She also said someone used her controlled substances license without her knowledge.

Under the consent order’s terms, the state suspended her dental license for 15 days and placed the license on probation for 2 years.

Wells, who has been a dentist in the Sauk Valley since 1992, also agreed to have her controlled substances license suspended for 2 years. That license allows her to prescribe medications.

Longtime Sterling dentist Michael J. Krueger now practices with Wells Family Dentistry.

Wells must complete 10 hours of classes in pharmacology, 10 hours in ethics and 5 hours in business administration. She also is required to pay the state a $3,000 fine.

If Wells commits any violations of the Dental Practice Act, the state would immediately suspend her license for at least 6 months.

The consent order didn’t give any details about the accusations against Wells.

Susan Hofer, spokeswoman for the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, said she couldn’t say anything about the case beyond the parameters of the consent order, which was “carefully drafted and agreed to by the parties.”

Wells said that in 2010, the state filed a complaint that dental work had been done without proper supervision of a licensed dentist. She said one of her assistants provided the state with copies of inaccurate schedules that indicated that dental work was done during Wells’ days off. No such work was done while she was gone, she said.

In 2010, Wells said, her office had some controlled medications in a locked cabinet for patients’ comfort.

“We found out through the state investigation process that my controlled substances license had been abused,” Wells said in the statement. “I, unfortunately, had to take responsibility for that.”

Her controlled substances license was used without her knowledge, Wells said.

“I voluntarily surrendered my controlled substances license; it was not taken from me,” she said.

She said she wishes she hadn’t signed the consent order.

“My attorney recommended that I accept a 15-day suspension rather than carrying the burden and expense of at least 2 years of litigation against the state of Illinois over the absurd complaints and allegations that the state wanted to pursue,” Wells said in the statement.

“If I had any idea that this would be printed in my local paper, in hindsight, I would rather have litigated with the state to prove that the allegations were unfounded,” Wells said.

According to the American Dental Association, Illinois had 8,673 professionally active dentists in November.

The state rarely disciplines dentists. In the year before Wells’ consent order, 28 Illinois dentists were disciplined.

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