Man accused of practicing dentistry in Utah basement without license
Jan 31, 2024, 3:56 PM | Updated: 4:58 pm
TAYLORSVILLE — A man who was allegedly performing dental work in the basement of a Taylorsville home has been criminally charged.
Enrique Moroni Gomez Vera, 32, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with unlawful occupational or professional conduct, a third-degree felony.
The investigation began in November when an instructor at the Utah College of Dental Hygiene School reported that a student had recently treated a friend who had dental work done by Vera, according to charging documents.
The friend said she had gone to a home near 4900 S. 3600 West to have a tooth pulled.
“The client left after the extraction, then suffered extreme amounts of pain from the extraction (site) and went to the hospital for treatment. (The student) took an X-ray of the client’s mouth and discovered that part of the root was still in the gums of the mouth,” the charges state.
An investigator for the Division of Professional Licensing began looking into Vera and found his Facebook page, “which stated in Spanish that Gomez Vera studied the equivalent of oral medicine in Peru,” the charges state. But he “did not have a license to work as a dentist” in Utah.
On Nov. 22, Taylorsville police served a search warrant on the basement dental office.
“Officers located several dental tools, a pay/owe sheet showing different outstanding amounts from different clients for services, a sterilizer machine, dental molds, miscellaneous medications, a dental cleaning machine, and a dentist sucker in a room inside the residence,” according to charging documents. “Gomez Vera admitted that he worked at the residence providing dental procedures to clients who could not afford traditional oral care, that he was a dentist in Peru, but he was not yet licensed to work as a dentist in Utah or Taylorsville, and that he knew providing dental procedures without a license was illegal.”
Police say Vera was in the process of trying to obtain a license in Utah to practice dentistry, and the setup in the basement was “clean,” but was still illegal because he did not have a professional license in Utah.