Health officials have already closed his practice, but now there are thousands of patients treated by him who fear they might have caught severe infectious diseases.
Dr. Stephen Stein had at least two dental offices in the state of Colorado, and officials say that there are indeed thousands of patients who have been put at the risk of HIV, because the dentist reused the needles and syringes which were dirty and possibly infected.
As many as 8,000 patients now received letters from officials and they are asked to take further medical examinations to see if they have contracted diseases such as hepatitis or HIV. These patients have been treated by Dr. Stein between the years of 1999 and 2011.
One of the biggest problems now is that even if patients will be found being HIV positive or with hepatitis, there is no way to tell for sure if these people contracted the disease in the dental office of the doctor.
However, being tested for all these patients is extremely important, especially for the very severe viruses such as HIV or hepatitis.
Unsafe injection practices represent a highly severe problem in all of the health branches, not only dentistry. When the needle is reused, patients are immediately exposed to a wide range of infections and bacteria, some of which unfortunately may be deadly viruses.
Now that the health department had sent these letters to all the former patients of Stein, these patients are urged to get tested immediately for Hepatitis B & C, and for HIV infections.
It has also been reported that the records kept by Dr. Stein were quite incomplete, so it is very possible that the doctor had treated a much greater number of patients than 8,000. There was also set up a hot line, where people who were treated by Dr. Stein could call and get more information regarding the problem.