DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A “dentures and partials repairs” ad placed in a local newspaper, which specifically targeting seniors, has Delray Beach residents and visitors talking.
”I’m not comfortable making a decision on cost with my health. I’m going to double check and triple check before I do any procedure,” said Jamie O’Connor, a Delray Beach resident.
A Delray Beach man was arrested for practicing dentistry without a license, leaving one woman hospitalized. Delray Beach Police describe Julian Saldarriaga as a repeat offender whose hospitalized victim knew he was not licensed. Their message to the elderly is put your health first.
Following a report of an 83-year-old woman who developed oral cancer, possibly caused by ill-fitting dentures, Delray Beach police arrested the owner of J & D Dental Laboratory and charged him with illegally performing dental work. Police said an oral surgeon diagnosed the woman's sores as Stage 3 cancer so she had surgery and is undergoing radiation treatment.
Police said the woman battling cancer had traveled to J & D Dental Lab at 16244 South Military Trail, unit 130, since at least 2009 for dental repairs and learned about it from friends who saw an ad in the newspaper at Kings Point where she lives.
Saldarriaga, 60, faces one count of practicing dentistry without a license, using dental equipment when not a licensed dentist, and advertising himself as a dentist.
Police say this is Saldarriaga’s second arrest for performing dental procedures without proper license. Police say even worse the victim knew Saldarriaga was not a dentist, requesting only cash for services.
Police said Saldarriaga had been performing dental procedures on patients for years without the proper license and was previously arrested for practicing unlicensed dentistry in 2001.
”He had affordable dentures,” said Dani Moschella, Delray Beach public information officer. “We really want residents to listen - if you think you’ve been a victim - call us. Let us know. We need to know what kind of reach this man had in the community.”
Moschella said on Monday after months of investigating police obtained searched warrants on Saldarriaga’s business, home and vehicle.
Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim or who has any information to call Delray Beach Police Department Det. Kim Mead at (561) 243-7829.