Owner of Delray Beach dental lab accused of illegal dental work

Posted at 4:33 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 04:48:32-04

Following a report of an 83-year-old woman who developed oral cancer, possibly caused by ill-fitting dentures, Delray Beach police said they have arrested the owner of a dental lab and charged him with illegally performing dental work.

Julian 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 said the woman battling cancer been traveling 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.

Last August, police said Saldarriaga fitted and made a new pair of dentures for the woman. They said a few months passed and she noticed sores developed where the dentures were rubbing. In February she went back to the lab because she was still having a problem with her bottom dentures and the sores were getting worse, according to police. They said he recommended a mouthwash and told her to see a dentist.

Police said an oral surgeon diagnosed the woman's sores as Stage 3 cancer so she had surgery and is undergoing radiation treatment.

Investigators said Saldarriaga always had her pay cash.

Police tweeted out a photo Saldarriaga's arrest and said the Department Health is taking part in a joint investigation.

Detectives have search warrants for his home, lab and car.

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.

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.