Health Officials Urge Screenings for Patients of Tulsa Dentist

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department has started to offer free screenings for local patients who may have been exposed to disease at a Tulsa dentist office. Health officials urge any former patients of Dr. Scott Harrington to come in.

"There's no reason to be nervous about coming to get this test. It's just like any other blood donation, blood test that you give in the past," said Cynthia Harry with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Harry said some may not know they have the disease.

"Unfortunately because of the nature of the diseases.... they may have a long dormant phase where people may just be carriers and not symptomatic," Harry said.

The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry said up to 7,000 people could be have been infected with HIV, Hepatitis C or Hepatitis B because of the conditions Dr. Harrington was practicing under. Investigators said the conditions were among the worst they've ever seen.

"I will tell you that when the health department investigators and we left, we were just physically kind of sick. I mean, that's how bad-and I've seen a lot of bad stuff over the years," Susan Rogers, with the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry said.

Some patients said they're angry and can't believe they've been put at risk.

"We are all very concerned and apprehensive," former patients Colton Scott said.

"You don't expect anything negative when you go to a doctor, and you put your trust in them, and that's what I did and now this has happened, and I'm very angry," Joyce Baylor said.

These extended hours have been set up for screenings at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department:

Friday March 29th from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Saturday March 30th from 10:00am - 2:00pm
April 1st - April 5th extended hours 7:00am-6pm

The Oklahoma Health Department has also set up a hotline for people with questions about the three viruses: (405) 425-4437.