the day my dentist called the police to remove us from his office | Chief Joseph Dental Clinic in Lewiston, ID

Yes, you read that title correctly. Alternative options included:

My dentist taught my child his first curse word.


How to get kicked out of your dentist office.

Shall we just dig right in?


We’ve been standing on home turf in Idaho since the sun had it’s big event last month. Prior to that we’ve been on the move traveling full-time with our family of 6 in our 5th wheel RV. In the last 12 months we’ve gone from Idaho down to Florida, northward to Prince Edward Island and back to Idaho covering a total of over 16,000 miles. Coming back to the Pacific Northwest has been like slipping into a favorite pair of jeans. It just feels right.

In the extra spaces of time between seeing family, visiting old friends, floating the river, searching for huckleberries, kayaking, starting school and RV repairs, we’ve been catching up on doctor, eye and dental appointments. Due to our insurance plan, these things are both cumbersome and costly to do out of state. Therefore, I made myself sticky notes and phone reminders to set up appointment times well in advance. Remember the month of July when we were stuck in Canada? I used my spare time to make caramel corn and set up dental appointments for the kids (don’t think about that too deeply).  I was not, under any circumstance, going to miss making appointments during our Idaho visiting window because I’m type-A like that. You can imagine my glee when I scored new patient appointment times for all four kids on the same day.


Fast forward to September 13, 2017. We are up early. Our dental appointment time is at 9:30 and Lewiston is a 90 minute drive. Tanner is especially excited. A year ago he missed out on a dental appointment due to scheduling complications right before our launch. I help him brush his teeth while he informs me, “I’m just so excited to see the dentist today!” Neither of us could guess that in the coming few hours we will both be sitting front and center to a full-on display of Dr. Potty Mouth DMD.


Parking our car in front of Chief Joseph Dental Clinic, Trent and I both glance at the small, understated dental building and then each other before we crack some joke about not judging a book by it’s cover. Inside, the receptionist pulls a brilliant move by asking me to fill out one form before photocopying it for my additional children and allowing me to simply add the differing details. “Who cares what the exterior looks like? I love Miss Efficiency!” The six of us fill up the small waiting room until Hunter and Tanner are called back to see the hygienist. I accompany Tanner while Trent remains with Ashlyn and Quinten in the waiting room.


The dental hygienist makes small talk with Tanner while prepping him for x-rays. She steps out of the room momentarily. As my little boy reclines in the chair, I see he is wearing his favorite sandals. He’s grown this summer and I can see his toes poking over the edge, wiggling back and forth from excitement. Bless him. I resist the urge to take a photo of his happy face, remembering that I’d let Hunter use my phone in the waiting room and neglected to get it back. Oh well. Thinking about Hunter in the adjacent room brings to mind a small detail I want to mention to the hygienist. When she returns to the room, I ask her to make a note on our charts that I prefer to decline the fluoride treatment. She nods, scribbles a note and proceeds to complete the x-rays.


When Dr. Steven R. Zollman first enters the room, I don’t expect trouble. However, his line of questioning to the hygienist immediately hones in on Tanner’s “preventative care”. While she struggles to know what he is getting at, it quickly becomes apparent that my decision to turn down fluoride treatments is not sitting well with Mr. Zollman. Rather than speak to me directly, Dr. Zollman chastises me through his helpless assistant.

Dr. Steven Zollman (to his hygienist): Have you informed her why we do fluoride treatments?

Hygienist: Well, no.

Dr. Steven Zollman: Why not? This is what I train you for!

Hygienist (seeming uncomfortable): …Well she hasn’t left yet, I figured I could do it later.

Dr. Steven Zollman: Well how about you do it now?

Hygienist (turning to me in an awkward, obligatory way): We prefer to offer fluoride treatments in order to help prevent dental decay.

Dr. Steven Zollman: And did you ask why she is declining treatment?

Hygienist: Well, no.

Dr. Steven Zollman: Ask her!

Hygienist (turning to me once again with a look of pained distress): May I ask why you prefer to decline treatment?

Me: Based on the research I have done on the topic of fluoride treatments, I am not convinced that they do what they claim to do and that the potential risks outweigh your stated benefits.

The Dr’s method of circuitously* talking at me through the hygienist is completely throwing me off. I’m mentally trying to decide if there is any benefit in mentioning that our family uses remineralizing tooth powder and does oil pulling in order to help with preventative dental care when my thoughts are interrupted with some choice words from Mr. Grumpy Face.

Dr. Steven Zollman: You may inform her that the American Dental Association states that the use of fluoride treatments is an effective method of preventing tooth decay. By declining fluoride treatment she is acknowledging that any cavity her child gets will be her fault!

That last statement reaches it’s desired effect and he’s got my full attention. It’s time to speak up. “Excuse me, I’m not comfortable with the way this whole conversation is going and I feel that the way you are conducting it is very unprofessional.


Later Hunter surmised that it was my use of the word “unprofessional” that likely tipped him off. Whatever it was, I was entirely unprepared for the reaction I received.

For perhaps the first time since entering the room, Dr. Steven Zollman looks me directly in the eyes and with force says, “You can get the f*** out of my office!” Turning to his hygienist he thrusts a finger in her direction and threatens that if he hears one more word from her she will be fired that day. And just like that he storms out of the room and locks himself in his office.

((cue crickets))

I’m obviously in shock. I’ve not been thrown out of a building since, well, ever. It is at this moment that I realize my adorable, toe-wiggling, dentist-loving, 6-year-old son has just been treated to his first F-word courtesy of his dentist.

The hygienist proceeds to profusely apologize as I struggle to grasp this bizarre, unfolding drama.

While Hunter is making his way into the waiting room to inform Trent that, “Dad, some man just said a really bad word to mom!” I have the presence of mind to request that Tanner at least get a toy from the toy chest. A small white car is quickly obtained for him by the red-faced hygienist and we proceed to meet up with my now very confused husband.


While I verbally process the situation to Trent, we are asked by Miss Efficiency to please go ahead and exit the building, “. . . because if Dr. Zollman comes out and sees you are still here. . . well it won’t be good.” I politely decline her request to leave and inform her that I’d like my husband to first know why we are being kicked out. “Oh, you are not being kicked out,” she emphasizes. “Oh we absolutely are being kicked out,” I counter.

After details are given, I take the kids and go out to the car while Trent remains to speak with the Dentist. He is told that is probably not a good idea. He insists that it is. Dr. Steven Zollman, still locked in his office, refuses to see him.


When Trent returns to the car, Hunter can’t wait to hear every detail. We’ve managed to produce our own Jerry Springer show in his presence and there is no way he wants to take a commercial break.

In the meantime, Trent and I are still shell-shocked and confused. Together we’ve figured out the metro in NYC and wrangled a black tank upgrade into submission under the RV with pee dripping down our arms. However, this has us stumped. Do we call the news station or an attorney? We do both. “Hi, I’m wondering if you are interested in a story,” Trent begins his call to the local TV station. “Did you get a video?” the reporter wants to know. Immediately I have visions of the viral video I have missed out on capturing. In the end she isn’t willing to run the story, but strongly advises us to be sure to leave some reviews online so others know what we experienced. The four attorney’s that Trent speaks with say that unless we were physically harmed, we have no recourse.


What are we hoping to accomplish? I do my best to objectively ask myself this question. Am I after revenge, retribution or recompense? Do I want the coward who has locked himself in his own office shamed or punished? Or do I simply want a chance to bring awareness and preserve another little boy’s innocence? I have to pray through this, ask God to reveal my heart motives and align them to His desires. Immediately Scripture comes to mind reminding me,  “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19


Before we leave, we decide to request the x-rays so that we can at least avoid unnecessary double radiation should a miracle occur and I’m able to find another opening for 4 new patient appointments sometime in the next two weeks. As Trent realizes the office door has now been locked to prevent his reentry, a police car arrives.

The officer exits his car and approaches Trent. They talk out of earshot and I decide to join the party. I discover that the officer has been called because a “threatening patient” won’t leave the premises. We explain our situation and he sympathetically agrees to ask for the x-rays on our behalf. He disappears into the building while we wait in our car. Emerging from Chief Joseph Dental Clinic, the officer shakes his head. “That is not a happy man in there. I am told you needed to request the forms before you left the building. I guarantee that if there is any possible loophole that he can find to keep you from having those x-rays, he will do it.” We decide to end the Jerry Springer show and thank him for trying.


Later that day, I ask Tanner what he thought of his dentist appointment. “It was good.” He replies simply. “Except for the yelling part,” he adds after a moment of reflection. Bless him.


Time has allowed my heart and head to cool and I am able to convey the details of this event without feeling my pulse rise. I have recounted my perspective and the conversations that took place as accurately as I am able to. I have forgiven Steven and I hope that whatever he was or is dealing with in his personal life is resolved. While I do not desire to bring slander to Dr. Zollman, I would be remiss if I didn’t seek to bring awareness to the volatile nature that we witnessed on the day of our visit. If you live in the Lewiston, ID area, please feel free to share our experience with those you know as well.

Are we alone in this strange string of events? Has anyone else been kicked out of their dental office because they refused fluoride (or for any other reason)!? I’d love for you to chime in and share your dental horror stories. Bonus points if you managed to leave with a toy in hand.

Update (9-19-17): I’ve been shocked and saddened to read the number of comments posted by current and former patients of Dr. Zollman who report similar (or worse) experiences as us. If you are one of them, please consider filing a report with the Idaho Board of Dentistry here as well as leaving reviews of your experience online. Before the time of this post there was virtually no reviews for this man online. Also, please pray for him and if you choose to leave a comment, please refrain from cursing, I will edit comments if needed to try to make them more “family friendly”.

Lastly, because this particular blog post has swung so widely outside of the readers who know me well and based on some of the comments I have gotten, I feel I need to clarify the reason we contacted four lawyers and the news: We had zero desire for monetary gain. Our only motivation was to call him to account for misconduct in his position of authority.

circuitous |sərˈkyo͞oədəs| adjective: (of a route or journey) longer than the most direct way: the canal followed a circuitous route | figurative : The Dr’s method of circuitously talking at me through the hygienist is completely throwing me off.

253 thoughts on “the day my dentist called the police to remove us from his office | Chief Joseph Dental Clinic in Lewiston, ID”

  1. I’m reading this just shocked. I am so sorry you had to go thru this and even worse your son had to be in the room. Before my missionary days, I worked for three different dental offices as an assistant. I can tell you that dentists can be their own special breed of jerks at times…. Sorry for the bluntness but it’s true. 😉 at the same time, I’ve had (and myself included) denied fluoride treatment and never been or heard a dentist lambast for that. In this day and age, it’s common. They do tend to go over benifits but ultimately, it’s your choice. The fact that he would even speak to you directly is so odd and I can’t imagine his poor staff and working for a man like that. 😱 I think you’re doing the right thing by sharing your experience…. Just sorry you had to have that happen to you. 😕

      1. That is also my dentist and ive always found it strange that i could never talk to him directly.
        He pushes people through an assembly line and rushes far too fast with absolutely no bedside manner…..he has the skills but not the demeanor for patients.
        I have had my own issues with the office and now worry about my own dental hralth.

        1. Is he STILL your dentist? If so, why so? This jerk doesn’t deserve to be in practice, let alone get one more dime of your money. I’d fire him just for the way he treats his staff and disrespects his patients.

      2. I am a registered dental hygienist in Massachusetts and also in New Hampshire. I am in shock to read what you have gone through it is the epitome of unprofessionalism. Each state has its own board of registration in dentistry and you can file a formal complaint online or by calling them. From the sound of this situation it is something that should be done because dentist like this should not be allowed to treat patients. It is no one’s decision but your own what your child receives. I have been practicing for 28 years and have never seen anything even close to what you are explaining. I thank God for that because if I were that hygienist he would have been calling the police to have me removed!😁😠

        1. Really? Maybe you should visit my web site and check out my story! Patients are being taken and abused on a daily basis while your disciplinary boards do nothing! Just google Deanne Merchant, you’ll find my dental advocacy web site WelcometoDDS!

      3. He also has an office in Joseph Oregon. He was my dentist for a long time. He has always been this rude and also very cruel to his employees. I finally got a great dentist in Pullman.
        Sorry you had to put up with his childish attitude.

        1. He was also my dentist in Joseph and I no longer see him for numerous reasons. He told me I had 13 cavities when I was 6 I go to another dentist and I had 1. Hes always been so rude to everyone. He’s simply a “jerk”

  2. We actually go to a holistic dentist because they don’t even use fluoride! Our old dentist always wanted to know why we didn’t use it but never gave us any issues. I know people get fired up about it and I think the vaccine reactions are equally as bad (we did get kicked out of our practice for refusing them) but man! Craaaazy! You handled it well. I would have had a hard time keeping my cool!

    1. I am glad you have found a holistic dentist, that sounds wonderful! I wish they were more plentiful and easier to find with insurance plans. I’ve considered paying out of pocket but that adds up so quickly for a family of 6!

      1. You need to pay for better health care, or get a job. He is the only one that takes the poor in our area at all, fire him, the poor have no one, get in your RV and move on. Idaho is aweful in taking care of our poor, sadly. Don’t like x rays or floride get someone else. We do have a bad rep for taking care of our ill, it is sad.

        1. Because he know he sucks and you won’t complain. Not a good reason to pretend he’s okay. He has severe issues. Severe as in I’d recommend a mental health professional.

          1. As in “I’m so bad the date of Wyoming took someone else from the bad list for DWS, but he wasn’t as bad as me!” Bad!!!

        2. I’m a retired dentist. Your comment is utterly inappropriate. This animal takes the poor because no self-respecting person will go to him. Has it occurred to you what kind of dentistry he might be doing TO the poor? This man needs to lose his license, NOW. I know the school he went to by his DMD, instead of DDS degree, and Oregon does NOT teach this kind of behavior. This man is a menace to society. If there’s any way you can send this post to him directly, feel completely free, with my best wishes.

          1. Agreed. He should not be treating anyone. I was a dental assistant for 30 plus years. He obviously has mental issues. I can not even imagine the people including children he has traumatized. Go to the insurance commissioner or to the state where he bills and gets most of his unsuspecting patients from and have them investigate. Get him where he gets his money. No one poor or not deserves that abuse.

          2. Michael, visit Dee’s Dental Story page 3 and listen to the legally obtained audio within the context of the story. This is going on across the country and no one has a clue they’re not only being taken but their health is at risk!!
            my site is called WelcometoDDS dot com and it’s purpose is to enlighten and educate the public!!
            NO ONE deserves to be taken and left in ill health!

          3. Michael Wilhelm, what is stopping you from sending this communication to the dentist you perceive as a menace to society?
            Yes, he is doing it TO the poor. Our legal system provides almost no recourse to poor people who have been mutilated by those ‘wonderful’ dentists who deign to ‘serve’ the poor.
            If good dentists don’t stand against the bad ones, the entire industry is suspect.
            I also was victim of a dentist who has a great reputation because he ‘serves’ the poor. No informed consent for 17 extractions and dentures, abandonment of care with no notice when my health was in jeopardy, falsification of records. (Ernie Lavorini of Lavorini Dental)
            Yet none of the 12 dentists I saw are willing to speak against what this creature did. …leaving me to come to the only logical conclusion that the entire industry is corrupt, sadistic and cruel.
            Does the ADA send goons after dentists who try to protect patients?

        3. Joann that is rude, just like the dentist. Is there a connection? I believe Idaho is their home….move on? They have gladly gotten someone else, the problem is what occurred in that office is disgusting, unprofessional, and damaging to those children. So it is not just a matter of getting someone else, but being informed in a different way than losing his cool, cursing, and blowing up. Then calling police on the very people that needed protection from him.
          I never heard in the story them not liking X-rays, in fact they wanted their x-rays before leaving.
          This guy is a menace to society, and the poor are stuck with MR. ******** or nothing, how empathetic of you!

          1. Achsel,
            I completely agree with everything you’re saying. Experienced it myself first hand about 20 years ago and it sounds like he hasn’t changed a bit. I brought my daughter
            to him after a divorce and no Child Support, I was a working, single mom and all I could afford was Oregon health plan at the time and he was the only one that excepted it. If I had known that he was this way I would have never taken my child there!
            My daughter started crying while he was performing the procedure on her bc he was hurting her! Instead of stopping and talking to her, he proceeded to finish what he was doing by having his assistant hold her down!
            During this time the assistant gave her more nitrous oxide to “calm her down.” My daughter (at the time only 5 yrs old) threw up all over herself and almost chocked on her own throw up because he had her head held back! It was something you see in a horror movie!! He even tried to get me to leave the room because he thought that she was only crying because I was in the room, of course I refused and that made him angry and he made that quit obvious. I got my daughter out of the chair, and never came back. I tried to press charges and get the word out about him but really got nowhere.
            I still get so angry and upset even thinking back on this and it’s been 20 years! He’s crazy and needs his license revoked and also needs charges brought up against him. He’s a danger to his patients and a true quack! I’ve never seen anything like it.

        4. I had a job and was still on OHP bc I was a single mom of two little kids, going through a divorce, (due to being in an abusive relationship) and receiving no child support. This was many years ago when I lived in Enterprise Or. sadly, he was the only Dr. who would take the plan and I had no clue what he was like, or any other options at the time. Once I realized what a jerk he was I tried to speak up but there was no getting anywhere with him. He was unprofessional and horrible in treating my children. I left and found another dentist in Lagrand. I know I reported him and spread the word but nothing was ever done. I’m actually surprised that he is still practicing this many years later, (20 years since I lived in the country) especially bc I heard so many more horror stories about this guy over the years. It’s sickening and he needs to be removed!

        5. Isn’t this rude? How do you know they don’t have a job??? Just cause they RV??? Lot’s of full time RV’r have jobs! Apparently this was the first time they had been to this dentist so how did they know his take on floride!? YOU sound very unhappy!

        6. Wow–Had to read your comment a couple times to see if I was missing something–Nope-apparently you believe it’s ok for him to abuse both patients and staff. IT IS NOT! He doesn’t get a medal for abusing the poor either and I think someone should be looking into his billing practices because he doth “protest” to much. NOBODY should be treated the way he treats staff and patients—NOBODY–not even you who seems to think it’s ok somehow. The dentist WORKS for you—FIRE any and all persons who treat you like this–it is your right!!!

      2. If you are going througjnIdajo again, tjerw are holistic dentists in Boise a.d Idaho falls. I drive from Twin to IF to see the holistic dentist tjere AND HE TAKES MY INSURANCE! Dr Kevin Mudrow.

  3. Wow!!! I pray he is able to find a way to apologize once he cools down. I am trying to extend grace as I do not know if he has other issues in his life that would cause him to react this way. As a member of the medical community, I am appalled at his lack of professionalism and his inability to always honor a patient’s wishes even when they do not match yours. Ultimately, it is up to the patient/parent to determine their own healthcare decisions. Additionally, I hope the staff are looking for a less hostile workplace. I would never condone behavior like that or accept it if I was the assistant. He has a right to refuse care if he is that passionate, but there is a absolutely no reason to be verbally abusive. I could not imagine you on your worst day having behavior worthy of having the police called. I am so very sorry your family is going through this.

      1. Please also register your complaint with the insurance company. If enough patients complain, they will look into it and change providers.

        1. He is 1 of 2 dentists in the valley that takes Idaho Medicaid so he is able to be pretty crappy. I know this first hand!

          1. Do you know who the other is? My daughter has only seen Dr. Zollman twice and I have never been too impressed with him or the place itself. :/

    1. I have known that man all my life. He will never apologize sadly. He wasn’t always that bad but his wife passed away a year or so ago and I can now see who kept him from being this way all the time. This is terrible, but sadly I am not shocked//

      1. He was almost that bad when Bailey had 1 cleaning from him when she was in kindergarten. So, the excuse of his wife dying, although extremely sad, honestly doesn’t have anything to do with his attitude that day. He has always been rude to his patients and his staff. I have even heard of him threatening little kids that are patients. One time in that office was more than enough for me!!

        1. Almost 18 years ago, he was the dentist for my daughter. Instead of telling her to open her mouth so he could see her teeth, which we had been practicing gearing up for the dentist, he told me to hold her upside down until she screamed so he could see in her mouth.

          1. Had I not read this original letter, and all the replies, I would have sworn you were lying. How terrible that I have to admit you must be telling the truth. I’m hoping to took your daughter and waltzed right out of there!

  4. Wow, I have never had a dentist question my refusal of fluoride. Just wow…..I feel for this dentist’s staff and from his reaction it makes me wonder what happened to him that day. His behavior was very unprofessional.

      1. I can guarantee that if he spoke to his staff that way in front of you, it’s even worse when patients aren’t around. I was a hygienist for almost 20 years before I had to stop working due to various health conditions. I worked for a couple of doozies, but never had a dentist question a parents refusal of fluoride. I never did either…because it’s the parents’ choice. I am so sorry y’all were treated this way. I hope everyone who has had problems with him will report him to his state’s dental board.

    1. I wonder if dentists get kick backs when they use fluoride on people? I read that doctors get thousands of dollars for every child they oversee that get fully vaccinated. Maybe it’s a similar situation.

  5. Wow! From the way the receptionist warned you about the dentist not being happy if you weren’t gone when he came back out, it seems like maybe this wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Sorry you had to experience that

      1. It sounds like you may be living in Kamiah, and if so there is a wonderful Dentist here. He also has an office in Grangville. I’d encourage you to call and chat with him if you still need dental care. I’m shocked at the arrogancy of that very unprofessional dentist!!! I’ve had bad dentist before and it’s unnerving!

      2. I was also kicked out while I was pregnant. I had work done the day before and was unable to eat. I was not even into the exam room before I was informed I was a liar and that I would not be getting into the dental chair because there was nothing to fix. I called the board of medicine and found he was double charging, billing not only me but my insurance as well. I ended up being reimbursed the money I had given him and lucked out with finding a new dentist. I’ve never met anyone so unprofessional before. My son is now 4 and I don’t think I could have kept as calm as you did had I been in your shoes.

        1. I was in the chair a couple of weeks ago for what I thought was a painful tooth. I was informed he was a little overwhelmed from a very strenuous extraction that had me waiting a half hour, in the chair for.
          He came in and was very gruff but I took into account his last appt. I had told them I get very anxious and needed a local for the scaling between the 2 very sore teeth because of an infected pocket. I asked him very politely to please pinch my cheek when injecting to distract me. I’m 56 and have had 5 oral surgeries for 2 implants so know what to expect, usually.
          He flipped out on me telling me to let him do his job and that the injection would not hurt. Ha! He didn’t punch, it hurt like crazy and I jumped, started crying and told him he was a liar and treated me horribly. He ripped off his gloves, threw them across the room and stomped out.
          I had a serious talk with the office manager and luckily he’s not the only dentist in the practice because he has some kinda “God Complex” or something. Can’t understand such arrogance in someone who works with such vulnerable people.
          Almost forgot the nitrous that they tried using on me that either didn’t work or they forgot to turn on. He yelled at me that I wasn’t holding it in place or breathing deep enough, which I had been doing for a whole 15 minutes!! I ripped it off and threw it on the floor in front of him. SMH!!
          After reading this his, I’m talking to the dental board today!
          Thanks for giving me a place to rant❣️🙏🏼

    1. Their behavior shows that they are victims of abuse. Makes me think of a mother warning her children not to wake the alcoholic father up

  6. This is NOT professional behavior. I think you should report him to the state dental board and file an official complaint. At least it would put him on radar if this is a typical occurance and maybe help prevent it.

    1. As a dental professional myself, I agree that this needs to be reported to the Idaho State Board of Dentistry. The link is pasted below:

      My blood was boiling as I read this post. I’ve worked in offices where the dentist mistreated his/her staff, but never the patient (at Kraft not to this degree). Even now I’m struggling with determining what I would have hypothetically done as his staff member in that situation. Praise the Lord I don’t have to make that decision.
      I’m sorry you had to deal with that, Heather, but I’m glad to hear that your son still had a somewhat positive experience. I can tell you that there are some truly wonderful dentists out there (I currently work for one), and I hope your family lands in one of those offices.

  7. Oh my! We have been refusing fluoride for years. I wish more parents would investigate the truth behind fluoride. I am so sorry for your experience Heather! What a story….I hope that you do report him to the dental association and the BBB, to hopefully prevent him from doing this to other families.

      1. As a retired medical insurance biller, you need to watch for any insurance explanation of benefits that might come in. Wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t bill your insurance for an ‘office call’.

        1. He does practicing Joseph. Joseph Oregon. He was my dentist when I was a child. Completely disrespectful and no bedside manner whatsoever

          1. He does, and he caused my dad permanent nerve damage because he used the corner of his mouth as a leering point. Dad now has a permanent spot to drool from as well as numbness. He should be sued for malpractice – dad’s isn’t the first story like that that I’ve heard.

        2. He has an office in Joseph, Or. I took my family to him until our fillings started falling out and teeth were breaking because he put too big of fillings in them.

      2. Just FYI he also practices in Joseph Oregon as well so report to Oregon Dental Association as well he don’t deserve to continue practicing if he feels dropping the F-bomb in the presence of an impressionable 6 year old is in anyway appropriate!!!!!

      3. Hello Heather. I’m very sorry your son and you went through this. Dr. Zolman has a clinic in Joseph Oregon. Where I have lived for 17years. When I was 7 years old (I’m almost 24 now) I went to Dr. Zolmans office for My very first dental check up. Dr. Zolman was not a friendly man. He came into the room, laid the chair back and said open your mouth big. I didn’t want to because I didn’t know what he was going to do. He asked for assistance and had 4 of his assistants and my mother hold me down to put fluoride treatment on my teeth. I fought and ended up punching his mask off in complete defense as a scared 7 year old. He called me a Fucking Little Brat. Slammed his tools down and said she’s not getting any treatment today.
        Since that day I have been scared to see any dentist. My teeth suffer from my fear. My insurance only allows me to go see DR. Zolman unless it’s a emergency i can drive 79+ mile to see a different one. Recently I had to pay $525 just to see a local dentist who wasn’t covered under my insurance for two almost infected wisdom teeth to be pulled. I refuse to go to Dr. Zolman unless it’s a last resort. His staff is unprofessional as well as him. I hope your story brings awareness to how this man really is.

        1. Ashley I would suggest seeing Dr. Harris in LaGrande. I know it’s a bit of a trek, but my daughter really likes him and I think you will too. I have a friend who goes to him as well and is a little uneasy with dentists. I suggest trying him.

        2. Ashley, I know it is a bit of a drive but we go to Union, to see the dentist. They are all very kind and not as expensive as the other local dentists here in the valley.

  8. Guilt blames. He wants to poison your child and you refuse. So, he guilt trips (blames) you. It is calling evil good and good evil. You stand on the righteous (just) side of the issue. (From Pearl’s husband, Jay)

  9. I’m in absolute shock right now. I would hope that the staff at this office reads this post and thinks about what is happening. I fear that those women working there are being verbally abused. The fact that he spoke to them and you point to signs of a very dominant and abusive man. There are deep issues here.

    Please heed the advice of others and at least report this issue to the BBB and the dental board. For every one person that speaks up, there are many (can’t remember the exact statistic) that don’t. Be the one!

    I’m sure after reading your posts and getting to know you more that this has been a learning lesson for all of the children. Especially for Hunter in how not to treat women and to speak to them.

    Keep us updated… I know the woes in securing multiple doctor appointments for four children. It is a feat for sure!

    1. Shock is exactly what I felt as well. Who could prepare for that kind of thing? I am in the process of filing complaints to the necessary places and have left reviews online in the hopes that other parents will be properly aware of what they may face if they choose to see this dentist.

    2. Also, it was ironic because for the last few weeks we have been focusing on “self control” as a topic of discussion for our family and we all got to discuss what it looks like when adults do not practice self control :)! It was a wonderfully clear example for us all!

  10. It is probably too late, but we used to go to a holistic dentist in Spokane that wouldn’t give you grief and was good with our kiddos. He had children too. Dr. Craig B. Simmons

    Several people we know really like Dr. Wentz office in Orofino.

    1. Thank you for the recommendations Stephanie! We are now in the tricky position of deciding if we use the one other dentist in the area that takes our insurance and is still accepting new pediatric patients or if we simply pay out of pocket for all 4 of them. The one other dentist is not able to get us in before we leave for another few months but should be able to when we return to Idaho in January. It’s good to have some choices should we decide to go the out of pocket route.

        1. I am a Hygienist in Orofino. I am so sorry this happened to you. Dr. Wentz is great with kids as is Dr. Miller at Gentle Family Dentistry here in Orofino. We always respect parents wishes in regards to fluoride treatments.

          1. I agree with Monique. Gentle Family Dentistry is the best! I always feel respected and enjoy my visits every 6 months. They are fantastic!

          2. I’m curious why you would say you are good to children and yet you still use fluoride on the unknowing and uninformed patients. Chloride used for public drinking water “treatment” and dental practices is the byproduct of toxic chemical waste. WHY, I want to know, are you, as dental “professionals” not doing YOUR OWN research on the extreme dangers and total
            propagated lie about the benefits of fluoride??? Here’s a link to a good start into seeing some truth regarding this despicable practice of using fluoride…


          1. Be careful if you go here. I just had a tooth pulled at the clarkston chaz clinic and he broke it trying to pull it out and then was in such a hurry he never checked to see if he got it all and he didnt so now i have to have surgery to get the rest of it out :(. But one thing i will say is everyone was super nice and respectful and when i said ouch he stopped and gave me more anesthetic!

  11. I think your family would like Natures Way Dentistry in Moscow ID. I was a hygienist there a little bit ago and absolutely loved everything about the office and the views of dental care!

      1. Hey Heather! I currently work at Nature’s Way and I think you’d absolutely love it as your family’s new dental home. We are more focused on preventive care and aim to educate you and your family and completely respect your view on fluoride and have some more natural alternatives should you need/want some ideas! We’d love to have your family in!!

        1. I’ll reiterate my comment to the other employee of Nature’s Way (and understand, I’m not knocking this place and will probably end up becoming a patient there from the comments I’ve seen… However, fluoride, in the form used by dentist and public water treatment is, BUT NO MEANS, Nature’s Way) so, my comment…

          I’m curious why you would say you are good to children and yet you still use fluoride on the unknowing and uninformed patients. Fluoride used for public drinking water “treatment” and dental practices is the byproduct of toxic chemical waste. WHY, I want to know, are you, as dental “professionals”, not doing YOUR OWN research on the extreme dangers and total
          propagated lie about the benefits of fluoride??? Here’s a link to a good start into seeing some truth regarding this despicable practice of using fluoride…

  12. It’s obvious to me that this guy was angry before you ever got there! He would have found a reason to be mean… The refusal of florid was just an excuse to blow up! Wow, what a jerk! So sorry your babies were subjected to his abuse!

  13. I just realized I’m having a physical reaction to your story. I’m angry for you! I am so sorry you and your family had to go through this. But WOW did you handle it well. :O

    I have not been removed by police because of a crazy dentist (this guy sounds like a real peach), but I have been pushed to tears more than once by a very cold, condescending one that spoke to her hygienist in the way that yours did, as though I wasn’t there, and it was for the same reason: declining fluoride treatment.

    It was the only pediatric dentist in our area, and a holistic one was not to be found. Boy, did I jump at a new patient sign-up when a new dental office opened in our area.

  14. Shocking really.

    I have refused fluoride before and been questioned, but never unprofessionally, and never refused treatment because of it. That is crazy. I really feel badly for the staff as they are likely the recipients of his anger regularly. Proud of you for forgiving and trying to have grace for him.

  15. I used this dentist 8 years ago for my children. On multiple occasions they cancelled my appointment one we arrived in the office because of “an unforeseen emergency” and they also scheduled four office visits to do one cleaning even though my children had regular care and there was nothing difficult about their cleanings. When I questioned this I was told it was “standard practice”. I began to suspect that they were billing my children’s insurance for the cancelled appointments because we did show up. My children had state medical and I was told I was not allowed to know what had been billed for them but I could turn him in if I suspected fraud. I did.

  16. I know Dr. Zolman is one of only 2 dentists in the entire area that takes medicaid, and the majority of his patients are Medicaid patients. My grandaughter sees him and we have been there every six months for over 2 years. Never had an issue. The staff is wonderful and the doc was willing to work with me to get her teeth straightened in office as Medicaid won’t pay for orthodontia and I can’t afford 6 grand.Sorry you had a bad experience, but that wasn’t the case with us.

    1. Dr. Karen Sept in Moscow also takes Medicaid. She is a pediatric dentist and she is fabulous! They are great at getting families all in together. My three take about an hour! Her husband also has bearable dentistry in Moscow, but does not take Medicaid.

      1. I took my granddaughter to Bearable where she had went before many times, they would not take her on Medicaid or refer her to anyone in Moscow. Only Chief Joes in Lewiston. all dentist have quit seeing these patients, all dentist should share seeing the poor, Our state health care is a shame. They need to pay a reasonable amount for the poor. I know you are mistaken about opinions in Moscow for new patients, or they blow me off.

    2. I agree with you. I’ve been going there for awhile now – no harsh words from anyone. All professional – like it should be.

    3. You’re very lucky and one of the few. Watch the orthodontics tho as I know several people who have had him do it and had to have it all redone because it was done incorrectly.

      1. Having orthodontics done by a DDS who is not trained in orthodontics is extremely dangerous! I am a registered dental assistant for 9 years. It can cause permanent damage to their teeth and developing facial and jaw bones! Our office does clear correct/ invisalign which is done in office, they are the clear trays that are changed weekly that move the teeth, but again the DDS I work for has done training for them! Just be cautious! I know they are extremely expensive (braces) but many places will work with you on a payment plan. But if not done correctly you may end up spending way more money to have braces put on to fix the errors or worst case jaw surgery! Just a friendly word of advice!

    4. The Chas Lewis and Clark Dental Clinic takes medicaid, but due to the high volume of medicaid it may take time to get all the dental work done. Last year my son had two cleanings and two appointments for dental work and he needed more work to be done. The schedule will fill up and they will tell you that the new schedule will open like next Friday and give them a call then. If you are diligent in calling you may get in quickly because others will cancel. You may get a cleaning real quick though. There number is 208-848-8300

    5. My response is probably not going to be popular… Medicaid is NOT insurance…. its a government program…not many dentists will enroll due to the incredibly low reimbursement and record-keeping is a nightmare…so if you find someone who is treating you on Medicaid you are lucky.. you have to understand that you are NOT going to get the Spa dentist care here.

      On another note, doctors, dentists and all healthcare professionals are prohibited by LAW (HIPAA) to respond to these kinds of blogs, posts etc…can you imagine having your name and reputation disparaged and not be able to defend or respond? Its a terrible feeling and a terrible way to handle your grievances, one sided criticism is patiently unfair and unreliable
      While I am not defending this dentist, (whom, I do not know or know anyone who works there) I am just saying, there is always two sides to the story… we get this one sided story… and we get it because the dentist cannot respond, he could sue for defamation but for the most part dentists simply suck up the bad reviews and carry on, which can cause them to become frustrated and yes even hostile… can you honestly say you would be able to just take it on the chin…over and over and over… whether its legitimate or just someone with an ax to grind? Believe me when I say…there a a lot of people who just love to complain….whether its just or unjust doesn’t matter.

      There are so many other things I could pick at in this blog…but I won’t because people are people and they see what they want to…but in your Christian kindness….I would hope that you would try and see the disparity in care givers and patients… those who cannot speak for themselves are being bashed with no recourse … its very unjust and while I know the world is unfair, this is simply sad. Fewer and fewer dentists are going to leave the door open and it will become increasingly expensive and care will be harder and harder to get… so, when you can’t find a dentist…..which is how medicine is going… remember this warning.

      Wishing you peace.

      1. I’m sorry but I disagree. I’m a hygienist and have been for years. While it’s true Medicaid offers low fees, they in no way should be treated any differently from insurance patients. A patient is a patient and deserves the proper standard of care no matter how much their insurance pays.

      2. Medicaid IS insurance, recognised as such, and is used the same as any other insurance. No insurance pays for just anyone, nor do many places take all insurance. No one gets spa treatment unless you go to a spa. And if you can pay for a spa, you can pay for any insurance you want.

      3. Well i would say the overwelming amount of not positive responce, should actually hold some weight here. There are way to many people not complaining but simply sharing the story of thier personal experince, to simply say you dont know the whole story. The string of shared experience tells a pretty good representation of what this person is about. Plus there is ar least the one police involvement that i am sure is now documented.

      4. It is not against HIPPA to respond to a review, good or bad. It is against HIPPA to give patient information to anyone else, or to disclose any information that is easily identifiable as a certain patient. Healthcare workers can respond!
        Reviews are great, and needed! If I read several reviews about a doctor that are all negative & bad, that shows a pattern and tells me I don’t want to go there. Every business knows word of mouth is important, and can damage the bottom line if that business has a reputation for being unprofessional, rude, or whatever the case.
        As a healthcare provider myself, nothing makes me more angry then to see & hear how Medicaid patients are treated. I absolutely do not like your comment regarding “don’t expect spa treatment” if on Medicaid. ALL patients should be treated the same. There was a time that working as a doctor or any profession in healthcare meant that you cared about making people well. Now the current trend is to get in those professions to make money… nothing but money. If a persons value and thus treatment is dependent upon what kind of $$ they have, what does that say about us as a society? Yes, Medicaid is a low reimbursement. If you could see the profit of the few offices that take it, I think you’d change your opinion! No dentist is hurting who takes Medicaid lol!

        An Idaho R.D.H

        1. Sadly, I can tell you that responding to a review is a very gray area. The reviewers can say literally anything they want, and our only recourse is to say, in the very vaguest of terms, that we appreciate the comments, and we’d like to help. As a dentist, I’ve been in many CE courses talking about this. All of that being stated, this dentist’s behavior is abominable. I’m not a fan of flouride (yes, I know this is heresy in the dental profession) and I abhor that it’s in the water supply. But I can also tell you that there are some situations where I do recommend the varnish, not the foam, for people with a high caries rate.

      5. Whatever, Jann…! This man is evil, that’s all there is to it. He needs to be held accountable and be removed from practice. End of story. I’m sorry to see that you were excusing his behavior by saying that people on medicaid are fortunate to have any coverage at all. (I have no dog in the fight, except standing up to bad Dr.’s in any profession that think they are Gods)! Good day

      6. I adamantly disagree… Every dentist, regardless of any circumstances, be it by hearing this over and over again or even issues in their personal life should still be professional and treat people with respect and kindness, regardless of their choice for not wanting their children poisoned by fluoride. It should have been NO ISSUE and should have proceeded forward, respecting the parent’s wishes. It’s NOT up to him… They are not his children. It seems to me that people have desired an outlet to discuss the, what seems to be damning, stories about their visit to this dentist. Remember, dogs don’t bark at parked cars!!! I hope you’ll watch this video link I’ll add and see the truth about fluoride and then you’ll be asking why in the **** fluoride is used in anything!!! It is toxic waste!!! Please watch…

        I’m curious why you would say you are good to children and yet you still use fluoride on the unknowing and uninformed patients. Chloride used for public drinking water “treatment” and dental practices is the byproduct of toxic chemical waste. WHY, I want to know, are you, as dental “professionals” not doing YOUR OWN research on the extreme dangers and total
        propagated lie about the benefits of fluoride??? Here’s a link to a good start into seeing some truth regarding this despicable practice of using fluoride…

      7. Leave it to someone who would throw in “Christian” to attack the victim. There are not always two sides to every story, and, yes, the dentist could file a lawsuit, but won’t, because it is not defamation of or libel, or slander, if what has been reported is true.

  17. Hate to hear stories like this. I am saddened to hear your children were treated this way by someone who calls themselves a professional. I suggest declining the floride next time you call to set up the appointment. I also suggest contacting your dental insurance carrier and informing them of the experience you had. It is the insurance carrier’s in network status that led you to this provider to begin with. The plan may allow you to see a local out of network provider at an in network coverage level considering the circumstance and lack of competent, in network providers in your current area. Either way the worst thing they can say is no, not the worst thing you have heard in your pursuit of preventive care for your children.

  18. wow! awful, good thing I have never been there because we would have made this guy just as mad. I am in lewiston, and all 3 of my kids go to Dr. Wiggins. I deny all fluoride and even the xrays..and they are nice about it. Xrays I would only do if there was a specific emergency or problem. I guess he has never read this study where they concluded that fluoride, a neurotoxin, is bad for anyone, especially for developing brains..aka chikdren!

  19. I’m severely intolerant to Flouride ever since I had my daughter and never get the treatment. I have to written in my medical notes to never give it to me since I’ve declined it. I was originally questioned by one dentist because they had never heard of someone being allergic/intolerant to Flouride before and I suspect they thought I was making it up but they never were rude about it. Im surprised you didn’t call the cops on him.

      1. I would suggest Pelican Water Systems to get a fluoride (plus other chemicals) filter system. You can even get models for each faucet and even fluoride filtering shower head. And, no, I have no affiliation with this company nor ever spoken to anyone in this company, in case anyone had the thought

  20. So funny! I have had at least two, wait NO three of these events that could possibly have gotten this bad, except that I lost my cool…I think if you had given him a piece of your mind, he well might have realized his mistake. My daughter had HORRIBLE teeth as a small child. I suspect it was from apple juice, since she only drank that, milk, and water. I stopped doing fluoride after she had to have two permanent teeth pulled. This could turn into a very long reply, but to keep it brief, she at 2 1/2 had a mean dentist (at a dental school) scare her…actually threatened to have me leave her when she started fussing. We practiced Attachment Parenting. This didn’t go well. I removed my child and we left. After about 2 years at another dentist, she endured a few surface fillings- 8? When I finally saw her permanent molars coming in (they were fully erupted) we asked to have them sealed immediately. The male dentist refused, saying to come back in 3 months. His wife, our normal dentist, wasn’t available. In the mean time we were rescheduled to another branch. The next week she had a cavity…This dentist was mean dentist #2 after being pressured into nitrous, which I am avidly against, the hygenist ignores my daughter’s pleas that she can’t breath….when I finally call attention to this they go ‘Oh…’ and adjust the knobs :/ To this day we are unsure of what they were pumping into her lungs that impeded her breathing. I had already explained to this staff that I was NOT going to leave the room, for any reason. The dentist steps in and immediately says ‘If you don’t stop fussing, your mommy will have to leave the room’ I am surprised I made it out of that room without her hair in my hands. I was so livid I could barely control myself. I filed a complaint with the dental board, but I am sure they did nothing to deal with this. 4th dentist…nice guy but my daughter was beyond consoling now 🙁 We ended up moving during this time period, and we found a very good dentist, but within those 3 months they were beyond repair and had to be removed 🙁 I was told that you couldn’t seal over a filling, that she would need root canals, but when we went to an endodontist he said they were too far gone. Then we had an ordeal with the dentists in Richmond, VA at a children’s hospital. They were mad that she wasn’t vaccinated (yep…none of their business…) The anestiologist* was pregnant, and actually refused to treat my daughter and insisted that she be vaccinated. I stormed down to the first floor demanded to see the president of the hospital. When I explained to them that my religious beliefs were NOT going to be up for discussion they QUICKLY back pedaled. They were then sweet as sugar, and I was able to finish my daughter’s procedure. We got home and hear a message from the endo saying that they were wrong they could do the root canals… 🙁 Since then we have had her other molars sealed, and rarely use fluoride tooth paste…no cavities. HMMMM.

    1. I have a few comments as a dental hygienist:
      -8 fillings is not a “few”
      -It is the parents responsibility to care for their child’s teeth. That means no liquid in bottles (at night/throughout the night) other than water. Any other liquid that is sucked on throughout the night WILL cause cavities.
      -as far as the nitrous goes, they can only “pump” 2 things into her lungs: oxygen and nitrous oxide. Those are literally the only 2 things in the cannisters. If she felt like she wasn’t getting enough air, then she probably wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Most children are uncomfortable with a Darth Vader face mask on, which may have been overlooked by the assistant.
      -the cavities are NOT the dentists fault. It is the fault of negligent home oral hygiene. This means brushing 2x a day for 2 minutes each time. Making sure ALL tooth surfaces are covered. Along with flossing. If the child is unable to do it, then the parent is responsible for it. No matter the age of the child. Any tooth can get a cavity, even if there is only 1 tooth in the mouth. There is also the factor of nutrition. (This is not directed towards you personally, but meant in general) If you are so adamant on no fluoride, then you should be just as adamant on not letting your child sip on sugary drinks (sodas, teas, juices) throughout the day and no gummy products).

      How a cavity forms:
      -Plaque on teeth is caused by leftover food not being removed off teeth (from not brushing/flossing CORRECTLY or often enough)
      -The plaque creates bacteria which then fluorishes
      -This plaque bacteria then drops the pH of the oral cavity
      -The lowered pH causes DEmineralization (loss of mineralization) of the outer tooth surface, the enamel
      -The degree of DEmineralization equates to the degree of the cavity
      -If the degree of the cavity is caught in the EARLY stage, FLUORIDE REMINERALIZES (building that mineralization) the enamel
      -The crystal matrix that the fluoride rebuilds within the enamel, is actually STRONGER than the enamel that was there before, which makes it more resistant to recurring decay.
      -this does NOT mean to let your teeth demineralize, just to use fluoride and have the enamel get stronger
      -NO other substance does what fluoride does. This is why it is critical to combine proper toothbrushing and flossing techniques, along with fluoride.

      -the reason your daughter may not have cavities now, is because she is at an older age where her home oral hygiene has improved…not for lack of fluoride use.

      1. JJ , as a dental hygienists, I assume you have heard of Enamel Hypoplasia? It is a condition of improperly gormed enamel, which causes it to flake off the tooth regardless of how often the child brushes, how meticulously the parent avoids bedtime bottles, or how strictly sugar and carbs are regulated in the family diet.
        My daughter got it from her dad. My granddaughter got it from my daughter. At the age of 2 1/2, granddaughter had 8 teeth pulled and 2 capped.
        Want to know what the DENTIST said? He said “it would not matter WHAT you did, this childs teeth would have done this regardless”.

        Thank you for your comments. However,
        I think I’ll continue to listen to a dentist, instead of an over- inflated and under- compassionate dental assistant.

  21. I used to go here and almost every time going in he would make really inappropriate comments saying how much he loved working on attractive clients and that I was definitely one of them and even said this in front of my parents and kept going into detail on how much loved attractive clients. The next incident that happened was when I went there to get two teeth pulled and I have a problem with not going numb from novocaine shots and they told me raise my left hand if you start to feel pain while he was extracting the tooth, well I definitely started feeling every bit of the pain while they were extracting the tooth and so I raised my left hand, he stops he looks at me like I’m being an inconvenience and says “what do you want.” And I say “my mouth isn’t numb I can feel everything.” He says “no you can’t that’s just pressure, you’ll just have to deal with it.” And so he just goes and pulls my tooth out with me feeling everything doesn’t say anything afterwards and leaves the room. And every time I was there he would be very rude and demanding to his employees.

  22. I am not standing up for Dr. Tillman, but he is a doctor who specializes in dentistry, he brought up some good points on the use of fluoride and for some one who second guesses his education I would of been upset as well. All in all he was very very unprofessional if this was all true. Remember readers there is always two sides to every story. You are a wonderful author though, you write beautifully.

    1. Yes, there are always two sides to every story. However, I can assure you that as wonderful an author Heather is, she’s that wonderful of a person as well. I don’t think she’s capable of exaggerating or being untruthful. There is no part of her story I would question.
      I also knows she researchs EVERYTHING. She didn’t enter into the holistic dental treatment for her family lightly. Just because someone has a degree in a specific area does not made them unable of making bad judgement.

    2. Yes there are two sides to every story and I don’t know the full story of the Dr. but I am getting a much more rounded picture as I read the multiple accounts of former patients commenting here. As for my side, as I said in my post, I truly wrote it as accurately as I could.

  23. I am so sorry you had to experience that office. They have a horrible reputation on our area. I have no clue how he is still open.
    If you ever need service in the future in Lewiston please seek the care of Dr Johnson across the street from this man. He is the kindest dentist I have ever been to. Or to cody hass a at Fairview dental on 17th.

  24. Oh Heather, this post is now my LEAST favorite (even beats the nasty tick/poison ivy blog about Connecticut!)
    I read this and wanted to get in my car and give this guy a piece of my mind! But then I read the scripture you included and agree that vengeance isn’t ours but the Lords.

    You know that I worked for two seperate dentists in Grangeville, and several in Boise, right? I’d say 30% of our patients requested no floride treatment. The secretaries always wrote “no Flo” next to their name on the day’s schedule, and highlight it. No biggie!
    I don’t want to say ALL dentists are narcissistic jerks…because of course that’s not true. But I will say that I’ve worked for several who easily fall into that category. I’m not sure why that is but it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.
    I can’t tell you how many times I came home in tears after a dentist was horrible to me. 🙁
    Concerning your xrays… You’re entitled to a copy if you paid for them.
    One more thing. I would file a complaint with the Idaho Board for dentistry. This was completely unacceptable and really fires me up knowing that he acted this way in front of sweet lil Tanner! Grr

    We see Dr. Wentz in Orofino and he’s pretty nice and thorough. I like his hygienist too. Also, Dr. Petersen in Grangeville is leaving and a new dentist is taking over his practice. Maybe he can see you all on short notice??

    Btw, I’m glad we chose to kayak when we did. Fall is here!
    Love you

  25. i have no idea how i landed on your blog. i began to read this column with interest, as I lived in the LC Valley for a number of years.

    I wish I had a dollar for every time the word “shock” was employed. I’d be rich.

    Why not take a moment, anyone reading this…to consider that perhaps he had just learned extremely bad news? Where is the grace?!

    To me, this isn’t worth a blog entry. Unless it is a reminder to us all to pray through our “outrage” for a dentist who clearly knows better in the best of circumstances to behave in such a way. Report him to the ADA in Idaho (and then get him again in Oregon!!) But maybe direct your shock to silent prayer. And take a few moments to use this as a teaching tool with your six-year-old, who–I assure you–was not damaged and will very likely be tempted to use that word himself someday…unless that teachable moment is well employed.

    If you encounter me someday, I hope you remember the concept of “grace”. I could really use it!

  26. 1. Vengeance isn’t ours but the Lords.
    2. Do we call the news station or an attorney? We do both.
    3. The four attorney’s that Trent speaks with say that unless we were physically harmed, we have no recourse.
    4.What are we hoping to accomplish? Am I after revenge, retribution or recompense? Do I want the coward… shamed or punished?
    Sounds to me like you were definitely wanting vengeance and wanting to make a quick buck by calling FOUR attorneys AND the TV station. I would have thought that after the second call, you would have given up on an attorney – but no – you had to call two more!! Geez lady, it looks like your son even stole a toy (from the picture you posted)! I know this dentist and to me, he doesn’t seem to be the type to drop the “F bomb” at all. I think you are making this up just so people will read your blog. Sorry, I don’t believe it for a second! AMEN!!!

      1. The blogging is fine – just don’t act like you’re a Christian and post stuff like this. Calling FOUR attorneys because he ask you to leave?….. TV station…. Really…

        1. wow, 2 days have past and considering, everyone elses, comments, there is something wrong with your “judgement” save your Christian casting of stones for your own holier than thou meeting with God on judgment day. Calling others liars without being there. Beautiful example for everyone….Nice job Randy. There is something major stinking about this dentist.

    1. Have you read through the comments? The majority of people commenting who have had experiences with him are recounting negative interactions, F bombs, storming out, and other bad behavior. I’m glad this blog ran across my newsfeed so I know to never go to this dentist.

  27. I refused floride treatment for my kids at that office several years ago for the same reason. They responded with disgust and indignation, and I don’t recall the dentist having anything particular to say about it, but it was obvious they were all thinking unsavory things. My ex-wife still takes the kids there and tells me I’m not allowed to refuse the treatment anymore because of the scene it caused years ago. I can only imagine the conversations that took place there in my absence.

  28. Good heavens! What a horror story.

    I worked with a dentist whose wife would steal other dentist’s patients, got herself slapped with restraining orders from other dentists for making scenes in their waiting rooms and she tried to make me work on my days off and later than my shift. But the crowning shenanigan was when she got reported for Welfare fraud and all my patient logs got subpoenaed into court. My records hung her rear in a sling. Her husband lost his license to practice dentistry and the last I knew they were sentenced to community service and time in jail.

  29. I also refused Flouride treatments with Dr. Zollman. He was irritated by it and refused to repair a broken filling, that he he had previously indicated was repairable. He said only a root canal at that point (just after explaining that I would take no flouride whatsoever AND I wanted an amalgalm filling that was MERCURY FREE) This really pissed him off. He no longer wanted to deal with me due to refusal of flouride treatments (including untreated dental floss). The guy just has no people skills and seems to have no patience with actual human interaction. He always seems like he is a very unhappy person in his profession. I always thought it was strange that he only spoke directly to his assistant. Never to me. Perhaps it is time for Dr. Zolman to retire. And for me….time for a new dentist…. .

    1. An Amalgum filling with no mercury? Hahaaaa! It amazes me…. actually no, it never ceases to amaze me, how absolutely ignorant the public is about Dentistry! If you have a broken filling that the doctor tells you he can fix, but you choose not to fix it until some later date- be at six months, a year, or more down the road… you should never expect it to be the same treatment that was diagnosed previously. Do you not realize the bacteria in your mouth and the things that can happen in six months let alone longer? Yes, if you waited to fix a broken filling, it is definitely NOT absurd to be told it needs a root canal when you finally decide to fix it! Omg!!!

  30. Your dentist is a jerk, but there may be a reason. People who deliberately inflict pain on helpless frightened people are sometimes very unhappy persons – this is what dentists do, and it affects some of them worse than others. This is why dentists have a higher suicide rate than other medical professionals. Imagine finding out after your expensive professional training that you don’t like your profession, because you don’t like hurting people.

    1. I wonder if the high suicide rate with dentists might have something to do with mercury toxicity from working with amalgam, which is more than 50% mercury.

  31. I was a patient of Dr. Zollman’s. You are correct, he does not look his patients in the face or talks to them. He talks through his dental assistants. He is a skilled dentist that lacks “bedside manner”. Had he behaved that way in front of my six year old, I would be upset.

  32. Wow!!! Definitely not a place that anyone would want to take children if they knew what he was like. What a jerk. That is the type of dentist that deserves no patients- he is a bully and obviously doesn’t think you have the right to make decisions for your children.

  33. Wow! I have sick feelings about that dentist. Unfortunately he is the only one whonaccepts my dad’s insurance. I have never met him. My dad, however is in fear of upsetting that guy. Now I am sickened to know why. My dad has had to have teeth pulled and dentures made. The dentist there left fragments of teeth in his mouth that made abscesses. The dentures were also ill fitting. And wore holes to the bone in my dad’s mouth. It was only after I told my dad I was going to have words with the dentist and report him that my dad decided to dig out the fragments himself because he didn’t want to upset the dentist. My dad even joked that he thought the dentist enjoyed inflicting pain… I know it sounds crazy. Now after reading about his behavior in front of your son and the hostility he imposed on your family, I believe my dad may be right. Wow this is disgusting!!

  34. You should contact Bearable Dentistry in Moscow Idaho, They are so kind and caring with their patients. They are Honest and upfront do not try to sell you on unnecessary treatment. They are absolutely amazing with my children. (208) 882-3214 We use Dr. Bryan Schiavoni and absolutely adore he and his Hygienists but in all honesty All of the doctors in that office are amazing. They are really good about getting people in for appointments in a timely manner, great friendly and PROFESSIONAL environment. Give them a call your kids will love watching the birds and squirrels outside of the window during their appointments.

  35. I wish you could have seen my dentist, Dr. Erin Leavitt. I can picture him yakking up a storm with your whole family wanting to know all about your trip. Meanwhile his assistants would have been poking him in the shoulder saying to get on with it, he had people waiting. We do have many talented dentist and Physicians here in our little Valley. I am just so sorry that you had the experience you had. You certainly deserve better. I enjoyed reading your blog, I thought you were very well spoken. Take care and safe travels to you and your family.

  36. File a complaint with the Idaho Board of Dentistry. Here’s a link to the Complaint Form page.
    Also, call your insurance carrier and complain. The doctor will care about communication from the state board & your insurance company.
    If by chance your children receive their dental coverage through Idaho Smiles, there’s a link to the participant hotline here: Also, if your children receive dental coverage through Idaho Smiles, call the Idaho state senator and legislator, as well as Labrador, Crapo & Risch’s offices.

  37. I live in Moscow, Idaho and have gone to Bearable Dentistry since I was a child. A little over 2 years ago I needed to have a tooth looked at during my pregnancy but was disappointed to hear that Bearable was no longer accepting Medicaid. This dentist office was the only one I could find to make an appointment with soon enough. The receptionist and dentist aid were very friendly and kind but when the dentist walked in it was exactly as you describe. He never once acknowled that I, another human being, was actually in the room. He talked about me to the aid and refused to make eye contact with me or ever talk to me directly. I found it to be very odd and I was glad that it was only a quick in and out visit as it was pretty awkward. I’m not surprised to hear that this weird behavior has escalated but I am sorry that it happened to you. I don’t necessarily agree with fluoride treatments either and the way he treats his patients is most definitely unprofessional. If he hates his job that much then he needs to find a different profession

  38. I am a dental hygienist in Boise Idaho and I am shocked by your story! Each patient has the right to refuse treatment and fluoride is not something everyone subscribes to. It is your right to decline to have it placed. What a nightmare! I am so ashamed of how you were treated.
    If you are in need of an AMAZING natural focused dental office in Northern Idaho you would be well served to check out Nature’s Way in Moscow. I worked for this incredible office for a while and I can honestly say that in the 15 years I’ve been in dentistry, they are at the top of my list of best offices. Between their compassion, knowledge, skill, and naturopath dental options… They are just fantastic! Dr Werner has 2 little girls too and he is fantastic with kids. I promise you that you will always be respected and your natural views and lifestyle choices will be welcomed and encouraged!

  39. My daughter had to go there because of her insurance…”DR” Zollman grabbed her face (and cracked her neck) told her to leave her face where he puts it, “you big fat baby”. We told the insurance company and all that happened was they transferred the care of her to another dentist! That man should NEVER be allowed to treat anyone!
    He also drilled a hole in my cheek and filled it with air (you guessed it….my fault!) it took over a week for the air fill cheek to go back to normal!

  40. Almost every person that I have ever talked to that has went to him has similar or worse experiences. He has pulled kids hair to hold them down and screamed at them. Hurt mentally unstable pactients. Pulled peoples teeth with little to no pain meds even after they said they didn’t want it pulled I don’t understand how he hasn’t lost his licence, I guess no one has turned him into the dental board.

    1. Sadly, the dental boards don’t seem to do much. They say their mission is to protect the public, but that mission statement is not actualized.

  41. I took my daughter to him because of insurance. First time my 11 yr old ever had a cavity. He took out a needle and thrust it in her face before letting numbing gel settle. She got very upset. He filled her cavity without cleaning it out. Worst dental experience for my daughter ever. She wrote most of this comment herself.

  42. He was my dentist in the late 90’s. I broke a tooth and it was throbbing so I called his office. They got me in and Dr. Zollman came in and started digging at it and putting air on it (without deadening it) and I was saying “ow ow ow” and he said to his assistant “please tell the patient that tooth cannot be hurting her because I did a root canal on it last year. I looked at her and back at him and said “uh, I’m right here you can talk to me yourself and I don’t care if you did a root canal it hurts”. He huffed and practically yelled at the assistant to get him a shot to deaden me up. Once numb he fixed the tooth. It was better but still throbbed every now and then but I swore I would never return to him.

    Fast forward two years and I was seeing a different dentist and in their questionnaire they asked if I had ever had a bad dental experience. I said yes and when the dentist saw me he asked me what happened so I relayed this story to him. He asked me which tooth and I showed him. They had done full mouth x-rays before I went in so he went to them and said “well, there’s a reason that tooth hurt – even though he did a root canal there are still two live roots”. This kind dentist then did a proper root canal and didn’t even charge me.

    As others have stated I can’t believe he is still able to practice dentistry due to all the complaints against him. Yes his wife did pass away last year but unfortunately he’s always been a jerk with absolutely no bedside manners. I’m sorry you and your family had to go through this. Thank you for sharing your story

  43. I know a dentist in Nyssa, Oregon who has a God complex. He and some of his staff enjoy gossiping about patients and their misfortunes or their curiosities. The dentist throws tantrums if things don’t go his way and he doesn’t mind doing it in front of patients. He can’t keep staff to save his life. It really is sad.

  44. I know a dentist in Nyssa, Oregon who has a God complex. He and some of his staff enjoy gossiping about patients and their misfortunes or their curiosities. The dentist throws tantrums if things don’t go his way and he doesn’t mind doing it in front of patients. He can’t keep staff to save his life. It really is sad.

  45. I am feeling very fortunate to have a dentist who treats his staff with kindness, and his patients like they were his own children! There are other dentists in Lewiston, who do not act in this way! In fact, they would be mortified by this man’s behavior!! I don’t believe that the writer of this blog should be lectured for expressing her experience with this dentist, because if she does nothing, nothing changes!
    For someone (Randy) to make it their own mission to cut down the victim in a situation such as this, what does that say about their own Christianity? You don’t know the players in the case of the dentist gone mad situation, your comment becomes rediculous! To call the writer of the blog out on the basis of Christianity is totally Hypocritical to say the very least! Judge not lest ye be judged? I believe that a Christian mind and heart would not criticise, but see that this was a mother’s way to blow off steam after a very shocking and un-necessary dental appointment that turned into learning lesson for her child.
    True, her blog could be made up, I highly doubt it, because having been a mother myself, I can see myself reacting in similar if not the same way!! If I had no legal recourse, I would seek out a way to warn other parents of this man’s ungodly behavior! I have worked with a crabby old man in the past, who was hated by many of the people of the relatively small community in which I lived. I worked with him for over 4 years, and in those years discoved this “cranky old curmudgen” was not truly so. I got to understand his way and his “sense of humor” of which most would call lack thereof.
    What is my point? Not everyone who goes to this man for dental needs will have a bad experience! Some will find the man corgial, but when the number of negative experiences outweigh the good, there is a definite problem and it should be addressed!
    We as paying customers need to support one another and inform others about this type of situation. I am grateful to know who never to take my children, grandchildren or recommend anyone else to for dental needs. With as many Dental offices as there are in Lewiston, being able to read an actual review of one of them is great… I call what she did with her blog, responsible!! Thank you Heather!!
    Randy, shame on you for scolding someone for doing practically the only thing she could and give others the benefit of her experience with this Dentist and using Christianity as your TOOL to do it!! Behavior like yours is what gives the TRUE Christians such a bad name! We need more whistle blowers, and less wind bags screaming their own agenda in the name of The Lord!

  46. So sorry to hear all of these comments about Dr. Zollman, and glad to hear them as I experienced the same chair side manner of indifference, and felt unsafe in his office and around the inexperienced staff.

    I too, have had a simple cleaning, but with dirty tools that sent me to the emergency room a few days later. The repair and lasting damage was enough.

    I went to his office in Joseph, OR

    I do not recommend him. I now travel to La Grande 64 miles away for dental care. Due to insurance, I found a terrific dentist now and will pay outside of my insurance for someone I trust.

  47. Not in the same state but, I had a horrible dental experience myself. I needed my wisdom teeth pulled. Two of them were really bad and I had neglected them. During the procedure the dentist and dental hygienist decided to discuss the show The Walking Dead. I do not watch shows like this because of some early childhood exposure to some satanic and horror movies that caused a lot of emotional and spiritual trauma. It took a long time (into adulthood), through lots of prayer, to rid my brain of images so I avoid similar images or thoughts. And I have to listen to this dentist discussing bone crunching scenes in the show… WHILE he was literally crunching my teeth to break them up to pull them out. I have not went back to him. He already thought we were an odd family anyway. We also refuse fluoride. Yet, they find it okay to have the kids pick out artificial sweetened chocolate flavored toothpaste to brush their teeth at their appointment? Just a horrible dentist to go to. Not sure if we will find another one on our plan though.

  48. I went to DR. Zolman 2 years ago to get new dentures, I am on Medicaid, They took xrays and never have called me back, Guess I’d better find another Doctor, I called back in a year, Said I was still on a waiting list……That’s Bull.,

  49. Hahahaha! Being a potty mouth myself, it is NOT the words that I find so offensive, it is the condescending wrath!

    Having said that, dentists have one of the highest suicide rates of any of the chosen professions. I think they remain in direct competition with policemen and psychiatrists. I once asked my childhood dentist (who became a family friend) why this statistic remained. He told me that it’s hard to stay happy when no one likes to come see you. (I must admit, I hated going to the dentist). The overhead is murderous with the staffing requirements and equipment costs. The college tuition repayment alone can bankrupt a dentist. The worst he said was that you are working at a horribly uncomfortable angle all day, leaning over your patients, working in two cubic inches of spit. I always felt compassion for my dentists after this revelation.

    I agree with your health philosophy though and I hope one day to see the proof in the pudding with your children’s ongoing good dental reports!

  50. I hope your kids aren’t eating cereal, citrus fruit, fish, milk, sardines, shrimp, tea, green leafy vegetables, or tubers (potatoes), unless you’re growing all these things yourself in your RV. Every one of those has fluoride naturally in them, along with a lot of water sources and soil. The way you eye treated is inexcusable, but you are all still getting fluoride.

    1. 🙂 Thank you for your concern, we Idahoans need to stick together! Our family uses a special water filter that removes fluoride from the water we drink across the country but I haven’t yet figured out how to remove it from the soil or food so alas we still are exposed to it to some degrees.

    2. seriously? I think you need to do a little more research.

      Silicofluorides never occur naturally in nature, and they are 85 times more toxic than natural occurring calcium fluoride. … In other words, industrial waste (sodium fluoride) is 85 times more toxic than natural calcium fluoride. Both of them contain fluoride, but they are totally different compounds. this is easily researched. The kind of flouride used in dentistry is a dangerous neurotoxin bearing little to no resemblence to naturally occurring calcium flourides.

    1. After reading comments from other patients of his, I can’t figure this out either. I am wondering how many of us felt like we were maybe the only ones and didn’t realize what some personal action taken could maybe do. There were close to no reviews online for this guy so it was really impossible to have known going in that there might be any issues. Hopefully others can report their experiences via reviews online as well as to the Idaho Board Of Dentistry here like I am working on doing.

  51. In 2010 I worked for Zollman and the way you described the conversation between you three is exactly what he did all the time! Belittling and making the assistant feel as small as possible was a regular occurrence. Then on top of that there were moments that I do not feel comfortable sharing massive details online but lets just say that he crossed the line with a young patient who was scared out of her mind. You were lucky that all he did was use his words when losing his temper. Then, HE BLAMED ME and said I would never be a good mother since I was unable to calm the child. I am sorry that you went through this. Know that I am praying for you and the family and I will pray that justice will be served and no other children will be put into danger with this man.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that Aston. The workers in the office all claimed this was not typical for him (while at the same time trying to quickly get us out of the office and keep us from trying to talk to him again). It just didn’t add up.

  52. While, I certainly understand wanting to bring to attention a poor experience, and there are clearly many examples of this Dentist’s unprofessional behavior, I would encourage everyone to pray for him. I don’t know this dentist, and no longer live in Lewiston, but I can say his livelihood is now at risk because of this blog. He is now likely to be sued, bashed in the press, and possibly lose his license. While some reading this may be fine with that, consider how you would feel if your very livelihood was ruined over a bad day. Please pray for him. Pray for his heart to be softened and for Jesus to reach his heart. It’s possible this is the stepping stone to a Damascus Road event for this dentist. I just caution people to consider that this man’s life could drastically change from this event. And to those who say, “it’s about time”, I ask you to have compassion.

  53. I’ve gotta say- that dentist sounds like a real **** ****. And I’m sorry that you went through that. But really, quit with the whole pretending that your kid had never ever ever heard the F word. (PART OF THE COMMENT REMOVED HERE AS I WON’T ALLOW JESUS’S NAME TO BE DEGRADED ON MY BLOG). Obviously he’s heard it or he wouldn’t have known that it’s a “really bad word”. Be more offended that he refused you the X-rays than the fact hat he used the f word. It negates your entire point.

    1. I did not remove your comment entirely, but I did take out the offensive use of Christ’s name as that is very offensive to me. Regarding your statement: to clarify, my 14 year old son is the one who was in the next room and was the one who told my husband that the dentist had said a really bad word. To my knowledge my 6 year old son had never heard the F word before–certainly not in close proximity or directed at someone he loves.

    2. I would say that the vast majority of humans don’t want the F bomb dropped right in front of their kids. People who swear around children are classless and immature.

  54. I would suggest bypassing the State Dental Board and going directly to your State Representative. After so many years of alleged unprofessional behavior, fraud and verbal (and physical abuse, i.e. grabbing a child by the face) this man has to have been reported several times over unless all of Idaho subscribes to “turning the other cheek” (forgive the pun). I would also suggest reporting him to the Department of Social Services as it appears he is profiting from opening his practice to medicaid recipients thinking that they are beholden to him and can be treated with such disrespect since their choices are limited. Injustice of any kind will not be addressed if we do not take action. The consumer is at the top of the capitalistic food change, but only when there is solidarity. Unity and mutual support moves the market and dictates both retail and service oriented industries. The way to get rid of Dr. Zollman is to leave him without staff and without patients. The office person who you refer to as Ms. Efficiency I refer to as Ms. Gutless as I would have walked out the door with your family and told Zollman to pound sand. Good luck and don’t give up this fight until this unfortunate man is out of business.

  55. Sounds like the man may have some autism-spectrum disorders he has never learned to deal with, so he set up practice in a small town with a captive clientele so he can still make a living from desperate or unwitting patients and not be forced to learn people skills. Don’t just complain to the Idaho Dentistry Board, but to the insurance companies he works with. One of the ways horrific practitioners like that keep bringing in patients is by making sure to get on every insurance company’s provider list, so patients looking for approved providers will always get him on the list. For the insurance companies with particularly cumbersome provider approval processes, that list may be very short and he is almost guaranteed hostage patients. But most insurance companies are smart enough to know that having really horrible providers on their list makes them look bad. Which means removing his approval, thus protecting other patients in a less direct way. Also, some insurance providers have their own review sections, and you can give reviews at
    Good luck! And good on you for being smart about it!

    1. As a mother with a child who has ASD, I think your playing in left field here. Even as adults this is not ASD 😳😡. More like Intermittent Explosive disorder but not ASD.

  56. It looks like the guy lost his wife just a year ago ( It’s not an excuse, but it could explain his salty attitude. Also, I’m sure it isn’t every day an RV full of travelers enter the office refusing fluoride. He went to to school to become a dentist, what was your area of study and what is your level of education? I didn’t see an occupation listed in your “About Us” section for yourself or your husband either. If you are going to make public claims against fluoride, please cite your sources.

    I wouldn’t go to this dentist. He sounds awful, but I definitely understand how a parent’s poorly supported fears could push a medical professional to the breaking point.

    1. It is indeed awful that he lost his wife and I was really sad to hear that. Perhaps it explains a lot. Based on comments from prior patients of his (such as Christine who went to him in the late 90’s) and prior employees (such as Ashton who worked for him back in 2010), it appears this is not likely a new part of his disposition. Either way, the behavior was horrible and when given the chance to make it right he refused.

      I didn’t list my occupation or my husbands on our about us page. I’m not sure how our college degrees are relevant. If you read my post and came away feeling like I made a public claim against fluoride, than I led you astray. I made a personal choice to not use fluoride. I felt no need to cite sources here because that is not the focus of this post. I am not trying to sway anyone to my opinion, but instead to make others aware of our experience. In the process I’ve become very aware that sadly our experience was not isolated.

      1. I am sad that horrible people have used this as an opportunity to attack you personally. You handled the jerk dentist well and I thank you for bringing his blatant disregard for patients concerns to the attention of everyone.

  57. So, you irritate a dentist to the point of frustration, he curses, asks you to leave, and you create a scene that leads to the office needing to call the police. And your first reaction is to call a tv station and an attorney. Why? Because he hurt your feelings? Did you really think you’re entitled to some free publicity or monetary compensation because your ego was hurt? And now you’ve launched a slander campaign, pretending to protect the public. This act of vengeance does not follow the Christian values you claim. I’m sorry, but your behavior is worse than his, even if he is a jerk. I truly hope that you can understand this someday.

    1. Sigh……Stand in truth Heather as I believe you are. Ignore any comments like this. You know the truth and God knows the truth……all that matters. You are providing validation to many who went through similar or worse experiences and did not have the ability or strength to publicly stand in truth. Praying for you as I read the few hurtful responses that question your motive or character. I know, from my own experiences how painful it is when you are publicly standing up for what is wrong and exposing the truth….but people who weren’t there choose to attack. Stand tall, my friend. God is with you.

    2. It’s hard to know how to respond to this but I’ll give it a shot. I made a calm personal choice to the hygienist which she noted on our charts. If that choice irritated him to the point of frustration and cursing, that is not my fault. We did not create a scene. We never raised our voices. We sat in our car until my husband walked to the door to ask for our x-rays.

      We’ve never been in this situation and as such were unsure what to do or what our rights were. I transparently explained our thought process and the actions we took in trying to figure out how to navigate what to do. This was/is not about money or about fame. Our desire was to figure out how to best make the public aware that patients are being treated this way or to bring a case against him so he would be required to face his choices. I also explained that I had to stop, question my motives and pray though them. I was not vengeful but I was upset, that is true. I claim to love Jesus, not to be perfect. I have forgiven him and waited until I was fully calm and able to forgive him in my heart before writing this post.

      I understand there is a delicate balance here between bringing awareness and bringing shame. If I have crossed that line, I can honestly say it was not my intent. I have simply told our story. I feel that people should be able to visit a dentist and walk out and publicly tell their experience freely. If the dentist behaved badly, I don’t understand how that changes things.

  58. The Bible has a direct instruction on how to behave in this situation.

    1 Corinthians 6:7

    His actions were inexcusable, but you also blew it in your response and opportunity to act Christ-like.

    1. Kelly, I don’t believe that verse is applicable in this situation. If you start with chapter 6 verse 1, it says, “If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people?” In this chapter Paul is writing to the Corinthian church–to believers within the church who were disputing against each other and asking them to resolve it under the authority of the church leaders. Paul wasn’t suggesting that you bring someone outside the church to the church and expect them to submit to the authority of the church leaders in a disagreement.

      1. But the spirit of the verse is that it’s just better to be wronged… to turn the other cheek. Just chalk it us as a learning experience and move on.

        It doesn’t say to call 4 lawyers, make a scene and mobilize an internet army to get revenge.

        The guy was obviously a horrible human but it doesn’t mean you should act as the world does and respond like this.

        1. Kelly, I appreciate your heart in this, I do. I am not calling him a horrible human, I am calling him an unprofessional dentist. We attempted to speak with him in person to try to resolve this and he refused. I am not personally angry at him, I am sad for him. I am sickened to hear of the many responses that have poured in from past patients and workers who have interacted with him. I can handle being wronged personally. If I’d met this man on the street and had this interaction that would be one thing. But it wasn’t about being wronged personally. This person deals with other kids all the time. Is it better to be silent when we know others might not be in a safe place? I believe there can be a time and a place to speak up for those who may not have a voice or platform to speak for themselves. I have had people email me privately saying that reading my story helped them realize that they didn’t need to continue putting up with being treated badly by this man. One mom said, “I felt an overwhelming desire to pray a blood covering over my kids before we went in that office.” To see how quickly he lost his temper just feet away from my 6 year old was scary. To hear how he has shouted at other kids is scary. When someone in authority is abusing that authority and we have the ability to stand up and speak out for those under their authority and do not, isn’t that wrong? We were not sure how to best speak up and let others in the community be aware of the way this man could affect others. Should we remain silent or speak up when we fear that others might be harmed? We chose to speak up.

          To clarify the reason we contacted 4 lawyers and the news: We had zero desire for monetary gain. Our only motivation was to call him to account for misconduct in his position of authority.

          1. I think that leaving a terrible review and maybe telling others online is a good solution. That’s what those channels are for.

            I believe that the 4 lawyer calls and news were way over the top, and apparently the lawyers and news agree.

            There’s a fine line there somewhere lol.

            The best thing that happened to you was that those lawyers turned you down. You would have possibly spent 10’s of thousands of dollars for very little gain.

          2. I believe it was for the best that nothing went forward with those calls. We didn’t know who to turn to but in the end that must not have been the right path and therefore I am glad it worked out as it did. I feel it is important though that people know that we were NOT after revenge or money in making those calls–simply seeking to bring awareness and find out what our rights were as patients.

  59. How awful! I’m so sorry you had to endure such treatment! I’m dental hygienist adding my voice to the chorus exclaiming that such disregard for patients should never be tolerated! It is against the law to deny patient x-rays to guardians, regardless of payment for any records. Idaho Administrative Code IDAPA 19.01.01 states the rules for patient records, I tried to insert a photo here but was unable to do so.
    Good luck and thank you for bringing this dentist to light.

  60. Thank you for posting this.
    was going to use this dentist because of having medicare.
    Now I will ABSOLUTELY NOT!
    You were right in stating your personal dislike for flouride and the unprofessional condescending jerk should lose his medical license. Try the dentist in Craigmont, Andrea… don’t remember her last name but used to be Dr. Johnson’s office. She’s great!

  61. If you’re still in the area, drive 30 miles north to Moscow, ID, and go to Bearable Dentistry. They were our dentists when we lived in Latah County and they are all great.

  62. Remember Mad Hatter’s Disease from exposure to mercury? I am sure this dentist and many others have extreme mercury poisoning, either from putting in mercury fillings or removing them unsafely. Don’t dentist have the highest rate of suicide because of this?

  63. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry your son was exposed to such aggressively foul behavior by someone who should have been an example of professionalism and maturity. I believe it was your right and duty to inform others on your blog. From the other comments here, it sounds like this type of behavior is the norm for him, and not just a “bad day”. And the bad day excuse is ridiculous – how many of us have had deaths in the family, a child injured to the point of disability or even the loss of a child, loss of a job or business, yet we do not act out in that manner. It sounds like you were lucky to get such a clear picture of this man’s behavior before he ever got the chance to do any dental work on your children. So for that, you are lucky. I shiver to think if a man like that was entrusted to care for my children.

    And Kathy Palmer may have hit on a vital issue – this dentist may be suffering from mercury poisoning.

  64. So you’ve had a run in with the worst dentist in Wallowa county too? My daughter had a similar experience with Dr. Zollman. He never talks to a patient directly and dies very shoddy work. I worked as a dental assistant/receptionist/office manager for ten years and this man should not be practicing anything, much less dentistry. So sorry you had to deal with him.

  65. I applaud this dentist!!! This is what doctors should do to all anti vaxers and science deniers!

    If you don’t believe in medical science, don’t expect help from a medical professional! Brush your kids teeth at home and use whatever homeopathic sugar water treatments you want.

    The truth is you were rude and ignorant and got what you deserved. He was a professional that stuck to scientific fact and did his job! Well done!!!!

    I would have called the police on you too! You should have left instead of acting entitled!

    Ps: He was training his aid to ask the appropriate questions in order to properly do her job!

    You reek of privilege.

  66. Sorry you had such a bad experience with this dentist. It sounds like he may be going through some difficult times in his life. I actually feel for him. He can’t be happy if what occurred as you state.
    I wonder if you may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, though. I once asked my dentist what was his greatest frustration in the profession. He said he stopped taking welfare insurance from the state because people were taking advantage of the system (he was a war veteran and said the benefits should go to those that are needy and our vets) and patients that did a little reading online and all of sudden knew more than he did about his profession. Maybe you just checked those two boxes for him and he finally lost it.

    1. I feel for him too. Unfortunately, it appears that the straw broke his back a long time ago based on the overwhelming amount of comments to this post from past patients and workers who have interacted with him for the past many years (did you read through the other comments?). I am confident that there are many frustrations to his line of work. However, when your work frustrations consistently push you to a point of inappropriate behavior with those you have vowed to help, it is time to reevaluate your job.

      You are subtlety making two large assumptions that I won’t bother to delve into here except to say that turning the situation on its head and making it sound like I possibly did something to warrant or deserve his behavior is simply false.

  67. Sadly this is the same kind of strong-arming happening in many pediatric offices with regard to denial of vaccinations. I suspect there is a particular slew of belief that is promoting such misconduct. I agree entirely that we, the people, must hold our ground and protect our RIGHTS to OUR bodies and the protection of OUR children as we see fit. It sucks that we have to do this, but there is nothing new here in the span of history. When left unabated and unchallenged, earthly authorities will work diligently to assume more and more control, unless guided by a moral compass that surpasses their own financial gain and ego. Thanks for sharing this story! I will be referring to it in a post I had planned soon on this exact topic.

    1. Thank you Julie for taking the time to comment. I am looking forward to spending more time on your blog when I am not supposed to be getting ready for the day ;)! I love the concept of setting healthy boundaries and equipping women in that direction. Keep up the good work.

  68. Your story is not unusual, sadly. I was horrible abused and ultimately destroyed by my dentist of 25 years, Ernie Lavorini, in Oakland, CA a year and a half ago.
    In the time since, I’ve done a lot of research. I’ve found that in the international dental community, the u.s. dental industry is known for having terrible ethics, and California is one of the worst states.
    I’ve learned that the ADA, and the dental associations, are corrupt. The ADA and state dental groups lobbied the legislature and were successful in getting a one-year statute of limitations on dental malpractice lawsuits imposed. I also learned that dentists do not protect patients. Dentists protect other dentists. I’ve seen about 10 dentists since then, and not one of them would speak out against what my (ex) dentist did, presumably because they wish to be as abusive and destructive as my ex is, and not be called to task.
    A very important thing I’ve learned is that the entire dental industry is based on the fallacy that teeth can not heal. TEETH CAN HEAL. The implant arm of the dental industry (which is brings in much more profit), however, is based on the theory, which seems to have panned out to some degree, that bone and gums do heal. Doesn’t quite jibe, does it?
    I have 4 capped teeth, one of which has a root canal, left, after Lavorini fraudulently extracted all my other teeth and gave me dentures. The fraud being that all he told me was that it would ‘fix me up.’ There are many dangers and consequences to losing your teeth and having dentures, almost any of which, had I been informed, would have stopped me in my tracks. Having been to Lavorini for more than 25 years, I trusted he would tell me anything I needed to know.
    I was wrong. He didn’t even check my medical history and didn’t take my disabilities into consideration.
    He told me not to come back after he realized I was in life-threatening condition. He refused to provide my records for 5 months, and when the records did arrive, they were falsified.
    Never trust a dentist.
    My last 4 teeth are healing. Yes. You read that correctly. I have microscope images that show the growth.

  69. I believed and trusted whole heartedly my state’s #1 dental professionals thinking I couldn’t be in better hands….
    I couldn’t have been MORE WRONG!!!
    Learn From My Mistake, Don’t Become One!!
    Read AND LISTEN to legally obtained audio that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, I was taken. Don’t let this happen to YOU!! Click on Dee’s Dental Story pages 1 & 3.
    Then, take advantage of my research and click on the ‘Empowered Patient’ page after you visit and learn why it’s so important to empower yourself with knowledge. If I’ve found one common but disheartening aspect of dentistry that absolutely needs to change it would be the ‘car salesman’ mentality with no accountability!
    How is it we have lemon laws for cars yet not for restorative dentistry? How is it we have labs crafting devices and no one is overseeing where the material is coming from or if they are even supplying the patient/public with the promised material?
    Anyone that listens to the last audio on Page 1 of Dee’s Dental story will never look at dentistry the same way again!!
    I never wanted to be the poster child for bad dentistry but bad dentistry brought out the ‘Erin Brockovich’ in me and WelcometoDDS was born. 😉

  70. The thought occurred to me that this dentist needs to be investigated. If he is one of two who accepts Medicaid patients, as I remember reading, either in your blog or comments to your blog, he may very well be cheating the system, hence his witchy attitude.

    I once worked as Dental X-ray tech for ten dentists and one of them was frauding Medicaid. His wife was doing the dirty work. She was extremely witchy. So much so she got banned by restraining orders from entering at least three of the other dental offices. Maybe this guy is just a mental basket case, but my gut feeling is there is a reason for why he acts the way he does and since leaving off fluoride was the trigger, his problem is the Almighty dollar. He talks at his patients through his staff because he can’t look them in the eye and he is volatile to keep people at arm’s length so questions are not asked. The dentist’s wife I dealt with at my job treated everyone like dirt. It made everyone afraid to cross her up or confront her on anything, so she was able to fraud the system for a long time. It was finally a former employee who had the courage to turn the dentist in that got it stopped.

  71. A very similar thing happened to me, here in Marshall, about a year ago. During a previous dental visit, the hygienist spoke to me *through* my daughter when I declined fluoride, even going so far as to say–to me through my child–“you know, water is poisonous, if you drink too much of it” (the hygienist was drawing the parallel that fluoride is sooooooooo minute in drinking water, yet you drink it every day–or something like that). Before their next appointments, I made a polite complaint to the office manager about the “water is poisonous” comment and the talking to me through my daughter about fluoride. Not ten minutes later, the hygienist called me AT HOME and got so verbally abusive (“YOU’RE RUINING MY CAREER! I NEVER EVER SAID THAT! YOU’RE MESSING WITH MY CAREER!) I hung up on her.

  72. You should have refused x-rays too… he’d probably pop a vein. They make more money off those than their (also unnecessary) fluoride treatments. It’s obvious this guy just wants to list as many billable items as possible on the insurance forms.

    And his talking through other people… sorry, that’s just a sign of a sociopath. Find another dentist (if you can really call him that).

  73. Yesterday I went to an endodontist as a referral from my dentist. The dental office looked dirty and unkempt. I saw the dental instruments lying on the countertop without the sealed package and 3 dental assistants opening the instruments without gloves. I requested for the instrument to be opened in front of me and I told the doctor/dentist that they were not using gloves. He got extremely offended and mad at me and start yelling. He told me to leave his office, and start yelling like crazy, telling me “you are saying that I want to hurt people”, I wanted to explain to him that I had a bad experience with a doctor who infected people with Hep B and I was very afraid of contaminated instruments. He never let me talk and explained anything. He called the police saying that I was trespassing and I did not want to leave. I had paid in advance so I wanted my money back. I went outside to my car and the police arrived. I was treated as a criminal (I’m a Hispanic female in my 40 with a strong Spanish accent). Two sheriff cars arrived with two deputies, they interrogated me, run my car plate asked for my driver’s license and give me a trespassing warning. One of the officers was asking me were country I was originally from (I have been an American citizen several years), like if I was an illegal alien. This has been by far the worst experience I ever had in this country. This doctor made me feel like a criminal for requesting something that as a patient have the right to. This happened in Florida.

  74. I am a dentist in the United States. I extracted a tooth on a female patient one week ago. The patient questioned every step of the procedure. She left the office that day after the extraction with no known complications. Today she returned to have the extraction site checked for a possible bone fragment in the socket. An x-ray was taken to aid diagnosis. Only attached bone was found to be in the socket of where the maxillary molar was extracted. The patient was given the option to remove the bone today with local anesthetic or do nothing allowing the gums to grow over the bone with time. The patient claimed no pain with the extraction site today. The patient chose to have the bone removed with the local anesthetic. After the procedure, the patient told me that I did not do my job correctly when I extracted the tooth. She told me that three times. After the third time, I told her to: “get the h*** out of my office.” She said: “What?” This time I said: “get the f*** out of this office.” I don’t know why I said that to her, it just came out. I realized I was very angry so I left the treatment room before I could say anything else. The patient left the office. I finished to other patients trying to be the nicest person I have ever been. I felt horrible about what I said to that extraction patient, so I drove to her house and offered a sincere apology to her, asking for her forgiveness. She was understandably quite upset with me and don’t believe I received any forgiveness. I will never forget what I said to her at the office today. My verbal abuse toward that patient makes me feel sick. Whatever monetary payment she made for the extraction has been refunded to her. The refund does not make up for the abusive words she heard from me. I hope I never say anything like that again to anyone. No one deserves to be told what I told that patient.

    1. John, I can tell you feel horrible about your outburst. I think it is wonderful that you choose to seek restitution with the patient. We all make choices that are poor. Certainly there are consequences for those actions and it is important to own them. Seeking to set things right is always appropriate regardless of how it is received. I can only imagine that your attempts to set things right with the patient was helpful for her in some way even if she didn’t let that be known to you at the time. Thank you for being willing to share your story.

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  76. Dude! Awesome stuff. Please keep writing more things like this. I really like the fact you went so in depth on this and really explored the topic as much as you did. I read a lot of blogs but usually, it’s pretty shallow content. Thanks for upping the game here!

  77. I’m really sorry this happened to all of you. This makes me extremely embarrassed, because believe it or not, but this guy is my grandpa! To be specific, my mom’s dad. I knew that he was kind of a jerk but I never knew about this! To let you know, he’s retired now, if that gives you some relief. Again I’m really sorry this happened to so many people. This kinda shines a new light on him for me

    1. Annie, thank you for taking the time to comment. This indeed would be a hard read for you, I can’t imagine. I’m happy to know he has retired and I hope that he is able to do something he truly loves now.❤️ Please know that although this was a painful event and are glad he is no longer practicing, we do forgive him.

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