Orange County dental clinic where children contracted infections reopens

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The Orange County dental office where dozens of kids got bacterial infections reopened Monday after being shut down for months.

The Children's Dental Group, located at 2156 E. Lincoln Blvd. in Anaheim, shut down on Dec. 16, 2016, after testing confirmed the continued presence of Mycobacterium even after the facility replaced its water system.

Nearly 70 youngsters have been affected by the bacterial outbreak. The children, ages 2-11, underwent pulpotomy procedures, also known as "baby root canals."

One 6-year-old boy reportedly lost much of his lower jaw and other patients struggled with recurring pain and infection. All of the cases were reported between Feb. 4 and Aug. 26 of last year.

The clinic opened its doors at 8 a.m.

"The health and well-being of our patients remain our top priorities," said Dr. Jerry Minsky, the Children's Dental Group's chief dental officer. "As always, we will provide them with high quality care in a comfortable, safe, child-friendly environment, and do all that we can to ensure their wellness."

Minsky said in the statement posted on the clinic's website that they "have met all the conditions of the Orange County Health Care Agency's December 2016 order."

After multiple evaluations from regulatory agencies, Minsky said the clinic has "extraordinary infection control, sterilization, and safety practices -- well beyond those required by dental industry standards."

Although some parents said they would never return to the clinic again, some said they had no other choice.

The clinic faces 16 lawsuits so far, and the number is expected to rise. Attorneys in court Friday discussed a move to combine all the cases into one, much like a class-action lawsuit.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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