Mother and daughter plead guilty to practicing dentistry without a license

The woman, Elizabeth Hinojosa, and her daughter, Monica Salazar Orozco, both from Jourdanton, Texas, worked at a dental office together. It was there that they gathered their clientele and booked appointments after hours.

Hinojosaorozco

July 25, 2013

Hinojosaorozco
Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman

A woman posing as a dentist faces five years in prison for posing as a dentist and practicing dentistry without a license.

The woman, Elizabeth Hinojosa, and her daughter, Monica Salazar Orozco, both from Jourdanton, Texas, worked at a dental office together. It was there that they gathered their clientele and booked appointments after hours.

Hinojosa, who went by “Dr. Liz” to her after-hours patients, worked as a dental assistant during the day and was often responsible for translating for Spanish-speaking patients since the dentist only spoke English. Her daughter as the clinic’s receptionist.

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The two women are guilty of scheduling appointments after hours and having office calls forwarded to their cell phones. Hinojosa performed tooth extractions, root canals, and orthodontic treatments.

One patient, Carroll Jarrett, said he never received porcelain veneers from Hinojosa, which he paid for. “It was gross,” he told NewsOK. “I had two little bitty nubs where my smile was.” Hinojosa also put braces on Jarrett’s daughter, which came apart soon after.

Hinojosa pleaded guilty to practicing dentistry without a license, conspiring to commit a felony, second-degree forgery, medical battery, and embezzlement.

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“I conducted dental procedures on several individuals without having a license to practice dentistry,” she wrote in court paperwork. “I performed extractions and injections which only a dentist should perform. I am not a dentist.”

Orozco also pleaded guilty to practicing dentistry without a license and conspiracy to practice dentistry without a license. She received a five-year deferred sentence.

Hinojosa was sent to prison because “she was much more culpable,” said Oklahoma County First Assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland.

“She is the one who held herself out as a dentist and was performing the actual dental and orthodontic procedures," said Rowland.

Both women agreed to never work in a dental office or perform dental procedures again.

Author Lauren BurnsLauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.

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