A man was arrested last week for reportedly practicing dentistry out of his Jacksonville home without a license to do so.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip in January regarding the suspicious activities of 54-year-old Edgardo Paje. After collecting enough evidence over the past several months, police finally arrested the man on felony charges of practicing dentistry without a license on November 26.
According to the police report, Paje had converted one of the rooms in his home into a working dentist office, complete with a chair for patients, professional dentistry tools and Lidocaine, an anesthetic commonly used during dental procedures. Police also discovered two firearms while searching the home.
The Florida Department of Health does not have Paje listed as a licensed dental professional in the state of Florida, yet he still saw patients in his home located at 2542 Alden Trace Blvd West near Florida State College.
Neighbors believed him to be a dentist and were unaware of any illegal activity going on in the home. Paje was able to post bail a day after his arrest but has not returned to his Southside home since.
Surprisingly, this is not the first incident of its kind in Florida. Back in June, a 43-year-old man in Kissimmee was arrested for practicing dentistry out of his home without a license and for drug possession with the intent to dispense.
Gustavo Hernan Aranguren admitted to treating between 15 and 20 people in his home, mostly for orthodontic purposes. According to investigators, he had tried to obtain a license to practice dentistry in the state but was unsuccessful. Aranguren’s lawyer claims that his client has a background in dentistry and was using his skills to provide treatment to those who could not afford it.
Regardless of their intentions, practicing dentistry without a license is not only illegal, but also poses a risk for patients.
The Florida Department of Health reminds residents of the importance of seeking medical treatments only from a licensed professional. Dentists are required by law to visibly display their license in their office. Patients should be extra cautious when receiving dental treatments out of a home or garage.