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Additional allegations of malpractice against dentist Gaum surface at protest | Local | News

One of the dozen-plus people who attended the Broken Trust protest Saturday morning said Errol Gaum’s pediactric dental clinic sounded more like a “torture chamber.” 

“During my training, I was told if we heard screams in the reception area, we were to turn up the volume on the TV (or radio) so it would block the screaming from the parents,” said Kathy, who didn’t want her surname used.

She worked at the dental office on the Bedford Highway for only 10 days in the mid-2000s but it was long enough for her to surmise the children were not receiving proper care at the clinic.

“A parent asked me if I could check on their child,” Kathy said. “I walked past the reception desk, went down to check on the child. I was instructed when the dentist opened the door to never return to that room again.

“I was in shock. I used to work as a registered dental assistant. That’s not how dentistry should be for children, it’s all about comforting children. That sounded like a torture chamber.”

Horror stories from Gaum’s longtime pediatric dental career surfaced recently on the Victims of Errol Gaum Facebook group and in the mainstream media, prompting the Broken Trust protest in front of his Bedford Highway office.

Scott Wolfe, 39, told The Chronicle Herald earlier that when saw the photo of Gaum, his dentist from 30 years ago, circulating on social media that it sent chills down his spine.

Gaum was Wolfe’s dentist for three years and he said every visit was filled with pain. Wolfe remembers being pinned down by the dentist and his assistant as he sat in the chair. He recalls having allergies as a little boy and being threatened for breathing through his mouth, instead of his stuffed-up nose. 

“They’d become incredibly rude and very disrespectful,” he said. “(They) told me that I’d be in a lot of trouble if I didn’t start breathing through my nose because I was steaming up their dental mirror.”

Wolfe would beg his mom every time not to go to the dentist.

Gaum’s licence was suspended earlier this week by the provincial dental board after an emergency meeting was called Wednesday night to discuss numerous complaints against him.

“I’m very happy that the dental board is actually listening to us and suspending his licence even though it should have been suspended long ago,” Ryan Binder told the Cape Breton Post.

Binder, a Cape Bretoner who believes Gaum hurt his six-year-old daughter, said the suspension is only the start and the group won’t stop until the dentist’s licence is revoked and his actions are criminally investigated.

A Halifax Regional Police spokesman confirmed that they are investigating “numerous reports that a man who was working as a dentist assaulted patients at numerous locations over a period of time from the 1970s to this year.”

Kathy said HRP has asked to speak with her.

Binder filed his complaint with the dental board last week after his daughter’s

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dentist

Bedford, N.S. dentist’s licence suspended following numerous misconduct allegations

The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has suspended a prominent Halifax-area dentist’s licence after several misconduct allegations came forward.



a man smiling for the camera: The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum's dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.


© Granville Dental
The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum’s dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.

In a statement to Global News, Dr. Curtis Gregoire, deputy registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, said the board’s complaints committee held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening “to consider recent complaints made against Dr. Errol Gaum.”

Bedford dentist has licence suspended after misconduct allegations

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“After reviewing complaints, the Committee ordered that Dr. Gaum’s license to practice dentistry in the Province of Nova Scotia be suspended indefinitely, effective immediately,” Dr. Gregoire said in the statement.

READ MORE: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

According to the Dental Act, Dr. Gaum is able to provide a written request to the complaints committee to have a meeting to review its decision to suspend his licence. However, the board said absent that request, the suspension is indefinite.

The board did not say whether that request has been submitted to the complaints committee. No other details on the decision were released and the board said it is not taking interviews at this time.

Video: Parents complain about actions of Halifax-area dentist

The decision comes after several parents and former patients came forward to accuse Gaum of professional malpractice by using excessive force on children in his dentist chair.

One account was from Ryan Binder, a parent from Glace Bay, N.S., whose six-year-old daughter was referred to Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S., to get a tooth removed.

Binder claimed Gaum “wasn’t letting his daughter breathe” because he was holding her nose during the treatment. He also claimed Gaum told his daughter to “shut up” during the appointment.

Binder shared the experience on Facebook, which has since garnered thousands of shares. He says the decision from the board provides some form of vindication.

One account was from Ryan Binder, a parent from Glace Bay, N.S., whose six-year-old daughter was referred to Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S., to get a tooth removed.

Binder claimed Gaum “wasn’t letting his daughter breathe” because he was holding her nose during the treatment. He also claimed Gaum told his daughter to “shut up” during the treatment.

Binder shared the experience on Facebook, which has since garnered thousands of shares.

Binder says the decision from the board provides some form of vindication.

“To finally hear that something is being done, you can’t wipe the smile off my face,” Binder said.      “There’s a lot of people that are in their 50s that went to him that are reaching out and saying thank you, I’ve been waiting 30, 40, 50 years.

“It’s still hard, because all these kids are still going through a very rough time.”

READ MORE: Misconduct allegations mount against prominent Bedford dentist  

Halifax Regional Police have confirmed that they’ve received at least four

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dentist

Bedford, N.S. dentist has licence suspended following numerous misconduct allegations

The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has suspended a prominent Halifax-area dentist’s licence after several misconduct allegations came forward.



a man smiling for the camera: The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum's dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.


© Granville Dental
The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum’s dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.

In a statement to Global News, Dr. Curtis Gregoire, deputy registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, said the board’s complaints committee held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening “to consider recent complaints made against Dr. Errol Gaum.”

“After reviewing complaints, the Committee ordered that Dr. Gaum’s license to practice dentistry in the Province of Nova Scotia be suspended indefinitely, effective immediately,” Dr. Gregoire said in the statement.

READ MORE: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

No other details on the decision were released and the board said it is not taking interviews on the decision at this time.

The decision comes after several parents and former patients came forward to accuse Gaum of professional malpractice.

Video: Parents complain about actions of Halifax-area dentist

One account was from Ryan Binder, a parent from New Glasgow, N.S., whose six-year-old daughter was referred to Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S., to get a tooth removed.

Binder claimed Gaum “wasn’t letting his daughter breathe” because he was holding her nose during the treatment. He also claimed Gaum told his daughter to “shut up” during the treatment.

Binder shared the experience on Facebook, which has since garnered thousands of shares.

READ MORE: Misconduct allegations mount against prominent Bedford dentist  

Halifax Regional Police have confirmed that they’ve received at least four complaints since last week about a man who was working as a dentist at 1083 Bedford Highway in Bedford.

At this point, no charges have been laid.

— More to come.

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dentist

Misconduct allegations mount against prominent Bedford dentist

More parents and former patients of a well-known Halifax dentist are coming forward with allegations of professional misconduct.



a car parked in front of a house: Granville Dental in Bedford is seen on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.


© Graeme Benjamin/Global News
Granville Dental in Bedford is seen on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.

Elsie Higgins says back in 2013, her then-23-month-old son was referred to Granville Dental, along the Bedford Highway, to see Dr. Errol Gaum. She says her son wouldn’t crying and yelling throughout the appointment, and she wasn’t allowed inside to see him.

Misconduct allegations mount against Bedford dentist

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“The crying didn’t stop,” she said. “It was more than just the typical ‘I don’t want to be here’ type of crying.”

READ MORE: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

Higgins says when her son came out of the appointment, he was red all over his face and was feeling ill. When they got home, Higgins says they discovered more marks on his face.

“He had indentations from fingernails in his chin, the side of his face, his forehead. His hands were marked up, his arms,” she said.

“It was just something you didn’t want to see on your child.”

Higgins says she filed a complaint with the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia and the police. She says the dental board indicated Gaum would receive a letter of reprimand.

Global News has reached out to the Canadian Pediatric Society for comment on the allegations. The society said it doesn’t receive or process official complaints, as it isn’t a licensing agent.

Halifax police said it would not comment on the matter, as it is not their practice to provide information in relation to those named in investigations unless there have been charges laid.

The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia did not respond to requests by Global News to confirm it received Higgins’ complaint or whether it issued a letter of reprimand. They say the board is currently not conducting interviews.

Video: Parents complain about actions of Halifax-area dentist

Higgins’ complaint is one of many that have surfaced against Dr. Gaum after a Facebook post describing an appointment last week garnered thousands of shares.

A Facebook page called “Victims of Dr. Errol Gaum” has since been created with others sharing similar stories.

Kelli Kayln says she was referred to Dr. Gaum when she was child back in the 1990s. She says she was referred to him to get a tooth removed.

She, too, says her father wasn’t allowed in the room during the procedure.

“He was pulling (the tooth) out and he had actually put one of his knees, was kneeling on my chest with one leg on the floor to give him stability,” Kayln says.

“He was pulling and pulling, and I was crying and telling him that I’m feeling everything, we need to stop, I’m crying for my parents, and he said shut up.”

Kayln is one of the several members of the “Victims of Dr. Errol Gaum” Facebook page, which

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