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