An Orillia dentist is refuting a report that patients may have been exposed to improperly cleaned and sterilized equipment.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit launched an investigation into Joe Philip and Associates, which is what the dental clinic was known as between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 18, 2017.

During this time, the SMDHU says that patients “may have been exposed to improperly cleaned and sterilized instruments.” 

However, the health unit says the risk to patients is very low. To date they haven’t received any reports of patients being infected.

The dentist office says its appealing the health unit’s notice. It alleges that a complaint was made to SMDHU by a former disgruntled employee.

“Public Health has released a media statement which we believe is false and inaccurate in an attempt to cause unnecessary panic in the general public and to destroy my reputation,” Dr. Joe Phillip says.  

Philip claims the issue with the health unit is how sanitation records are logged and tracked. However, Philip says there has been no issue and has the logs to prove it.

He says the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the governing body for dentists, conducted their own investigation and deemed there was no risk to the public.

“To be clear, SMDHU and Public Health Ontario are now acting on their own accord instead of working with the RCDSO,” Philip wrote in a statement.

The improper cleaning of dental instruments can spread diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

It’s being suggested that patients who were treated at the clinic between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 18, 2017 be tested by their family physician.