Hilo dentist faces more complaints after patient falls into coma

Published On: Apr 16 2014 06:19:00 PM HST

Thursday on the Big Island marks one month since a young mother fell into a coma after a visit to the dentist.

Click here for Lara Yamada's report.

Kristen Tavares' family is praying for a miracle.

"We just tell him mommy's sleeping right now. She's tired, she needs to rest," said Chauncey Prudencio, Tavares' boyfriend, about the couple's 4-year-old son.

"He's missing out a lot and she is, too," Prudencio said.

Tavares, was having four molars removed. "Next we know, we got calls she was at the Hilo Medical Center, unresponsive," said Joey Tavares, Kristen Tavares' father.

"I love her so much, and I just wish she would come back," he said.

Kristen Tavares' dentist, Dr. John Stover, has since shut down his three-office business, Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii. His website is no longer online and his answering machine is referring patients to another doctor.

"Random people that I don't even know, strangers, have come up to me and shared their stories," Prudencio said.

The state is investigating a dozen complaints against Stover. Records show he got his Hawaii medical license in 2001 and as a dentist in 2005.

At the time, only a regional exam, not a national test, was required.

"Over our objections, the Legislature created a loophole in 2005 that allowed several dentists to come to Hawaii and set up a practice without going through a rigorous exam," said Lili Horton, president of the Hawaii Dental Association. "It's a shame this person was allowed to practice dentistry in Hawaii."

"We do have a lot of questions and definitely want some answers for those," Prudencio said.

"Just the hope that you wake up tomorrow and it's a new day and everything will be fine and it's not, but one thing I give Kristen for is she's a fighter. She's hanging in there, and just fighting day by day," Joey Tavares said.


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