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DRILLING WHILE INTOXICATED: Lindenhurst dentist busted after reporting to work reeking of booze and drilling teeth while allegedly drunk

 

Dr. Robert Garelick allegedly swigged from a purple squeeze bottle, treated patients' cavities and mistakenly injected the wrong side of a patient's mouth with Novocain in his office Monday, according to a dental hygienist.

JOEL CAIRO/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

 

Lindenhurst office of dentist Robert Garelick, who was arrested for being drunk on the job on Jan. 22.

 

A Long Island dentist is accused of being hammered while drilling.

Dr. Robert Garelick was hauled out of his Lindenhurst office in handcuffs Monday after his dental hygienist smelled booze on his breath and caught him administering Novocain to the wrong side of a patient’s mouth.

“I observed Dr. Garelick looking for cavities in the right side of the patient’s mouth, but the cavities were in the left side,” hygienist Kimberly Curtis told police in a written statement.

“I pointed this out to the doctor and that’s when he ordered more Novocain for the patient,” Curtis told cops. “So now, he basically numbed the whole patient’s mouth.”

JOEL CAIRO/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A dental hygenist said Dr. Robert Garelick was wobbling before drilling a patient's chipped tooth on Tuesday.

Apparently, it wasn’t the first time the tooth doctor was boozed up on the job. Curtis told cops Garelick, 57, of Melville, once showed up to work so wasted that she had to call his wife because he could barely stand.

After noticing Garelick’s wobbly behavior Monday, Curtis texted co-worker Dina Fara, who called 911.

Curtis said she sent the message after Garelick used a drill to treat another patient who had a chipped tooth.

“He was filing the tooth down,” Curtis said. “When you’re using that drill, you have to be very careful and have a steady hand.”

She said that just before Garelick treated the chipped tooth, he slipped into his office.

“I noticed that he was drinking from a white and purple squeeze bottle,” Curtis said.

“At first I didn’t think anything was wrong,” Curtis said. “But right after, he took a drink from that bottle, he got up and walked past me. When he did this I smelled a strong odor of alcohol.”

She said that while Garelick was drilling on the patient’s tooth, she went into his office and found the bottle filled with vodka under his desk.

“It was at (that) time that I had to do something. I was concerned for the patients,” said Curtis, explaining why she texted Fara.

The dentist initially claimed he only had a couple of beers with pizza during lunch Monday, according to Suffolk County cops.

But Garelick, who was charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment, later confessed to his drunken dentistry while being taken to a police precinct in the back of squad car.

“I never had any beers with my pizza. I’ve been sipping at that bottle all along today,” he told police, referring to his squeeze bottle filled with vodka, according to a criminal complaint.

A man answering Garelick’s cell phone Tuesday refused to comment and hung up. Garelick was released on his own recognizance.

Curtis and Fara could not be reached for comment.

Garelick’s attorney, Randy Zelin, was quick to point out that no patient was injured.

“You have someone who has a very good record as a dentist,” Zelin said.

“He’s never been in trouble before. He’s a family man, resident of the community lives in the community, works in the community.”



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/drunk-dentist-caught-drilling-patients-article-1.1245535#ixzz2Iodye8Uv

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