Former Topeka dentist arrested on warrant for false impersonation

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Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 2:42 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A former Topeka dentist was arrested over the weekend on allegations he has been practicing dentistry without a license.

Shawnee Co. Dept. of Corrections booking records show Michael Charles Putnam, 67, was booked into custody by the Topeka Police Dept. on Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 12:20 p.m.

Court documents state that a warrant for Putnam’s arrest was issued June 24, 2022 after he failed to appear at a motions hearing in Shawnee Co. Dist. Court.

According to court records, Putnam faces a total of three misdemeanor charges of false impersonation, which originated in December of 2021. Shawnee Co. District Attorney Mike Kagay says the charges stem from allegations of practicing dentistry without a valid dental license.

13 NEWS has requested more information from the Topeka Police Dept. and Shawnee Co. District Attorney’s Office in regards to the charges Putnam has faced since the end of last year.

The Kansas Dental Board lists Putnam’s dental license status as revoked. It was originally issued July 23, 1982.

In a statement sent to 13 NEWS Tuesday morning, the Kansas Dental Board said in part “Mr. Putnam previously held a license to practice dentistry in Kansas.  Through the issuance of a Final Agency Order on June 9, 2021, the Board unanimously revoked Mr. Putnam’s dental license in accordance with the Dental Act and the Kansas Administrative Procedure Act, K.S.A. 77-501 et seq.  The Board has expressly prohibited Mr. Putnam from practicing dentistry in Kansas.  At this juncture, the Board intends to respect the criminal justice system and allow the prosecutorial process to unfold within the Shawnee County District Court.”

In an emergency order filed by the Kansas Dental Board on December 14, 2020, multiple complaints were listed regarding Putnam’s work as a dentist.

  • Undisclosed complaints received April 1990 and Sept. 1991
  • Uncleanly conditions reported at Putnam’s office in Oct. 2016. During the subsequent investigation, Putman was said to have thrown his glasses and violently slammed his fist into a wall and door, accusing the investigator of trying to “destroy him”
  • Anonymous complaint said Putnam became unreasonably angry during treatment and did not wear gloves during oral exam in early 2018
  • In Jan. 2018, investigators went to Putnam’s office and found he seemed disheveled, unorganized, had dirty hands, had no x-ray view box, s-rays of questionable quality were observed, and had a dirty lab area.
  • Putman was reported to have thrown dental instruments against the wall during an exam, and also failed to take a full mouth x-ray for a patient requesting upper and lower immediate dentures in Dec. 2017
  • A complaint submitted in May 2018 again accused Putnam of becoming angry and throwing dental instruments during an exam, and also left large amounts of cement subgingival and interproximal on teeth he was working on
  • A complaint was filed in Nov. 2018 that Putnam was unprofessional and a deadbeat
  • A complaint was filed Feb. 2019 that Putnam’s office was dirty and he put his hands into a patient’s mouth without gloves
  • March 2019 a complaint said Putnam threw a dental instrument and administered too much Lidocaine to the patient
  • Another investigation found Putnam administered excessive Lidocaine, failed to keep accurate chart data regarding narcotics, failed to record amount of local anesthetic in patient’s charts during tooth extractions, and prescribing excessive oxycodone to tooth extraction patients
  • A complaint was filed in Nov. 2020 that said Putnam surgically removed a tooth without an assistant or necessary suction or tongue retraction. The document states Putnam failed to remove a root tip, failed to take post extraction x-ray, and caused a tear in the floor of the patient’s mouth and iatrogenic grooves in the buccal bone

The report’s conclusion stated Putnam’s “continued extraction of teeth would constitute an immediate danger to the public health and safety or welfare...”

The emergency order prohibiting Putnam from extracting teeth was signed 12/7/2020.

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