Patient talks about surgery done by former High Point dentist who posed ‘grave risk to the public’

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A trip to the dentist turned into an experience Kennadi Nester will never forget.

A North Carolina Dental Board investigation revealed Dr. Shawana Patterson had two people die in her care. She then lost her license in January.

When Nester went in for a simple wisdom tooth removal, Patterson was already under investigation. Nester didn't realize that.

"We went back there and she put the mask on me and told me that I'd start to feel a little tingly. But I didn't," Nester said.

That was eight months ago. She was awake the whole time and remembers everything.

"I was laying there and then she started to cut open my teeth and started to drill them and break them to pull it out," Nester said. "I started screaming and I was crying. I was hyperventilating."

Nester showed FOX8 consult paperwork she had from Patterson's office. It indicates she was supposed to get put to sleep and have two teeth taken out.

"She took out four. She was only supposed to take out two," Nester said.

That wasn't all.

"When I went to the emergency room they took a CT scan. They said that she fractured my jaw," Nester said. "A mandibular fracture from here to here where she was hitting it and putting her weight into it."

Almost a year later, those memories are still fresh in Nester's mind.

"I was just screaming and crying and nobody could help me," she said.

In the lengthy report from the North Carolina Dental Board, the investigation into Patterson's office shows that the two patients died under her care from "excessive levels of sedatives" and from a lack of action on Patterson's part.

"(Patterson) poses such a grave risk to the public in administering general anesthetics or sedation that she should be disqualified permanently from holding a general anesthesia permit or any level of sedation permit and prohibited from administering any level of sedation in North Carolina," the board wrote.

"I'm actually thankful that she didn't put me to sleep because that could have happened to me if I was put to sleep," Nester said.

Bobby White, the CEO of the North Carolina Dental Board, says these investigations take time.

"We have to develop evidence. We have to safeguard the due process of the law," he said. "These can take a long time to put together. That doesn't mean things aren't being done, it just means due process and the collection of evidence can take awhile."

Both Nester and White say they hope this tragic scenario serves as a reminder and lesson that speaking out can prevent others from suffering.

"Definitely look up reviews on Yelp, on Facebook, and ask around before you go to a new doctor," Nester said.

"If they think they have been wronged or harmed, there's an agency that specifically deals with that issue," White said.

Those other investigations are still open.

FOX8 is told that if Patterson tries to reapply for a license, the board will finish the other claims and investigations.

There is also a database of dentists across the country who have lost their license to alert people in other states about a dentist's history.

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