A man accused of performing dental procedures for years without a license out of a Delray Beach business was arrested Monday, authorities said.
Julian Saldarriaga, 60, was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed at his J&D Dental Laboratory on S. Military Trail, Delray Beach Police officials said.
Saldarriaga, who was arrested for practicing unlicensed dentistry in 2001, is facing one count each of practicing dentistry without a license and using dental equipment when not a licensed dentist, both third-degree felonies, and advertising himself as a dentist, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Police began investigating Saldarriaga and J&D Dental Laboratory after an 83-year-old woman reported that she developed stage 3 oral cancer that had been possibly caused by ill-fitting dentures, police said. The woman had been going to J&D Dental Laboratory since at least 2009 for repairs on her dentures after she had been referred there by friends and saw a newspaper advertisement, officials said.
The woman was fitted for new dentures by Saldarriaga in August 2018 but a few months later noticed sores in her mouth where the dentures were rubbing, officials said. The woman said Saldarriaga always had her pay in cash for dental services.
In February, she went back to Saldarriaga because her dentures were still not fitting correctly and the sores in her mouth were getting worse, police said. Saldarriaga recommended an over-the-counter mouthwash for the sores, told her he had never seen anything like them, and suggested she see a dentist, police said.
When the woman went to an oral surgeon in March, her mouth sores were diagnosed as stage 3 cancer. She has undergone surgery and is undergoing radiation treatment.
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of Saldarriaga, or who has additional information about Saldarriaga or his business, is asked to contact police at 561-243-7829.