Disciplinary Action against Robert Kulacz, D.D.S.

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

In 2006, Robert J. Kulacz, D.D.S, who practiced what he called "integrative oral medicine," was disciplined by the New York State Education Department's Office of Professional Discipline. The relevant public documents, signed in the Spring of 2006, indicate that he had settled a charge of professional misconduct by agreeing to a consent order. His application for the order stated:

I have been charged with one (1) specification of professional misconduct. . . .

I cannot successfully defend the aforementioned specification of professional misconduct, charging me with unprofessional conduct (in the course of treating a patient, I failed to maintain a record that accurately reflected the evaluation and treatment of a patient in that I failed to detail in the patient chart the evaluation which led to my decision to extract two of the patient's teeth).

I hereby agree to the penalty that my license to practice as a dentist be suspended for a period of two (2) years; that execution of said suspension be stayed; that I be placed on probation for two years. . . . and that I pay a fine in the amount of one thousand dollars. . . " [1]

The public documents confirm this but provide no further details. However, Kulacz stated on his now-defunct Web site (DrKulacz.com) that before he received a written copy of the charges, a board investigator had told him that the licensing authorities were concerned that he had extracting a root-canal-treated tooth unnecessarily.

Background History

Archived versions of DrKulacz.com have stated the following.

Kulacz received his dental degree from the New York University College of Dentistry in 1986. After becoming licensed in 1986, he had additional surgical training and founded, became president, and did business as the Institute of Integrative Medicine [2]. In 2001, DrKulacz.com stated:

Dr. Kulacz utilizes scientifically based treatment protocols that focus on relating oral health to overall systemic health. He and his staff use the most progressive materials, procedures and equipment in performing oral surgery to remove jaw infections (cavitations and root canals) and dental restorative procedures [3].

In September 2004, the site's home page stated:

Dr. Kulacz has devoted his practice to the diagnosis and treatment of oral infections and their possible relationship to systemic diseases. After learning of the dangers of root canals, mercury amalgam and other dental procedures, Dr. Kulacz abandoned his traditional dental practice. You will find some interesting information on this website concerning root canals, osteomyelitis/osteonecrosis of the jaw bone, and the differences between how dentistry presents these procedures and the actual truths. Dr. Kulacz is examining dentistry in the medical, whole body approach, rather than confining diagnosis and treatment to just the mouth. Many diseases such as NICO, atypical facial pain, neuralgia, heart disease, arthritis, seizure disorder, chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders are just a few of the diseases, among others, that can be traced back to infection. Many of these infections originate in the mouth. Dr. Kulacz lectures on this topic, does research, as well as maintains a clinical practice treating patients.

Our online radio show as well as our Monday weekly appearance on The Deborah Rayť radio show further educates the public to these important topics.

Dr. Kulacz is limiting his surgical practice to two days per week to focus on research and education as he believes his effort to help the public will be better served than full time private practice [4].

Kulacz co-authored a book, The Roots of Disease (2006), which contends that root-canal treated teeth are often the main cause of seemingly unrelated medical conditions and should be removed for that reason. He also contends that "almost all root-canal teeth are infected." [5]

Dubious Treatment Recommendations

During 2004, DrKulacz.com offered "Dr. Kulacz's Daily Protocols" and "Advanced Clinical Protocols" for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis); chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia; hepatitis-C; HIV/AIDS; immune modulating and enhancing; leukemia (AML, CML, CLL); lupus & rheumatoid; lymphoma; melanoma; multiple sclerosis; sarcoma; brain cancer; breast cancer; colon cancer; liver cancer; lung cancer—squamous cell; lung cancer—adenocarcinoma; ovarian cancer; pancreatic cancer; prostate cancer; cardiovascular; sports performance enhancement; and viral/flu [5]. All of these conditions are outside the scope of standard dentistry. Their protocols included long lists of nonstandard dietary supplements. For example, the "ovarian cancer protocol [6] included daily coffee enemas, a vegetarian diet, 50 to 75 grams of intravenous vitamin C, and the following supplements:

SUPPLEMENT BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER BEFORE BED
Immune Option Enhanced 2 scoop 2 scoop 2 scoop --
EPA/DHA Option 1 1 1 --
Enzyme Option 4 4 4 --
Thymus Option 2 2 2 --
Flora Plus Option 1/2 teaspoon -- -- --
ImmunoPro Rx 2 scoops -- -- 2 scoops
DeTox MAX Plus
(alternate days)
-- -- -- 1 vial in juice, 2-weekly
Ultra Absorbic-C
(Oral w/ I.V. Pgm)
-- -- -- 1/2 vial in juice
Ultra Absorbic-C
(Oral only Pgm)
1/2 vial in juice 1/2 vial in juice 1/2 vial in juice 1/2 vial in juice
NanoKine Option 2 drops sublingual— 2 drops sublingual 2 drops sublingual --
Calcium D-Glucarate 2 2 2 --
Indole Forte -- -- 4 --
Melatonin 3mg -- -- -- 1

The ingredients for this program, none of which has any proven value against cancer, would cost over $700 per month. When Kulacz saw that I had posted this information, he claimed that it had been copied from the product company website and that the products were "never recommended to treat any disease or suggested as treatment or in conjunction with treatment but were a convenience for patients that were seeking quality supplements for their own personal use based upon their own personal decisions." [7] The company that distributed the products was Bioimmune Inc., of Scottsdale, Arizona. However, each of the products Kulacz recommended was hyperlinked to a page on his site that described it and enabled the viewer to place it in the shopping cart of his online store or order it by mail from Kulacz. I have linked to one of the product pages so you can see what they looked like.

More about the Charges

In January 2005, the DrKulacz.com home page stated:

I am currently being investigated by the New York State dental board and the State education department attorney. The reason for this investigation, from what information I can obtain orally from the state investigator (I have requested a written list of charges) is that they are claiming that I took out a root canal tooth that the Root canal specialist reviewing my case said was not indicated. . . .

They are also accusing me of stating that my book and my website tells people to extract all their root canal teeth. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Every patient has a choice. If a patient chooses to do a root canal after being properly informed of the potential risks, it is their decision. I have never told ANY patient what to do. I simply supply data to let the patient make an informed decision. This is something that most dentists fail to do since they do not usually offer the option of extraction or properly inform the patient of the risks. Even when presented with the facts regarding the potential health risks of root canal teeth, they refuse to accept the literature supporting retained infection in root canal teeth and the possibility of infection present in the surrounding bone. This is called informed consent and should apply to everybody. Not informing the patient of the risks is in my opinion manipulative, fraud, and malpractice.

The next accusation states that I believe that what I do is better than what other dentists are doing as far as extraction technique, use of local anesthetics etc. To that I say guilty as charged. I believe that oral surgery should be practiced similarly to orthopedic surgery. I believe that you must remove dead and infected bone after extracted an infected tooth. I believe that tissues should be biopsied and also cultured for bacteria. None of this is currently performed in dentistry yet is STANDARD PRACTICE IN MEDICINE!

With all the patients that I see that are ill with various diseases that are cased by oral infections, I believe it is irresponsible of the American Dental Association not to make it a priority to investigate these major health concerns. Instead, the ADA denies that there is a problem, refuses to do research in this area, makes up false statements regarding this problem, and instead chooses to attack people like me for attempting to right the wrong. . . . [8]

A subsequent Web site, DrKulacz.net, stated that he offered 50-minute "unbiased professional assessments" via telephone at a cost of $375, payable in advance. I don't know whether anyone used this service.

Subsequent Activities

In 2008, Kulacz changed his name to Cole Sommers. When I noted this in my article, he asked me several times to remove the article so that prospective employers would not find it when searching for information about him with Google. In 2013, after he wrote to me that he had no plans of ever resuming dental practice, I did remove it. However, I recently discovered that although he is not practicing dentistry, he has been spreading his offbeat dental theories through lectures, talk show appearances, and another book, The Toxic Tooth: How a Root Canal Can be Making You Sick [9]. The book's co-author, Thomas E. Levy, M.D., was closely associated with and at one point worked full time with Hal E. Huggins, D.D.S., whose dental license was revoked in 1996 for gross negligence. The dental board's concerns included Huggins's routine extraction of amalgams and root-canal-treated teeth even when they caused no symptoms [10].

The Toxic Tooth claims that "Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that virtually all root canal-treated teeth are still infected and slowly and continually leak disease-causing pathogens and toxins into the rest of the body as long as they remain in the mouth." It also claims that root canal procedures increase the possibility of developing coronary artery disease, lung disease, kidney disease, denentia, diabetes, and arthritis. I do not believe that these assertions are valid.

The Toxic Tooth also recommends huge doses of vitamin C (8,000 to 19,000 mg/day) and beta-carotene (25,000 to 50,000 IU) for everyone. I believe that these dosages are dangerous. Megadoses of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and beta-carotene supplements are associated with an increase in some forms of cancer. The book also includes a chapter about Kulacz's trouble with the dental board, which he says treated him unfairly. I do not find his arguments compelling.

References

  1. Kulacz RJ. Application for consent order, Cal No. 22253. In the matter of the disciplinary proceeding against Robert J. Kulacz, Jr., April 7, 2006.
  2. The Institute for Integrative Oral Medicine. Home page, DrKulacz.com, archived Feb 20, 2001.
  3. DrKulacz.com, archived 2004.
  4. Kulacz RJ. Root canals and cancer. DrKulacz.net, accessed Sept 28, 2006.
  5. Protocols index. DrKulacz.com, archived 2004.
  6. Ovarian cancer. DrKulacz.com, archived 2004.
  7. Kulacz R. Email to Dr. Stephen Barrett, Oct 1, 2007.
  8. Home page, DrKulacz.com, archived January 27, 2005.
  9. Kulacz R, Levy TE. The Toxic Tooth: How a Root Canal Could be Making You Sick. Henderson, NV: Medfox Publishing, 2014.
  10. Barrett S. Administrative law judge's conclusions about Hal A. Huggins, D.D.S. Quackwatch, Nov 23, 2012.

This article was revised on January 7, 2016.

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