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Are Oklahoma Barber Shops Inspected More Than Dentist Offices?

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At Lookin' Good Barber Shop, it's not unusual for a health department inspector to drop by. At Lookin' Good Barber Shop, it's not unusual for a health department inspector to drop by.
According to the Oklahoma State Dental Board, Harrington was using bleach to sterilize rusty, porous tools, which the CDC says is not effective. According to the Oklahoma State Dental Board, Harrington was using bleach to sterilize rusty, porous tools, which the CDC says is not effective.
Tulsa Dentist Dr. W. Scott Harrington is accused of not sterilizing equipment tested in six years and possibly putting thousands at risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Tulsa Dentist Dr. W. Scott Harrington is accused of not sterilizing equipment tested in six years and possibly putting thousands at risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Dentist Dr. W. Scott Harrington is accused of not sterilizing equipment tested in six years and possibly putting thousands at risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

According to the Oklahoma State Dental Board, Harrington was using bleach to sterilize rusty, porous tools, which the CDC says is not effective.

Last week, health department officials said that there isn't an agency that does routine inspections at dentist offices or doctor offices.

You'd be surprised at the places that get inspected more than the local dentist's office.

3/29/2013 Related Story: Dentist Offices Not Routinely Inspected, Oklahoma Official Says

At Lookin' Good Barber Shop, it's not unusual for a health department inspector to drop by.

"The last one was here probably two months ago," barber Ken Vonada said.

Vonada has been in the hair-cutting business for more than three decades.

He said inspectors generally check to make sure he's properly sterilizing combs and clippers.

"They just check to see if you're clean," he said. "They're not rude or anything. Occasionally, you think, ‘Did someone call [and complain] or something?"

Most of the time that's not the case.

Barber shops are just one of the many places the health department is responsible for inspecting.

An inspector drops in about once a year.

On the list of other Health Department inspections are restaurants, hotels and swimming pools.

One place the department has no control over are doctor's and dentist's offices.

"The medical, whether it's a doctor's office or a dentist's office, are regulated by different boards, and so we are not associated with those boards," Tulsa Health Department's Elizabeth Nutt said. "The barber board has asked the state health department to do these inspections for them."

After learning about the allegations against Harrington, many people are wondering why dentist's offices are not regularly inspected.

3/28/2013 Related Story: State Board Says Tulsa Dentist's Practice Was Unsafe, Unsanitary

"If you think about it, you think about an education level," Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry executive director Susan Rogers said. "A dentist has post-graduate education beyond college and 99 percent of the dentist are good, doing what they're supposed to do. That's why this issue hasn't come up before."

Rogers said the Dental Board only inspects dental offices after a complaint is filed.

The board is currently working with state lawmakers and hope to see some changes in dental regulation guidelines this legislative session.

"I do believe there's going to be some changes," Rogers said. "Oklahoma is, I believe, the greatest place and I know a lot of the representatives and people I've spoken to do intend for us to be a leader and change some things."

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