Alaska’s infamous hoverboard dentist has been found guilty of fraud and unlawful dental acts and was sentenced this week to 12 years in prison, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Dentist Seth Lookhart was indicted on 42 counts in 2017. Most of the charges involved a plan to unnecessarily sedate patients or keep them sedated for extended periods of time so Lookhart could drive up Medicaid billing. Prosecutors found that Lookhart himself described the scheme extensively in text messages, raising nearly $2 million with the unwarranted sedation.
But despite his lucrative sedations, Lookhart is probably best known for being the dentist who pulled a tooth from a sedated patient in 2016 while wobbling on a wheeled “hoverboard” scooter. Evidence for this violation again came from Lookhart himself, who videotaped the hoverboard procedure. Lookhart then shared the video with multiple people.
In the video — played in court last year and previously reported by Ars — Lookhart is seen standing over a sedated patient, swinging slightly on his hoverboard as he pulls out a tooth. When he’s done, he rolls out of the room, takes off his gloves, tosses them, and triumphantly throws both hands in the air as he buzzes down a hallway.
Investigators identified the patient as Veronica Wilhelm, who had to confront Lookhart in court. When the prosecutor asked her how she would have reacted to riding the hoverboard had she known and hadn’t been sedated, Wilhelm replied, “I’d say ‘Hell no!’ have said.” She also said she was upset that Lookhart had drugged her son for a while. routine tooth brushing.
†[You] probably could have been a really good dentist,” she said in court, addressing Lookhart directly. “I have nothing bad to say about having my tooth removed, I appreciate that, but I just think what you did was outrageous, narcissistic, you know, and crazy.”
In January, Anchorage Supreme Court Justice Michael Wolverton found Lookhart guilty on all counts. He wrote in his statement that the evidence against Lookhart was “simply overwhelming” and emphasized that the “overwhelming amount of evidence” against Lookhart “was often supported, and often to excruciating detail, by Dr. Lookhart’s own texts, photographs and videos.”
At sentencing this week, Wolverton said he noticed how dangerous the sedations were for Lookhart’s patients. “When I look at all this over and over, I get this visceral reaction — you almost killed a bunch of people,” he said.