A Tunkhannock dentist had his license suspended Aug. 11 by the State Board of Dentistry after investigators charged that he improperly prescribed medications to an Olyphant woman with whom he had a romantic relationship.
Dr. Christopher G. Bereznak, 47, who has a dental office at 6052 Rt. 6 in Tunkhannock Township just west of Tyler Memorial Hospital, surrendered to authorities on Aug. 8 at the Lackawanna County courthouse.
There he was arraigned on seven counts of prohibited delivery of a controlled substance by a practitioner and five counts of criminal use of a communication facility.
Bereznak, who resides on South Abington Road, Clarks Green, appeared before Magisterial District Judge Joanne Corbett who released him on $50,000 unsecured bail.
Bereznak wrote a total of seven prescriptions for Ashley Gammon that she filled at pharmacies in Olyphant and Dunmore between June 2, 2016, and July 13, 2016, Lackawanna County Detective Vince Butkiewicz and Olyphant Sgt. Lewis Kline wrote in an arrest affidavit.
Five of the prescriptions were for carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer, and the other two for oxycodone and diazepam.
Bereznak and Gammon, who police say met on Craigslist, were intimately involved at the time and did not have a normal doctor-patient relationship
Bereznak provided dental work to Gammon after hours and free of charge, the affidavit said. Her patient profile did not have her name, reference number or a detailed patient history, just her date of birth and a handwritten patient care log.
Court records claim the information on Gammon was kept on a work station separate from other patient profiles.
Gammon died July 20, 2016. Investigators said her death was not related to the medications prescribed by Bereznak.
The order of temporary suspension issued Aug. 11 notes, “Based upon the foregoing factual allegations, the respondent’s continued practice as a dentist within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, along with the exercise of any other authorizations to practice the profession issued by the board, makes Respondent an immediate and clear danger to the public health or safety.”
Bereznak’s dental license was originally issued in 1995, and prior to the suspension was current through March 31, 2019.
Bereznak had a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 17 before a board of hearing examiners
In addition to the temporary suspension, the order makes known that the prosecuting attorney will commence a separate action “to suspend, revoke or otherwise restrict respondent’s license.”