[UPDATE] The Dentist Who Wasn’t; ‘It is a felony to practice without a license’


Stock photo of child at dentist [Photo by Dave Buchwald via Wikimedia Commons]

“Dr. Michael is no longer here,” the sweet-voiced receptionist at the Fortuna dentist office will tell you. But her former boss was likely never an accredited dentist. She just recently learned that. Although the man who mostly was known as Dr. Michael Eshghi or sometimes Dr. Michael Eshghipour bought a dental practice in Fortuna, there is no record that he ever received a license. Searches for his name in the California License Verification website turn up no results.

Eshghi purchased a practice near Redwood Memorial Hospital on Renner Drive and has been seeing patients until just recently. Two weeks ago, the Fortuna police were informed that Eshghi did not have a license. The Fortuna Chief of Police. William Dobberstein, confirmed that his officers and the Humboldt County District Attorney were investigating.

A Michael Eshghi is listed as a dentist on Linkedin. There he states that he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from UC San Francisco School of Dentistry. The school confirmed that a “person with the name Michael Eshghipour earned a DDS from UCSF in 2013,” according to an email we received from them. However, after completing a dental program like this, an individual must also pass both a “written and clinical exam.” There is no evidence that Eshghi did so.

Chief William Dobberstein of the Fortuna Police confirmed that his agency as well as the Humboldt County District Attorney are investigating the situation. “The DA’s office has assigned an officer to work with our officer,” Dobberstein stated. “In 21 years, I’ve never had a case like this….These are serious charges. It is a felony to practice without a license.”

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Below is the letter sent by the previous dentist to his former patients this week.

Letter Dentist No License



  • Thats too bad, he was better than any “licensed” dentist i have ever been to.

  • He was a very nice man, friendly, kind and had great manners who helped me with my dental issues.

    • He was extremely kind and wonderful. I could care less if he was “licensed”. He gave me my smile back!

    • Retired R.E. Agent

      He struck me as too kind and friendly. He came out into the lobby and B.S.’d with almost anyone sitting there. He diagnosed one problem with me and never, in three visits addressed it. The other day I went in for a routine cleanng and one tooth that was supposed to have a crown put on it 3 visits ago, broke off. Now I will have to have it removed surgically!!! May I just say “Welcome back” to our original dentist.

  • Con artists are very good at what they do.

    • Con artists promise but don’t deliver. From the comments above, it sounds like he was doing a good job at delivering dental care.

      • I don’t think he was delivering a good job. There are a lot of people on this blog who state they were not satisfied. Botched work, etc. he made a lot of money conning people and leading them to believe he was a legit dentist. Not cool. I hope he gets his day in court.

      • Retired R.E. Agent

        Yep. A fantastic job of causing swollen gums, broken teeth, 90 mile round trips for non exhistant dental care. Until the damage he did is repaired by my old dentist, my diet consists of soft or liquid foods.

        Thank you “Dr.” Eshghi for your not so wonderful care.

        By the way, I am not only a retired Real Estate Agent, but a Retired Nurse.

  • Unfortunately,can’t stand that word.

  • Dennis and Judy Crisp

    Dr Michael was always so kind and caring with us and we feel he did a great job. The whole situation is so sad.

  • Some of the best doctors are RN’s. When the shit hits the fan they know what to do. I’ve seen doctors refer to their iPhone app to diagnose and treat the problem and often times misdiagnose.

    • Those Awesome RNs, PAs, etc do not hold themselves out to he Dr’s. He intentionally held himself out to be something he was not. And trust me, he knew he was not. When you earn your credential you know it. (shout out to all the Dr’s, RNs, FNPs and PAs, and every other medical professional who didn’t lie, cheat and con). I am 40+ years old and have had two unsatisfactory dental procedures, both at the hands of him. My main regret is that I didn’t figure it out until the 2nd procedure. I’m not sure who I am more frustrated with, the coward who had to lie about being a dentist, the dentist who I trusted for years or myself. KMA

      • It is no ones fault except for him. You can blame yourself or the old dentist all you want, but this “Doctor” Michael character went out of his way to con not only the patients, but his staff and the old dentist who care for their patients like family, members of the community who he used to feel important by rubbing elbows with them, and many many more… It is unfortunate that it wasn’t found out sooner but the important thing is that it was found out and he will not be putting his hands in anyone else’s mouth, except maybe in prison, if the legal system works.

  • There are lots of people who I have talked to, even before this discovery, who are VERY UNHAPPY with his work. It all makes sense now. Yes even licensed dentists and physicians may not know everything or do everything perfectly, but there is much more to dentistry than most people know. You can risk someone’s physical well being by making the wrong recommendations. What seems like a simple procedure can very easily risk someone’s life, especially in the elderly and people who already have immune problems or have battled cancer. Bottom line is that regardless of this man’s schooling history, there is a reason he is not licensed. We may not know what that reason is, but you don’t get to just decide you’re going to go ahead and proceed without the proper credentials. Anyone standing up for him, I hope you still want justice to prevail. Anyone who said you are happy with the dentistry, I wonder if you will still feel the same way if you have major dental problems in 5 years because he rushed through your work or because he didn’t know what he was doing… Just something to think about.

  • I’d use him if I got it cheaper. He could come to my house. Seems from comments at least he knew what he was doing. What a shame. Now he will probably never get a license. How long has he been practicing?

    • Yes it is a shame …that he lied to all his patients!

    • Retired R.E. Agent

      I was a nurse many years ago. I still remember most of the technical terminology, etc. However, I certainly wouldn’t want to go beyond putting a band aide on a scraped knee.

  • My wife started with him and commented first off that he was more “touchy” than any other dentist. She had worked in medicine for years and recognized that he was unprofessional. He diagnosed her with nighttime teeth grinding and sold us an expensive custom prosthetic. We were not going to return to him because he seemed eager to perform lots of work without regard to our dental insurance. We are glad he is gone.

    • I am with you on that. He had me purchase a night guard and proceeded to do over $800 of fillings that didn’t need to be done. This is very difficult on one with no dental insurance. One filling fell out within 2 days and I was accused of not wearing the night guard thereby causing the filling to fall out. He refilled it and it lasted almost a week (it fell out while I was brushing my teeth. I was so unhappy I was going to find another dentist. I’m glad to know it was not just me!

    • Yes!! I had a similar experience. Disgusting. I wish I had told him to stop touching me!!

    • My “creep” meter was going off the first time I saw him too! He suggested extra work…which I agreed to…and was obviously foolish now. The work has NEVER felt right. I had 1 filling in my mouth after 40+ years. And now 4 odd feeling sealants…

  • I got a crown from him and he didn’t know how to make it fit right so he ground it down to the glue inside. He also charged me to grind the tooth above it to fit the crown. I have never been happy with how it has a sharp edge that bothers me all the time. I thought it was maybe how things were done, but NOT!

  • A bit off topic but
    I go to Panama and Costa Rica for my dental work. I heal better when sitting under a palapa by the beach. And the total cost (flight hotel dental work) is often less than I’m quoted for work in the states. Especially w the monthly insurance payment.
    I often wonder if the professionals here have licenses but when the job is done well I don’t fret.
    On another note I had a dental procedure done in Santa Cruz in 1999-ish and it’s never felt right. Always aches when it rains.
    Leads me back to my original comment. Dental work heals well when I rest calmly in a warm tropical environment.
    A toda Madre amigos

  • He also hit on young women. I know a 21-year-old who changed dentists after he kept calling and texting her. She tried to report him, but his name didn’t show up on the State Board’s list of licensed dentists so she let it go. I feel sorry for Dr. Parks. I bet he wished he did a background check.

    • Dr, Parks? ooooh that I wonder if that Dr Parks can be held negligent as well? What an idiot. Why would you not thoroughly check credentials. Time to investigate Dr. Parks too!

      • Amimissingsomething

        It is not Dr. Parks obligation to vet this idiot. Dr. Parks was one of the best dentists in Fortuna…Why the hell would you bring Dr. Parks into the discussion. He probably feels bad for not checking further but it was not his responsibility to check out his records. I hope the imposter has to pay back a whole bunch of patients who trusted him with critical care and sometimes patients who are completely unnerved about going to the dentist in the first place……JMHO

  • How long was he practicing denistry there?

  • My suggestion is that everyone contact their insurance carrier as it was billed fraudulently. It was obviously known to the practice that this was going on.

  • I also left because of the touching thing he put his hand around my throat it was weird and just felt wrong. I was a patient of Dr Parks for more than 25 years and thought he was great. He never touched me like that there was no need to.

  • Did Eshghipour take and pass his clinical tests? Sometimes people from foreign descent change they’re name so people have less pronuction problems in the states. He told me he was raised in London but his heritage was Iranian. He was nice and had a calm manner.

  • I went to him because I had been going to Dr. Parks. He was unprofessional, hugging me and rubbing my arm when we first met. Yes, he was friendly — too friendly — but gave off a phony vibe. When doing actual dental work, he was rougher than any dentist that I’ve ever been to. I yelled at one point when he was re-doing a filling, it hurt so badly. Let me make this clear – I’ve given BIRTH without yelling. And I’m pretty sure that filling didn’t need to be redone. Two visits with him and I switched to another dentist.

  • Dr Michael’s was a great dentist I’m really sad things worked out the way they did and I’m even more sad that we’re going to get The old dentist back again he really needs to retire and find someone much younger to run the business it would be great to find someone like Dr Michael because he was a sweet and kind and good to people

    • His kindness was probably to not raise suspicion… just buttering everyone up. The old doctor is apparently coming out of retirement to help lots of patients who would otherwise be out of luck. There is a dentist out there for everyone, and just because he may not be the right one for you, doesn’t make him a bad dentist. I have heard nothing but good things about him.

    • sounds like you leaned into his ummm touchy feely weirdo kindness. And You are Lying, you have not “heard nothing but good things about him” because this page is loaded with complaints about him, and that ummmm he was just Arrested for being a FRAUD.
      I agree with one of the comments above: You must be one of his followers, or probably his attorney, or something. He lied to people, took their money, performed medical procedures on them, he’s a fraud, and there is nothing to defend about this creep. You jumping to his defense is not helping him or yourself. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of him, and you’re not changing my mind in the least. Makes you look really bad.

  • He was very creepy. I went to him because I was using Dr. Parks before. He was touchy, had bad boundaries and even invited me to his house “to teach him Enhlish.” I called after my appointment and complained about the sexual weirdness. I had five cavities filled totaling $1200 – out of pocket cost with no insurance and am now wondering if I even needed that! Feeling very angry- worked my ass off to pay that $1200 bill and now left wondering if it was legit. I hope he does time-

    • Hope you have records. I say Sue his ass. I wonder if you all can go after him in a class action law suit.

  • My husband and I also thought he was overly touchy feely, and we agree with the comments above regarding covering himself so no one would question him. He was very rough when doing actual dental work. I cancelled my last appointment and we decided not to go back because he started doing a root canal on the wrong tooth for me, and he actually broke husband’s partial and then, of course, charged him to fix it!

  • Think its funny . People complain he was to touchy feely but you keep going back to him . Sounds legit right ? Someone posts a comment everyone quickly has something negative to say .

  • We need an update to this story.

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