Some Notes on the Groton Wellness Center

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

The Groton Wellness Center in Groton, Massachusetts, offers dozens of nonstandard treatments. It was co-founded by G. Robert Evans, D.M.D. and his wife, Jean Nordin-Evans D.D.S., and currently has 18 practitioners on its staff. Its Web site describes it this way:

Groton Wellness Center is the first holistic center of its kind in New England, synergistically fusing state-of-the-art Biological Dentistry with Integrative Medicine to meet the health needs of the whole person. We are professionals in preventative and functional medicine, dental care, psychology, nutrition, and a host of complementary and alternative therapies. We work with you to develop a personal, comprehensive plan that achieves wellness and balance from head to toe. This is our mission. . . .

Our broad array of wellness treatments, services and locally-produced nutritional offerings are just the start of our community approach to your holistic health. Come early and often to enjoy our nourishing, organic café. Join the on-going wellness conversation on our blog, or via Facebook. Take a yoga or nutritionally-based and delicious cooking class, indulge in a therapeutic massage, have a restorative facial or infrared sauna to detox or just plain glow. We want you to feel great in every way [1].

The Center was registered as a limited liability partnership in 2004 [2] and appears to have begun seeing seeing patients in 2005. The facility is said to have two components: a dental clinic and a medical clinic/spa that features massage and "detoxification" services. The dental staff includes the Evanses and five other dentists. The staff members at the Spa include one physician (Sarika Arora, M.D.), one naturopath (Joshua Lloyd, N.D.), two acupuncturists, two nurses, one nurse-practitioner, one herbalist, two "certified health coaches," and one psychotherapist.

The nonstandard dental services listed on the Center Web site include:

The nonstandard services at the medical clinic/spa include:

All of the above procedures are gross departures from rational health care. You can follow the links to read more about them.

The Web site also provides the Groton Wellness Diagnostic Tool [6], which consists of three pages of questions about symptoms, diet, lifestyle, personal health goals, and health concerns and a final page that "recommends looking into the following services." The first page contains a disclaimer that "this tool is not to diagnose or specifically treat; it is a tool to identify treatments at Groton Wellness that may be beneficial to you and your well-being." However, no matter how the questions are answered (or even if no answers are given), the final page recommends the same 21 things: acupuncture, esthetics (skin treatments), the Farm to Table Cafe (which serves organic foods), cavitation surgery, clay baths, colon hydrotherapy, treatment with Dr. Lloyd, electrodiagnostic testing, mercury removal, IV treatment, IV vitamin C, lymph drainage, magnesium baths, massage, new patient dentistry, treatment with Dr. Aurora, root canal removal, sauna, thermography, a test that measures mercury exposure and excretion, and the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.

The Evanses also oppose the use of fluoride in any form to fight tooth decay [7].

Disciplinary Actions

Three of the Center's staff members have been disciplined.

In 2008, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry received a complaint from a patient whom the Evanses treated in 2003 and 2004, when they were part of another dental group. The patient reported that (a) Dr. Nordin had diagnosed four cavitations and referred her to Dr. Robert Evans, (b) Dr. Robert Evans performed cavitation surgery four times, two of which included unnecessary extractions of root-canal treated teeth, and (c) the Evanses and/or others in the practice had failed to render proper care to teeth with cavities and had been unable to install proper bridges [8]. In 2010, both Evanses signed signed consent agreements under which they agreed to serve on probation for two years and take continuing medical education courses in risk management and in diagnosis and treatment planning. Dr. Nordin's agreement stated that she had practiced improperly by extracting endodontically treated teeth that had caused no symptoms and by failing to document certain procedures related to crown and bridge treatment [9]. Dr. Robert Evans's agreement said he had practiced outside the scope of dentistry and had failed to perform and/or document certain procedures when performing oral surgery [10].

In 2011, Sarika Arora, M.D., signed a consent agreement with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine under which she was reprimanded and fined $1,000 for failing to fully disclose to a patient the nature of her agreement with a company to sell their products as well as the availability of those products or equivalents elsewhere [11].

Overview

The Groton Wellness Center offers dozens of tests and treatments that have not been substantiated by scientific research and, in my opinion, lack a plausible rationale. It is not a facility I would recommend.

References

  1. Welcome to Groton Wellness. Groton Wellness Web site, accessed Jan 20, 2015.
  2. Groton Dental Wellness Center, LLP, registration for limited liability partnership. February, 2004.
  3. Biological dentistry. Groton Wellness Web site, accessed Jan 22, 2015.
  4. Barrett S. Meridian tooth charts signify poor judgment. Dental Watch, Nov 23, 2014.
  5. Amalgam removal - The first step in detoxification. Groton Wellness Web site, accessed Jan 22, 2015.
  6. Groton Wellness Diagnostic Tool. Groton Wellness Web site, accessed Jan 20, 2015.
  7. Fluoride - There's a better choice. Groton Wellness Web site, accessed Jan 22, 2015.
  8. Name redacted. Complaint against Drs. Jean Nordin-Evans and Robert Evans. Jan 24, 2008.
  9. Consent agreement for probation. In the matter of G. Robert Evans. Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry, Docket No. DN-08-133. Effective date: Feb 5, 2010.
  10. Consent agreement for probation. In the matter of Dr. Jean Nordin. Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry, Docket No. DN-08-130. Effective date: Feb 5, 2010.
  11. State Board of Medicine takes disciplinary action. Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine news release, Jan 19, 2011.

This article was posted on January 23, 2015.

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