August 3, 2017

Two assistants of a Carroll dentist — who was suspended from work for three months for allowing the assistants to perform procedures they are not allowed to do unsupervised — were fined $100 last month by the Iowa Dental Board.

Sara J. Ernst and Joyce M. Nieland reached settlements with the board on July 14, according to board documents.

Both settlements stem from unspecified procedures on Sept. 21, 2016, in which Ernst and Nieland were unsupervised, the documents show. They were cited by the board for failing to comply with supervision requirements and warned that further violations might result in discipline.

Their work was for David Berning, 59, who was suspended in May, at his office at 409 W. 7th St., board records show.

“During the course of the investigation it was discovered that (Berning) was allowing his dental assistants to perform procedures which legally cannot be delegated to them,” according to his settlement with the board. “(Berning) also allowed his dental assistants to perform procedures while he was out of the office which require a dentist to be in the office to provide direct supervision.”

Berning has been a licensed dentist in Iowa since 1982, records show.

In 2010, the board put him on probation for five years and levied a $5,000 fine following allegations that Berning wasn’t properly sterilizing his dental equipment and that he improperly allowed his employees to clean office laundry at home.