Disciplinary Actions against
Robert Byron Johnson, D.M.D.
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
In 2013, the Virginia Board of Dentistry revoked the license of Robert B. Johnson, D.M.D. and assessed him $5,000 for the cost of the proceedings . The board's order was based on its conclusion that between 2003 and 2011, he had inappropriately treated 22 patients with procedures that have no rational therapeutic basis, were outside the legitimate scope of dentistry, or both. The board also noted that in many of the cases, he failed to justify his diagnoses and/or document what he did. The inappropriate procedures included:
- Administering intravenous vitamin therapy
- Injections of vitamins, homeopathic products, and/or other substances into patients' tonsils and other areas
- Autonomic response testing, which he used to diagnose allergies, infections (including Lyme disease) and to determine a bab;'s gender
- Inappropriate removal of amalgam fillings
- Unnecessary extraction of teeth that contained root canals
- Ordering a Meridian Stress Assessment
- Using cranial therapy to treat a supposed problem with the patient's "cranial rhythm"
- Improperly telling a patient she might have breast cancer
The board's order mentions that from 2001 through 2011, Johnson practiced at the Natural Horizons Wellness Center in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2010, the clinic's Web site described him as the clinic's director:
Virginia's dental board has been concerned about Johnson's practices several times. In 2004, he was reprimanded, fined $1,000, and ordered to take additional educational courses after the board concluded that he had failed to properly diagnose a patient's abscessed tooth . In 2001, was ordered to take additional education courses after the board concluded that he provided restorations that were substandard . In 1995, Johnson was notified to attend an informal conference intended to inquire into whether he had violated dental practice laws by (a) performing craniosacral therapy, (b) requesting urine and hair samples when he suspected a non-dental-related condition, and (c) offering to sell various vitamin and mineral supplements for non-dental related conditions . These practices are not merely outside the legitimate scope of dentistry. They are also signs of very poor clinical judgment. But the board dismissed the complaint  and apparently didn't think it was necessary to monitor what he did later.
In 2014, in response to Virginia's revocation, the District of Columbia Board of Dentistry held a 2-day hearing to determine whether it should do the same. During the proceedings, Johnson testified that "Galileo was put in prison for life for saying that the earth was not the center of the universe" and tried to portray himself as an "innovator" who had been unfairly disciplined. But the board was not persuaded and revoked his dental license for a minimum of five years .
Johnson appealed the revocation. In 2017, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals agreed with some points in the appeal and remanded the case to the board for it to reconsider or it to reconsider appropriate sanction in light of the Appeals Court's concerns . The DC board's database lists Johnson's license as "suspended," but I don't know whether any reconsideration is sill pending.
- Order in re: Robert B. Johnson, D.M.D.. Virginia Board of Dentistry, Sept 27, 2013.
- Order in re: Robert B. Johnson, D.M.D. Virginia Board of Dentistry, July 7, 2004.
- Order in re: Robert Byron Johnson, D.D.S.. Virginia Board of Dentistry, Aug 9, 2001.
- Notice of informal conference. Complaint No. 95-606, June 21, 1995.
- Miller MJ. Letter to Robert B. Johnson, D.M.D., July 28, 1995.
- Superseding decision and final order. In re: Robert B. Johnson, D.M.D., Oct 29, 2015.
- Decision. Robert B. Johnson v. District of Columbia Board of Health. District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Case No. 14-AA-1349, July 13, 2017.
This article was revised on August 7, 2019.