DENVER -

A Denver-area dentist accused of reusing syringes may have infected at least three patients with HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

State health officials say that Dr. Stephen Stein Stein, a licensed dentist who practiced oral surgery in Highlands Ranch and Denver, may have exposed his patients to the infections between 1999 and 2011.

Following notification of his patients in early July, three people tested positive for an infection.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the positive test results are not necessarily linked to Dr. Stein's dental practice.  The potential for infections from other sources means it cannot be determined whether the virus was due to the unsafe injection practices.  The department will update numbers on the first of each month.

To protect patient confidentiality, numbers are grouped and do not distinguish between hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Dr. Stein entered into an Interim Cessation of Practice Agreement with the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners at the Department of Regulatory Agencies on June 24, 2011, and currently is not practicing.

Past patients may have been put at risk if they were seen by Dr. Stein during these time frames and at these locations:

· September 1999 to June 2011 at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery, 8671 S. Quebec St., #230, Highlands Ranch, CO 80130

· August 2010 to June 2011 at Stein Oral and Facial Surgery, 3737 E.1st Ave., Suite B, Denver, CO 80206. Patients also were seen by Stein at this location but under the name, New Image Dental Implant Center.