NEWARK - New Jersey has suspended a dentist whose practice has been linked to more than a dozen infections that caused one death and required patients to undergo heart surgeries.

John Vecchione signed an agreement this week to suspend his practice until a hearing is held in early October.

A report released last month by the state Department of Health uncovered 15 patients who developed enterococcal endocarditis after undergoing oral surgery using intravenous sedation at Vecchione's practice between December 2012 and August 2014.

Twelve patients required heart surgery and one patient died from complications.

Vecchione agreed to improve his procedures after inspectors visited his practice in late 2014 and early 2015.

But inspectors who visited his office in Budd Lake, Morris County, last month said the problems persist.