Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm no dentist, but my girlfriend is -- open wide

A British dentist has been banned from working after allowing her unqualified boyfriend to carry out dental work on patients in her surgery, the profession's UK regulatory body said Tuesday.

Mojgan Azari was found guilty of serious professional misconduct for letting boyfriend Omid Amidi-Mazaheri work at her practices in south London between 2002 and 2003, the General Dental Council (GDC) said.

The boyfriend worked on more than 600 people, drilling out cavities without local anesthetic and installing expensive fillings that crumbled within days, often leaving patients in agony, the BBC said.

The GDC said Azari had allowed him to carry on working in her surgeries for seven months after she had been warned that he was unregistered.

"The direct result of your actions was that a recall exercise involving several hundred patients had to be mounted, to establish whether they required further dental remedial action," the GDC said in its ruling.

"This caused the patients considerable distress and inconvenience, and cost the National Health Service (NHS) approximately 180,000 pounds ($317,000)."

The GDC said Azari had pleaded guilty in February 2005 to four counts of obtaining money by deception from the NHS in relation to the case and had been jailed for 12 months.

The BBC said Amidi-Mazaheri, an Iranian national, had received a two-year sentence for similar offences.

Consequently the GDC said its conduct committee had decided to strike Azari's name from the register.

"In view of the gravity of the offences and their effect in undermining public confidence and the damage to the reputation of the profession, the committee is satisfied that the only appropriate sanction in this case is erasure," it said.



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