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Foreign dentists ruining our teeth: British patients

Saturday December 03, 2011 07:51:53 PM, IANS

London: A growing number of dental patients in Britain are undergoing defective treatment by foreign dentists who flee home to escape paying compensation, a media report said Saturday.

One in four of the dentists registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) - 10,700 - qualified abroad, but the body has no power to ensure justice for patients with complaints, Daily Mail reported.

In one case, a Polish national has disappeared back to his home country after inflicting damage to patients in the UK requiring corrective treatment costing thousands of pounds.

The dentist, Piotr Tadeusz Reichel, is suspended from the GDC register and complaints against him are being investigated.

The Dental Law Partnership, a law firm acting for patients who claim they were damaged by him, says he was insured but existing rules make it impossible to get compensation.

Director Chris Dean said the firm has been unable to retrieve insurance details from the Dental Defence Union (DDU) or get information on Reichel's whereabouts.

Dean said the DDU was exploiting the letter of the law because it claimed it could not handle claims without its member's permission.

"At least one in four of our clients has a complaint against a dentist who qualified overseas for substandard work in either the NHS or paid for privately.

"We had nine children harmed by two Italian orthodontists doing NHS work, who have since vanished," the Mail quoted him as saying.

He called for the GDC to ensure better patient protection by publishing details of dentists' insurance.





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