Dental technician to work under supervision for 15 months following complaints
Christopher Gower, a dental technician with 18 years’ experience, will require supervision whenever he provides dental services and must carry out logs of treatment and aftercare, which must be sent to the General Dental Council (GDC), and have weekly meetings with his supervisor regarding the quality of his work, following complaints from four patients, all regarding dentures.
The Lancashire Telegraph has reported that “the complaints were made in 2020 and related to care provided between June 2018 and December 2019, and were from four ‘vulnerable, elderly’ patients”.
All four complaints addressed ill-fitting dentures, with the news report establishing that “one person’s were ‘too large and porous’, another’s, which cost £875, were ‘so painful he could not eat’.
The third said Mr Gower had cancelled appointments, complained about the length of time he took to get her dentures, and also that he admitted to her that he had dropped and broken her dentures.
The fourth said the colour of her dentures was ‘dull and grey’ and ‘looked really fake’, and also ‘left her in agony and unable to eat’”.
The fourth complainant also claimed Mr Gower did not resolve the issues when she raised them to him, and then her records with him so no other dentists could see them. When they did manage to get a second opinion, it was concluded her dentures were ‘poorly made’.
The report continues, “In the hearing to address the complaints, a Mr Renteurs, on behalf of Mr Gower, said he had served a lengthy career in the field of dental prosthesis, starting in 2004 before qualifying as a clinical dental technician in 2014.
“Over his 18-year career, Mr Gower has had an ‘unblemished and commendable’ career with no other complaints raised against him, and he has continued practising with no restriction since the incidents were raised with no further complaints have been made.
“On behalf of the GDC, a Mr Micklewright said there was evidence of ‘significant concerns relating to multiple patients over a relatively short period of time, with evidence those patients were provided with a significantly poor standard of care’.
“The committee decided in favour of Mr Micklewright, saying there was ‘clear evidence of a risk of harm to patients’ if Mr Gower were to practise without restriction, however this can be reviewed while the investigation continues.”