Dentist suspended, fined for doing dental implants on patient not suited for procedure, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Dentist suspended, fined for doing dental implants on patient not suited for procedure

A dentist has been suspended for 15 months and fined $15,000 after he placed mini dental implants on a patient despite clear signs that it would cause her problems afterwards.

Dr Oliver Hennedige was also found guilty by the Singapore Dental Council's (SDC) disciplinary committee of failing to exercise due care in doing a permanent bridge for the patient - a procedure that involves replacing missing teeth with fake ones.

He had filed an appeal to the High Court to overturn the SDC's decision, but this was dismissed on April 28.

Dr Hennedige had been practising at two clinics with the same name - Oliver Dental Surgery - at 242 Tanjong Katong Road and at Camden Medical Centre in Orchard Boulevard.

According to the clinics' website, Dr Hennedige has been a dentist for more than 30 years and is the secretary-general of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation.

In a statement on Friday (May 27), the dental council said it started the inquiry on Dr Hennedige when a patient made a complaint against him on March 12, 2016.

The council then pressed two charges against the dentist, which he contested at first, but later pleaded guilty to.

The first charge involved Dr Hennedige using mini dental implants on a patient even though it was not appropriate for her given her limited bone width.

Sufficient bone is required around an implant to support it.

The disciplinary committee said there were "clear red flags" about performing the procedure as it could lead to inflammation and bone loss in the patient.

The committee added that Dr Hennedige did not take proper precautions, such as doing a three-dimensional X-ray, to ensure that the implants were safe for the patient.

As for the second charge, the dentist was found to have poorly designed and executed the dental bridge meant to help the patient replace missing teeth.

The committee said the bridge's design was "doomed to fail from the start for various reasons".

First, its rough surface acted as a food trap - where food gets stuck after a meal and cannot be removed without flossing.

This trap may lead to tooth decay if left uncleaned or untreated by a dentist.

Second, the bridge was poorly fitted with excess cement, the committee said.

"This would cause inflammation of the gingiva (or gums) and bone loss around the implants.

"The limited space between the implants made it difficult for the patient to maintain an adequate level of hygiene, exacerbating any inflammation and irritation," it added.

As part of his punishment, Dr Hennedige has to take a basic course in dental implantology before his suspension ends.

In 2004, the SDC had found him guilty of professional misconduct for failing to obtain the consent ofa patient before carrying out a mini implant procedure on her.

Dr Hennedige had appealed against this decision in the High Court and it was found that the prosecution could not prove its case against him beyond reasonable doubt. As such, he was cleared of those charges in 2006.