Dentist found guilty of misconduct

A DENTIST in Ipswich who charged a patient the equivalent of almost £6,000 an hour has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct. David Burton talked Ann Moos into believing it would be cheaper to be treated privately than on the NHS.

A DENTIST in Ipswich who charged a patient the equivalent of almost £6,000 an hour has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

David Burton talked Ann Moos into believing it would be cheaper to be treated privately than on the NHS.

He then made Mrs Moos sign the treatment plan while she was still sitting in the dentist's chair. He did two fillings in ten minutes and charged her £950 - the equivalent of £5,700 an hour.

Burton also forced another patient to have a tooth extracted but escaped with a slap on the wrist from the General Dental Council.


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Chairman John Scott said: “The committee notes the regret you have expressed and the fact that you have attempted to strengthen your practice procedures regarding information provided to patients.

“It notes that you admitted that £950 was an excessive fee and that you have refunded the money in full to Mrs Moos; and there is no criticism of your clinical treatment.

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“The committee has read the extensive testimonials presented on your behalf and has taken into account both these and the testimonials of the four character witnesses who appeared before us today.

“Taking these factors into account the committee has decided that it is sufficient to conclude the matter today but wishes to express strong disapproval of your conduct relating to Mrs Moos.”

A committee heard how Mrs Moos attended an emergency appointment at Burton's surgery in Berners Street, Ipswich, on December 2, 2004.

Mrs Moos was shocked at the bill for £950 but signed the cheque because she did not want to jeopardise her relationship with her dentist.

Burton claimed the fee included future treatment but made no mention of this in his dental records.

The dentist then charged Mrs Moos £95 for two further fillings on December 14, 2004, and February 15, 2005 - four times the going rate on the NHS.

Sarah Vaughn-Jones, for the GDC, said: “The NHS would have charged her £14 to £20 for the fillings.”

Burton also forced Martyn Wendor into having a tooth extracted privately on November 29, 2003. He failed to inform him that any further work would only be provided on a private basis and that he would not accept him as an NHS patient.

Burton told Mr Wendor he could try to find a dentist on the NHS but he “probably would not find one”.

He also failed to give both Mrs Moos and Mr Wendor sufficient time to read the consent form or clinical record.

Burton denied serious professional misconduct but was found guilty by the committee.

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