Dentist 'lacked basic skills'

A DENTIST fighting to save his career lacked basic dentistry skills in vital areas after patients were put through "constant and unnecessary pain", a hearing has been told.

A DENTIST fighting to save his career lacked basic dentistry skills in vital areas after patients were put through "constant and unnecessary pain", a hearing has been told.

Robert Hossack, who ran practices in Clare, near Sudbury, and Witham, yesterday took his bid to be reinstated on the dental register before the General Dental Council in London.

But experts claimed his dental knowledge had "serious deficiencies" and he had not done enough to improve after he was struck off two years ago for gross professional misconduct.

Ian Stern, for the GDC, said Mr Hossack fell way short of the standards expected within the profession.


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The hearing heard that Mr Hossack had been struck off after four patients in his care had serious problems over almost ten years.

Mr Stern said: "The patients suffered constant and unnecessary pain and discomfort.

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"His knowledge was lacking in vital areas of basic dentistry and his skills and attitude was below standard."

One patient visited Mr Hossack more than 50 times in five years while another, Rosemary Seaborn, of Haverhill, was charged £4,500 by the dentist to replace a bridge.

Mr Hossack, who has received some support from the local community the hearing was told, was struck off the dental register in 2004.

The professional conduct committee had found him guilty of causing at least two patients unnecessary pain and discomfort, and of serious professional misconduct.

Although the committee heard that Mr Hossack had obtained a series of dental certificates since the case, officials at the NHS Eastern Deanery, in charge of supplying further education, said he had not done enough.

The deanery's retaining and returning adviser Richard Seppings said: "Mr Hossack had some serious deficiencies and in the past, we have worked with other people who have accepted this fact.

"I don't think this was the case with Mr Hossack. I really think he should have been making more effort to obtain the necessary learning."

Mr Seppings said the dentist had failed to complete a personal development plan - setting out his educational goals and achievements - before the start of the new hearing.

The case is due to be completed today.

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