‘No insurance’ dentist struck off

A dentist has been struck off for working without indemnity or insurance for almost 20 years.

Glasgow dentist David Black, 64, was erased from the GDC register and told the GDC he made arrangements for his own indemnity.

He said that any claims would have limited value because of the field of dentistry he specialised in, which was mainly cosmetic.

But the GDC rejected Black's defence and found that he made a conscious decision not to renew his insurance with the MDDUS from either May 1993 or November 1997 until January this year.

The hearing told Black: 'The committee notes that you made enquiries in relation to acquiring indemnity at various points during your career as a dentist. In 1982 you wrote to MDDUS and asked for a no claims discount. This request was declined and you took a conscious decision not to renew your cover.

'In 2006 you applied again to the MDDUS for renewal of your indemnity, which you knew had lapsed. This too was declined and you took another decision to carry on working without appropriate cover. This indicates that you had an understanding of the significance of cover.

In their judgement, they said: 'Unexpected and severe complications can arise during the most basic of treatments which could have a great impact and involve unpredictable consequences.

'You were no different from any other general dental practice in terms of that risk and it is of great concern to this committee that you did not recognise this.'

The GDC said they had no alternative but to erase him from the dental register for failing to protect his patients' interests, adding: 'Your lack of insight into the reasons for the requirement, the damage that you could do to patients and the possible costs of that harm led the Committee to this conclusion.'

The General Dental Council (GDC) is promising dental patients that proof of insurance will soon become a condition of being registered to practise as a dentist.

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