Dentist suspended for ‘serious failings’

Old Bank Dental Surgery
Old Bank Dental Surgery

A former Tayport dentist has been suspended by the General Dental Council for professional misconduct.

Andrew Gow, who practised at the Old Bank Surgery in Tayport between April and September 2012, was found guilty of clinical failings in ‘basic and fundamental areas of dentistry’ relating to 14 patients.

They included failing to obtain consent before embarking on treatment; persisting with treatment despite a patient’s obvious distress; recording on a child’s notes that the child was badly behaved when in fact the child was anxious and writing critical comments on patients’ notes about treatment or advice given by other professionals.

The Council’s Professional Conduct Committee was told that the child - who was five years old - had become upset during Mr Gow’s attempt to fit a crown but never asked the child if he was okay, but just carried on. In his own notes, Mr Gow wrote that the child as ‘gagging’ and ‘crying hysterically’.

On another occasion, Mr Gow gave a patient an anaesthetic containing adrenaline without her knowledge or consent, even though records showed she should be given plain anaesthesia because of previous adverse reactions to adrenaline.

In its determination, the committee concluded that Mr Gow had prvided inadequate dental care and treatment to patients; made inappropriate diagnoses and referrals; did not communicate with others in an apropriate way; failed to take medical histories; ignored patients’ wishes and indications that they were in distress during his treatment of them and failed to obtain informed consent for treatments before commencing them.

Mr Gow qualified as a dentist in Dundee in 2010, but has since left the profession and started a degree in engineering. He now lives in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

However the committee ruled that a nine-month suspension was appropriate for what it described as ‘wide-ranging and serious’ failings.

It said it was ‘satisfied that a period of suspension would serve to protect patients and uphold public confidence in the profession.’

The suspension will be reviewed shortly after the nine months has elapsed.