Sanctions for dentist over counterfeit equipment

ToothbrushA dentist has received sanctions on his registration after the seizure of over 100 counterfeit and non-compliant dentistry items from 14 dental practices, mainly in the south east.

The sanctions were imposed after an investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), following an incident involving a counterfeit dental hand-piece being used on a patient. It transpired that the dentist had been purchasing and permitting the use of counterfeit and non-compliant dental equipment at the 14 practices between 2012 and 2014.

MHRA’s findings were passed to the General Dental Council (GDC), which held a public hearing in front of a Professional Conduct Committee. The hearing found the dentist’s fitness to practice was impaired by reason of his misconduct.

The availability of cheap medical instruments via the internet has grown rapidly, but many of the devices on offer are unregulated and not authorised for use in the UK dental sector. MHRA is working closely with the GDC and the British Dental Industry Association to monitor the use of such equipment.  

MHRA Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey, said: “MHRA is responsible for protecting public health and we have seen a worrying trend in the number of websites offering to supply dentists with unregulated and potentially dangerous equipment. Dental patients are entitled to expect quality care, including the standard of the instruments and devices used by dental professionals.

“It is vital that dentists and dental staff buy equipment from bona fide suppliers and avoid unapproved or counterfeit devices. I urge all dental professionals to be cautious of seemingly cheap devices which may be unfit for purpose and potentially dangerous to patients and the staff that use them.”

Legal advice for healthcare businesses

At Gaby Hardwicke we have a specialist team of lawyers with specific knowledge and experience of working with businesses in the healthcare sector, including dental practices, doctors' practices and care homes.

Our team offers advice and representation on a broad range of issues from transactional work and help with consumer and business contracts to protecting your intellectual property, employment issues and compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations. To find out more visit our healthcare businesses page.

For expert advice, tailored to your business and sector, contact specialist Partner Mark Williams at or 01323 435 900.

Posted: 05 February 2016

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