Dentist suspended, fined for placing dental implants in patient not suited for procedure

SINGAPORE – A dentist has been suspended for 15 months and fined $15,000 after he placed mini dental implants in a patient despite clear signs that it would cause her problems later.

Dr Oliver Hennedige was also found guilty by the Singapore Dental Council’s (SDC) disciplinary committee of failing to exercise due care in doing a permanent bridge for the patient – a procedure that involves replacing missing teeth with fake ones.

He had filed an appeal to the High Court to overturn the SDC’s decision, but this was dismissed on April 28.

Dr Hennedige had been practising at two clinics with the same name – Oliver Dental Surgery – at 242 Tanjong Katong Road and at Camden Medical Centre in Orchard Boulevard.

According to the clinics’ website, Dr Hennedige has been a dentist for more than 30 years and is the secretary-general of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation.

In a statement on Friday (May 27), the dental council said it started the inquiry into Dr Hennedige when a patient made a complaint against him on March 12, 2016.

The council then pressed two charges against the dentist, which he contested at first, but later pleaded guilty to.

The first charge involved Dr Hennedige using mini dental implants on a patient even though they were not appropriate for her given her limited bone width.

Sufficient bone is required around an implant to support it.

The disciplinary committee said there were “clear red flags” about performing the procedure as it could lead to inflammation and bone loss in the patient.

The committee added that Dr Hennedige did not take proper precautions, such as doing a three-dimensional X-ray, to ensure that the implants were safe for the patient.

As for the second charge, the dentist was found to have poorly designed and executed the dental bridge meant to help the patient replace missing teeth.

The committee said the bridge’s design was “doomed to fail from the start for various reasons”.

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