Patient had 'sleepless nights' after treatment from dentist
PUBLISHED: 09:20 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:08 27 September 2018
A patient of a dentist who had restrictions put on her practice after allegations of "poor treatment" has spoken out about his experience, as it can be revealed another dentist who raised concerns was sacked.
Fabien Woljong, 27, and from Brooke, first went to Ana-Maria Teodorescu, a dentist at Manor House Dental Surgery, in Long Stratton last year.
He said: “I started having really bad tooth ache, I went in and she found a few cavities that needed filling and a wisdom tooth that, in her opinion, needed removing by sedation or general anaesthetic. I was told I would be put on the waiting list for the hospital.”
Mr Woljong, an agricultural contractor, said he waited for 22 weeks for the referral, but the pain got too much for him.
He said: “I couldn’t sleep, I was having sleepless nights.”
Mr Woljong, who said he missed out on overtime at work due to the pain, saw another dentist - who had previously raised concerns over Ms Teodorescu’s work and has since been let go - privately.
It was when he visited the second dentist Mr Woljong found out his fillings had not been done properly, with decay still below the filling itself.
And the lower wisdom tooth Ms Teodorescu had said was the problem and needed to be removed was fine.
Mr Woljung said: “I had no idea anything was wrong until I went back. She told me I needed to be referred to a hospital and I didn’t know any different. I was thinking ‘how is she allowed to do her job if she’s missing such major stuff?’.”
In February this year Mr Woljung complained to the General Dentistry Council about the treatment he had received.
And in July the GDC decided to put conditions on Ms Teodorescu’s practice while they investigated Mr Wojlung’s claims and information relating to a further 26 patients.
But Mr Woljung was concerned that, like him, other patients would not know about mistakes until further down the line, as he trusted Ms Teodorescu’s expertise.
A spokesman for Simply Smile, the company behind Manor House Dental Surgery, said: “We do take these issues seriously and indeed we sympathise with the patient who had been mismanaged in this instance.”
He said as soon as concerns were raised both by the dentist and patient, it was immediately acted on and an improvement plan put in place.
He said: “A resolution process was proposed and subsequently agreed with the NHS England authorities and with the complete cooperation of the dentist. That process is ongoing and will continue until the programme has been completed. “
He also said Mr Woljong had been invited to meet the company’s clinical director but had not yet done so.
The spokesman said the improvement process was ongoing and “both the dentist and the clinical executive are fully cooperating and supportive of the resolution programme. It would not be appropriate at this time to add any further observations which might prejudice the outcome on the matter.”
He added: “A full report will be available in due course but in the meantime we can only ask that all parties respect the process and assist the regulators in their pursuit of a safe and fair outcome. The locality has not lost a dental practitioner and we sincerely hope that the resolution process will result in neither of their services being lost to the community.”
County councillor Alison Thomas also raised concerns to NHS England, but was worried about how long it took for them to act.
She said: “As a patient of the practice for 23 years and the county councillor for the village for 10 years this is about two things for me. There is a system in place that should come into force when poor professional competence is suspected. It hasn’t happened here and Long Stratton patients are potentially still being exposed to an unacceptable risk of poor treatment.
“Secondly we have laws and principles to protect those who speak up when they witness poor practice.
“In this case we have lost a professional and highly respected dentist of 25 years standing in the village because he spoke out to protect us. When I rang the practice to ask who I could see as my appointment was cancelled I was told nobody until a new dentist had been appointed. I replied that maybe if they hadn’t sacked my dentist I wouldn’t have to be waiting months.
“I was bluntly told he hadn’t been sacked and I then suggested that maybe the practice should tell the community what exactly had happened then.
“I have contacted the person responsible for patient safety at the NHSE to express my concerns and ask for assurance that possible affected patients have been examined by another dentist and any corrective treatment offered. Sadly I have not had so much as an acknowledgement of my concerns.”
Dr Alistair Lipp, Medical Director for NHS England Midlands and East (East) said: “It is NHS England’s responsibility to ensure that Dr Teodorescu complies with the conditions imposed on her registration and to monitor the practice, to ensure that patients have access to safe, high quality care. We are working with the General Dental Council and the Care Quality Commission to do so.
“Any patients who are concerned about the dental treatment they have received should speak with their dental practice in the first instance, or go through the usual complaints processes.
“NHS England has not investigated any complaints from patients in relation to the dentist in question.”