Dentist accused of treatment fiddle

PATIENTS OF a pounds 600,000-a-year dentist endured years of unnecessary treatment that often left them in a worse condition, a disciplinary hearing was told yesterday.

Melvyn Megitt, 56, who ran four surgeries in the Manchester area until 1997, is accused of serious professional misconduct.

He prescribed treatment that was too extensive for his patients' needs, an orthodontist told the professional conduct committee of the General Dental Council.

The hearing was told that in one case a teenage girl had been treated for nine years for protruding front teeth when she might only have needed less than a year's treatment.

Amina Begum, who was 16 when Mr Megitt began treating her in 1987, had what was described as "a very mild" condition. However, she endured numerous tooth extractions. The hearing heard that the overjet (the protruding front teeth) "had been worsened from 5mm to 12mm and six teeth had been extracted".

Ms Begum said that despite starting treatment in 1987 she was still wearing a brace at night.

Dr David Lawton, a practising orthodontist since 1962 with more than 20 years' experience as a lecturer at the London Hospital and chairman of the British Orthodontist Society, told the hearing the measures Mr Megitt had used in nine particular cases had not produced satisfactory results.

He said Mr Megitt had followed the philosophy and practice of the eminent clinician Harry Orton, but he added: "He did not understand fully what Mr Orton, who was a superb clinician, was doing." Dr Lawton said the result on several occasions had been an "increased" protrusion of front teeth which was disadvantageous to the patient's health.

After detailed assessments of 11 cases, Dr Lawton concluded: "Mr Megitt's clinical standards are low and unacceptable in a speciality like orthodontics.

"I find it totally unacceptable. It is some of the worst treatment I have ever come across and I have unfortunately seen quite a range of treatment.

"His diagnosis was terrible. His records were terrible. He was just not up to standard. The treatment was substandard all the way through."

Mr Megitt, who was not at the hearing in London, is accused of serious professional misconduct for seeing too many patients and failing adequately to examine them or get permission for treatment. The bulk of the charges refer to 11 NHS patients he saw between 1987 and 1997 when he ran surgeries in Altrincham, Oldham, Sale and Salford.

He is also accused of failing to provide a high enough standard of care after it was noted the number of braces he fixed was unusually high.

Dr Lawton said Mr Megitt handled and estimated 1,200 to 1,500 cases per year, which meant he had a caseload of 2,500 - "an excessive number" - compared with the average seen by most dentists, which was between 500 and 700.

Earlier, Timothy Preston, representing the council, said that between 1994 and 1995 Mr Megitt, from Sale, Cheshire, was the highest earner among general dental practitioners in the country, making pounds 600,000 - the average was pounds 80,000.

The hearing continues.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own