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
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones