Fake dentist had child’s teeth pulled

dentist's hands with implements

A man claimed that he worked as a dentist for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for over 17 years… but he wasn’t a dentist

The Health Care Complaints Commission has ordered that a man never provide any health services, after he was found to be an unacceptable risk to the public.

In July and December 2019, two people, identified as Witness A and Witness B, complained to the Health Care Complaints Commission that Mr Aziz Sabel had misrepresented himself as a dentist and facilitated dental treatment including tooth extraction and the placement of braces.

They alleged that the south-western Sydney man had facilitated treatment at several premises.

Witness A, a 62-year-old man, said that he experienced pain in a back tooth in April 2018 and was referred to Mr Sabel by a stranger who said that he was a “good dentist”.

The stranger took Witness A to Mr Sabel’s Fairfield practice where the patient sat in an “old yellow dental chair” and was told by Mr Sabel that his teeth “needed work”.

Witness A said that until the pain in his tooth began, he had no other dental complaints and described his teeth as “strong”.

Over the next several weeks Witness A paid Mr Sabel about $7,000 in cash and had around nine teeth extracted under the direction of the false dentist.

Mr Sabel did not remove the teeth himself but selected which teeth should be extracted, leaving this to a person identified as “John”. Mr Sabel had agreed to place dental implants and a bridge for Witness A.

Eventually Witness A become frustrated with the treatment he was receiving and asked for a refund. When he was given an invalid cheque, he complained to the Commission.

Witness A said that he had trusted Mr Sabel and continues to feel “deeply aggrieved:” by the false dentist’s conduct and its impact on his quality of life.

In December 2019, Witness B also complained to the Commission, saying that Mr Sabel had provided dental treatment to her two daughters, both of whom were aged under 18, between December 2016 and December 2019.

She said that this treatment included the extraction of several teeth, the placement of braces and ongoing adjustment of the braces.

However she said he failed to finalise the braces for her daughters, misrepresented his qualifications as a dentist and became “unresponsive” when she asked for the treatment to be completed or monies paid to be refunded.

She provided photographs of daughter providing blue light laser treatment, which she said had been taken on the last date of treatment, after the girl’s braces had been adjusted by Mr Sabel. She also provided photographs of the Fairfield practice, including of the patient in a yellow dental chair and Mr Sabel in the background wearing a mask and gloves.

Only one of her daughters had teeth removed – again, this was performed by another man.

Witness B also paid Mr Sabel in cash and was never provided with receipts.

A third witness, identified as Witness C, also complained, alleging that between February and May 2018 a dentist called “Mr Aziz Sabel” had attempted to repair a tooth, worsening the problem.

This witness said that “the tooth that he planted fell down two days after”.

This witness said Mr Sabel admitted he was not a dentist and asked them not to report it. This witness also provided images, including of the yellow dentist chair and Mr Sabel in the background wearing gloves.

The Commission was unable to find direct evidence from Mr Sabel about his professional qualifications and background.

He was not registered, and had never been registered, as a dental practitioner in Australia, despite clinical records and commercial leasing documents relating to his business premises recording that he worked as a dentist “12 hours per day, seven days a week”.

These documents claimed he had worked as a dentist for more than 17 years.

The Commission also had a letter from another dentist who had expressed concern about Mr Sabel’s use of another dental practitioner’s name.

The Commission found that Mr Sabel had provided dental treatment to at least three patients (including Witness A, and Witness B’s two daughters) while not registered as a dental practitioner and while never having been registered in Australia.

It found he wilfully misrepresented himself as a registered dentist to Witness A and Witness B and to other members of the public.

He also was found to have failed to document any of the dental services provided to Witness A or to Witness B’s daughters, thereby failing to maintain and keep appropriate records.

He posed an unacceptable risk to public health and safety, it found.

Mr Sabel was permanently prohibited from providing any health services, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

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