BBC News: Dentist let partner drill teeth
Mogjan Azari allowed her lover Omid Amidi-Mazaheri to work on more than 600 patients, leaving many in agony.
He drilled out cavities without local anaesthetic and installed expensive fillings that crumbled within days.
The pair charged the NHS for the bungled work and other non-existent procedures and are believed to have made Â£120,000 from the scam.
Dentistry in the United Kingdom has certainly had its problems this past year. The National Health Service has failed and dentists are running from being participants, the British Labour government of Tony Blair is importing dentists from Poland and other countries to treat patients in the socialized NHS, and British citizens are waiting in long lines for dental care (to register for an NHS dentist) or failing to find a dentist to treat them for a basic emergency.
Now, this scandal.
The Scotsman: Patients warned of HIV risk from bogus dentist
HUNDREDS of former patients of a failed asylum seeker who posed as a dentist to con tens of thousands of pounds out of the NHS are being contacted by health officials amid fears that they may have contracted HIV.
More than 600 people treated by Omid Amidi-Mazaheri, who posed as a specialist performing complex dental operations without qualifications, have been sent letters urging them to get blood tests to confirm whether his practice has spread HIV or hepatitis B and C.
Jay Leno on last night’s Tonight Show even had a joke about British dentists, asking “Do they have them?”
Amidi-Mazaheri, 41, an Iranian national, was jailed for two years in March this year at Southwark Crown Court for defrauding the NHS out of at least Â£120,000.
The former lab technician arrived in the UK in 1998 and began working in a south London dental surgery in 2002.
Medical experts stressed to Amidi-Mazaheri’s former patients that there was only a “small” risk of infection, but they warned that because he might not have followed infection control procedures, it could not be ruled out. Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark primary care trusts in south London have employed a team of NHS dentists, counsellors and nurses to carry out the tests and perform any reparatory dental work needed.
During his two-year charade, Amidi-Mazaheri carried out dental work at practices in Norbury, Tulse Hill and East Dulwich in south London. His catalogue of lies and deceit was finally uncovered following a joint operation between NHS fraud investigators and detectives from Scotland Yard’s Economic Crime Unit.
Amidi-Mazaheri used syringes, probes and drills to treat patients even though he was not trained or qualified. Patients giving evidence during his trial told how his fillings would crumble within days and how he would clumsily drop surgical instruments down their throats while they were being treated.
The police investigation initially centred on Mogjan Azari, 38, a fully-trained Swedish dentist who ran a string of dental practices in south London. It was Azari who first employed Amidi-Mazaheri and he began treating patients in April 2002. Within weeks he was filling cavities and carrying out complex root canal work. The proceeds of his fraudulent work were split 50-50, allowing Azari to inflate her earnings to Â£500,000 a year.
In April 2003, Amidi-Mazaheri poached one of Azari’s dentists, Johannes Kidane, and set about acquiring his own practice in south London, where he once more worked on unsuspecting patients.
However, detectives had launched Operation Immanuel, suspecting Azari of making bogus claims for NHS funds from her practices.
Azari, 38, a mother of one, wept as she was jailed for a year in March. Amidi-Mazaheri was sentenced to 12 months in prison for two counts of obtaining money by deception while working with Azari and a further year for three counts of obtaining money by deception while working at Mr Kidane’s former practice.
And the poor patients?
The British Dental Association working with the government should step in to assure the public that licensing and dental practice is up to international standards.
The British government should work with dentistry to set standards, licensing and financing schemes that will ease the transition of a socialized dental system to a private one.