Dutch horror dentists go on trial

15th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Two Dutch dentists were caught separately practicing without licences and skills.

15 September 2008

AMSTERDAM -- Just thinking about it is enough to rattle your teeth.

The Dutch media are enthralled by the trials of two men dubbed the "horror dentists".

They were caught separately practicing without licences - and, according to the allegations, without much skill, either.

Amsterdam prosecutors say 64-year-old Hok Tong Kwee permanently ruined the teeth of at least 10 patients after losing his license in 2004. Kwee denies malpractice, saying he only took "acceptable" risks.

But when prosecutors called on victims to come forward in 2007, hundreds responded.

Prosecutors say he billed for phantom procedures, tried to pass off a synthetic filling as a crown, improperly placed multiple bridges in the mouth of one patient, and used dirty tools.

Prosecutors have demanded a 30-month sentence. The verdict is due 26 September.

In the other case, 55-year-old Ben Verlinden was sentenced to four months by judges in Haarlem on Friday for mistreating four patients after having been stripped of his licence in 2001.

He had been banned twice before for mistakes that prosecutors said included "drilling teeth to bits".

When medical investigators tried to catch him at his offices in 2007, he fled via a fire escape. He was caught later, instruments in hand.

At one point, according to the De Volkskrant newspaper, Verlinden was able to get work by using somebody else's registration number - that of his twin brother, who is also a dentist.

[AP / Expatica]

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