16 Aug 2015

Dentist fined after leaving tool in tooth for three years

3:11 pm on 16 August 2015

A Taumaruanui dentist has been censured and fined for professional misconduct after he left a piece of equipment in a patient's mouth during treatment.

Gaurav Lakra was performing a root canal operation in 2008 on a teenage boy when his instrument separated during the procedure, leaving a part in the tooth's root.

Mr Lakra didn't mention it to the patient, who later returned with a toothache, leading to a further four appointments over the subesequent two and a half years.

At no point was he informed about the instrument remaining in the tooth.

In 2011, the patient's parents took him to a specialist in Hamilton after part of the tooth broke away, who discovered the rogue piece of equipment.

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal fined Mr Lakra $3,000 for breaching the code of conduct by not informing the patient.