A dentist who suddenly closed his doors to patients was under investigation by dental and health authorities, we can reveal.
The Earlsgate Dental Practice in Folkestone closed unexpectedly but it has emerged Dr Miodrag Mitic was issued with a warning by the General Dental Council (GDC) earlier this year.
He was put under supervision for "wide-ranging failings in basic dental care" after it was discovered they had occurred over "a considerable period of time and involve a number of patients".
These failures meant there were "serious concerns about the safety of patients" and prompted an inspection by the NHS Dental Advisor.
The inspector found "significant concerns with the courses of treatment provided" by Dr Mitic, who took over the practice in Earls Avenue 10 years ago.
A report published by the GDC after concerns were raised through five complaints by patients cast doubt over Dr Mitic’s “clinical practice and probity”.
The report said the inspection by the NHS had identified "concerns and deficiencies" surrounding 10 areas of care after 18 sets of patient records were reviewed.
These included: record-keeping, periodontal care, radiography, root canal treatment, cast restorations, medical history, antibiotic prescribing, treatment of trauma, treatment planning and consent.
A hearing held at the GDC in September imposed an 18-month order telling Dr Mitic to improve his practice, with GDC investigations still ongoing.
He denies allegations relating to probity, the GDC report said.
The hearing by the council’s Interim Orders Committee was set up to establish the risks posed to patients and whether the public needed protection because of them.
It was found the order should be imposed to “maintain proper standards of conduct in future” adding a warning they should apply to his “personal as well as professional life”.
The GDC report, addressing Dr Mitic, said: “The committee noted you have acknowledged the failings identified and started the process of remedying them by putting in place a mentor to assist.
"Whilst the committee is aware the order has restricted your ability to practise your profession, it is satisfied that the order is a proportionate response because of the wide-ranging nature of the alleged failings and the risks to patients as a result.”
It has not been confirmed whether or not the closure was linked to the report issued by the General Dental Council.
Dr Mitic’s registration was due for renewal at the end of the year but the closure came as a shock to patients, who said they had been notified by a sign pinned to the door of the practice last week.
NHS England, which is responsible for overseeing dental services in Britain, said it had been advised by the closure on November 10 but earlier in the week patients had been asking questions about the situation.
It was reported it was only when turning up in person that they were informed of the closure by the note on the door.
The surgery provided both NHS and private dentist services.
Advice has been issued to NHS patients about how their current courses of treatment can be continued and those affected are due to be contacted.
A spokesman for NHS England South East said: “The Earlsgate Dental Practice in Folkestone has informed us that they have closed with effect from Friday, November 10, and will no longer be providing NHS dental services to patients.
“We have taken action to make sure the small number of NHS patients who were undergoing existing courses of treatment at the practice can complete their treatment, by transferring their care to another NHS dental practice in Folkestone.”
The Kent Dental Helpline will be able to offer information for patients receiving NHS dental care following the closure of Earlsgate.