Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Victorian dentist disqualified for nine months for substandard clinical care
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Victorian dentist disqualified for nine months for substandard clinical care

29 Aug 2023

A tribunal has reprimanded and disqualified a dentist from registration for nine months for substandard clinical care that amounted to professional misconduct.

In March 2022, the Dental Board of Australia (the Board) referred Dr Badrish Krishna to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) for professional misconduct for his clinical care of a patient, Ms P.

On 10 March 2020, Ms P attended the dental practice with pain and swelling to the left side of her face. In the pre-operative treatment, Dr Krishna administered multiple anaesthetic injections causing ‘a surge of intense pain’ to Ms P. After being advised to stop the treatment, he did not, despite assurances that he would stop if she was in pain. He then continued onto a second injection, resulting in excruciating pain to Ms P.

The tribunal found that Dr Krishna’s preoperative care was substandard. He failed to:

  • use appropriate clinical judgement, skill, or care
  • obtain informed consent, or
  • communicate openly and effectively with Ms P.

The tribunal also found that the intra-operative clinical care given was below standard. Dr Krishna continued the dental procedure after Ms P had withdrawn consent, failed to apply adequate or effective local anaesthesia for Ms P’s tooth to be extracted safely; failed to extract the tooth in line with contemporary extraction practices; and failed to act courteously, respectfully and compassionately with Ms P.

The tribunal found that both Dr Krishna’s preoperative and intra-operative care of Ms P amounted to professional misconduct.

The tribunal also found Dr Krishna’s record-keeping inadequate. Dr Krishna ‘failed to maintain appropriate, detailed and contemporaneous clinical records for his care of Ms P’. However, the poor record-keeping was found to be more ‘unprofessional conduct’ and a lack of professionalism rather than ‘professional misconduct’. It was nevertheless of a standard much lower than normally expected by the public or his peers.

In May 2023, the tribunal reprimanded Dr Krishna and disqualified him for registration for nine months.

Read the full decision available on AustLII.

Page reviewed 29/08/2023