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Health / Lerwick dentist to work under supervision following concerns over standard of care

A LERWICK-based dentist has had conditions imposed on his registration with the General Dental Council (GDC) following allegations that he failed to provide an adequate standard of care and treatment to four patients.

Michael Rylko, who works for the Family Dental Clinic on North Road, now must have his day to day work supervised by a person who is registered with the GDC.

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The interim conditions against his registration have been imposed for 12 months to allow the GDC to complete its investigations and hold a substantive hearing, although the order will be reviewed after six months.

The GDC said the principal dentist was judged to have provided care “below the level of professional practice reasonably expected” to four patients between 12 December 2017 and 14 August 2019.

This included by allegedly not carrying out sufficient diagnostic assessment, pre-treatment investigation and sufficient treatment planning.

The concerns were raised by a dental nurse at the practice.

They also raised concerns that he failed to provide adequate standard of treatment to the patients during the same time period, and failed to obtain informed consent for the treatment provided to three of them.

Another concern raised by the nurse was that Rylko apparently falsely displayed a purported award on the practice window which read ‘Dentistry award 2016 Best Performing Dentist, Michael Rylko, Winner, issued by Butterfly Dental Laboratory’.

The complaint prompted an investigation and the GDC sought a clinical advice report.

A clinical adviser to the GDC said: “Mr Rylko did not gain valid or informed consent for some treatments contained within the bundle. Some of the treatments were overly invasive and not planned or implemented according to accepted evidence bases.”

The GDC’s interim orders committee ruled earlier this month that the “allegations against Mr Rylko, relating to four patients, encompass serious failures which had the potential to cause harm”.

“In the committee’s view, there is a real risk of harm to patients if Mr Rylko were to practise as a dentist without there being some restriction on his registration,” a report from the hearing said.

“It further considers that the public interest is engaged, given the serious nature of the allegations, including the concern of misleading and dishonest conduct in relation to Mr Rylko advertising that he had won an award for ‘Best Performing Dentist’,” the report added.

“Accordingly, the committee is satisfied that it is necessary for the protection of the public and is otherwise in the public interest that Mr Rylko’s registration be subject to an interim order in accordance with Section 32(4) of the Dentists Act 1984.”

During the order Rylko’s workplace supervisor is expected to provide reports to the GDC.

The report says that Rylko did not oppose an order of conditions and “provided the committee with evidence of his range of continuing professional development activities, audits and a personal development plan”.

Rylko was not available for comment but in a statement issued by the practice the manager said he had fully co-operated with the investigation by the GDC.

“Dr Rylko has fully engaged with the General Dental Council to resolve any issues. We are trying to maintain treatment at this practice.”