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Health / Former Lerwick dentist struck off the register

A FORMER Lerwick dentist can no longer legally practice dentistry in the UK after a professional conduct committee found he had acted improperly towards eleven patients on 89 occasions between June 2015 and October 2019.

Michael Rylko, who formerly worked at the Family Dental Clinic on North Road, was not present and was not represented during a number of virtual hearings of the General Dental Council (GDC) earlier this month.

After considering evidence from seven witnesses, the committee came to the conclusion that Rylko was no longer fit to remain on the register and suspended him with immediate effect.

In a detailed decision note issued after the hearing, it said: “The committee determined that it is necessary for the protection of the public and is otherwise in the public interest to impose an immediate order of suspension on Mr Rylko’s registration.

“It was found serious dishonesty in this case, including dishonesty associated with the treatment of patients, as well as a significant number of other serious failings relating to Mr Rylko’s clinical practice resulting in significant physical and financial harm to patients.”

This included failure to carry out sufficient diagnostic assessments, maintain adequate records, provide adequate standards of care and/or treatment and obtain fully informed consent from patients.

The dentist also dishonestly displayed a sticker in the practice window between July 2017 and July 2019 which stated that he was the winner in the best performing dentist’s category at the Dentistry Awards 2016.

Concerns were initially raised by a dental nurse working in the practice as early as 2019.

In February 2020 an interim condition was imposed on Rylko for 12 months in that his day-to-day work had to be supervised by a person registered with GDC after he was found to have provided care for four patients that was “below the level of professional practice reasonably expected”.

However, in January 2021 he was given an interim suspension as a consequence of not engaging with the GDC or complying with the conditions imposed.

The interim suspension was continued in October 2021 and has now resulted in his erasure from the register.

The GDC said: “The committee considered that a reasonable and informed member of the public would be dismayed if Mt Rylko’s registration was not immediately suspended.

“In the committee’s view, public confidence in the dental profession and in this regulatory process would be seriously undermined in the absence of an immediate order.”