A DENTIST has been suspended after failing to diagnose a patient's potentially debilitating illness for "an extended period of time".

Martin Poltawski, who operated out of Brandlesholme Road until his retirement in March this year, had been treating the patient for 12 years.

However the patient alleged that Mr Poltawski had failed to diagnose and treat his periodontal disease, and complained to the NHS.

A clinical advisor's report found that the patient had a history of the disease ­— an exacerbated form of gum disease which can lead to jaw bones being damaged, small spaces opening between the gums and teeth, and tooth loss and looseness.

The report also supported the patient's allegation, as did the GMHSCP Professional Advisory Group following a meeting on August 16.

The PAG then suspended Mr Poltawski from its performers list and launched wider investigation.

On September 19, a meeting of the General Dental Council's Interim Orders Committee heard an application from a Ms Headley, as well as submissions on behalf of Mr Poltawski by a Ms Thomas. Mr Poltawski was not present.

Ms Headley told the committee: "There is evidence to suggest that these failings were protracted over a long period of time and there is a real risk of harm to the health, safety and wellbeing of Mr Poltawski’s patients if he is allowed to continue to practise unrestricted."

Mr Poltawski has now been suspended for 18 months to "protect the public".

A report published by the committee agreed with Ms Headley's concerns and acknowledged that while Mr Poltawski is retired "he may decide to return to the practice of dentistry at any time".

The committee said that the interim order is in the public interest "in order to maintain public confidence in the profession and uphold professional standards", as well as maintain confidence in the regulatory process.

Their reported added:"The Committee takes this view as it considers that any reasonable member of the public would expect some action to be taken to safeguard against the recurrence of any practice failures."

The committee will review the interim order within the next six months "unless there has been a material change of circumstances".