Patients across Notts who were ever treated by a suspended dental practitioner are being urged to be tested for hepatitis and HIV.
Dr Desmond D’Mello is under investigation for apparent poor hygiene procedures in which he is accused of failing to wash his hands between patients, as well as failing to sterilise instruments.
The 60-year-old, who ran Daybrook Dental Practice near Arnold, was caught out when a member of staff, appalled by the standards, secretly filmed him over a three-day period in June.
He was immediately suspended by the General Medical Council and the investigation is continuing.
Although Dr D’Mello was tested cleared of having any blood-borne illness, experts say there is a ‘small chance’ that patients could have contracted hepatitis B, C or HIV, if one or more patients under his care had any of the diseases.
He worked at the practice for 32 years and because of this, records of patients are sketchy.
As a result, NHS England and Public Health England have made a public announcement to urge former patients to come forward to be tested.
During a press conference in Mansfield this morning, attended by the national press, spokesman Dr Doug Black said patients may not be confined to the Arnold area, estimating that up to 22,000 people may be at risk.
He said: “People often keep the same dentist when they move house, so it looks like his cohort of patients extends beyond the boundaries of Gedling borough.
“It is recommended that any patient who received treatment by Mr D’Mello be called back for screening, a blood test might be needed.
“We are extremely sorry for the undoubted worry or concern on hearing this news.
“The risk is low, but anyone treated by Mr D’Mello should contact the advice line.”
“Acceptable hygiene standards did not appear to be followed, it’s very basic.”
The advice line for anyone concerned about being treated by Dr D’Mello should phone 03330 142479.