Performing dental duties without a practicing licence has led to a Tauranga man being fined more than $15,000.
Craig Ralph Aspinall was sentenced in the Tauranga District Court on Thursday and fined a total of $15,750 plus court costs.
Craig Aspinall at Kaimai Dentures in 2011.
Craig faced 10 charges of performing a restricted activity and one of claiming to be practicing as health practitioner.
During February and November last year, Aspinall fitted dentures into patients’ mouths despite not having an annual practicing certificate (APC) from the New Zealand Dental Council.
Without the certificate, Aspinall is not allowed to perform clinical duties which include fitting dentures.
Aspinall’s lawyer says his client is a trained technician who admits to practicing without the proper paperwork.
“During 2002, the defendant was working as a clinical dental technician in Wellington and due to medical issues, had to leave the industry and give up his certificate.”
According to the summary of facts, Aspinall wrote to the Dental Technicians Board (the predecessor to the Dental Council) and stated he had ceased work and was not expecting to recommence work as a clinical dental technician due to health reasons.
His APC expired on March 31, 2003.
Aspinall returned to work in 2010 after approaching the owners of Kaimai Dentures seeking work in their dental laboratory.
In 2011, the defendant agreed to take over the lease of Kaimai Dentures after the previous tenants decided to move to Australia.
During this time, Aspinall performed restricted activities on his patients.
Aspinall’s lawyer says his client had applied for an APC and was waiting for approval.
However, the process had been stalled as the Dental Council sought more information to determine whether Aspinall was medically fit to work, and this is why he had not been granted his APC.
Following complaints from clients who were unhappy with his work and an investigation conducted by the Ministry of Health, charges were laid against Aspinall in relation to false advertising and performing duties he was not licenced to.
He was originally facing 28 charges, but 17 were withdrawn by the prosecution.