Exposed: Dodgy dentist

LAST UPDATED: 1 Nov, 2013 @ 14:22
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Exposed: Dodgy dentist

A DODGY dentist – twice struck off in the UK – is undertaking botch jobs in Spain, it can be revealed.

The Olive Press has discovered that Rajkumar Rao, 45, is working from a practice in Alhaurin el Grande.

Twice struck off the general practitioners list for severe malpractice in Britain, Rao is currently working in Spain.

He offers a “world-class smile” and “drop dead gorgeous dentures” in local adverts for his clinic, The Alhaurin Dental Centre.

However Rao´s days working in Spain could be numbered, as one former patient is pursuing legal procedures against him.

One, David Buchanan, 47, suffered “excruciating” pain during surgical procedures.

In an amazing catalogue of errors, he claims he was left paralysed on one side of his face, when a hastily administered injection went wrong.

“The anaesthetic ended up piercing my eye and it was agony,” explained Buchanan, who has now moved back to Falkirk, in Scotland, after three years in Alhaurin.

“One side of my face is still permanently numb after two years,”

Buchanan, who was unable to work for seven months after the ordeal, visited Rao with serious toothache in 2007.

“On my first appointment Raj lulled me into a false sense of security by offering me a glass of wine – I had never seen anything like this before at the dentist.”

He continued: “He told me I had an abscess in my tooth and I needed it removed immediately.

“The next thing I knew I was covered in blood and gore. That’s when the anaesthetic was injected somehow entering my eye, paralysing half of my face.”

Buchanan, a mechanic, has been left thousands out of pocket for a total of three procedures, which he has had to put right in the UK.

He has launched assault charges against Rao, claiming 230,000 euros in damages.

“My British dentist said he had never seen anything so horrific in 30 years,” he said.

“I was so naïve. He sells this whole Hollywood smile ideal in local newspaper adverts but all he cares about is charging for the most expensive procedures.

“He’s nothing but a butcher.”

Another victim, Veronica Thomas tried another tack after paying 760 euros to replace a dental plate, which broke after just six months.

Thomas, 64, sent her husband Richard to do a ‘sit in’ at the practice in Camino Fuente del Perro, until he got a full refund.

But after two hours of waiting, Rao called the police and he was forced to leave.

Richard explained: “Rao tried to push me out of the door and shouted that he wouldn’t deal with me because I was a third party.

“He eventually called the Guardia Civil and accused me of being another Brit who has run out of money and was trying to weasel it back.”

He assured the couple the plate was of the highest quality, but it has broken four times.

“He’s nothing but a butcher.”

“My wife´s previous one had lasted for some 20 years without a problem.”

The Olive Press has discovered that Rao was first struck off in 1998 in Liverpool for “serious professional misconduct”.

The British Dental Association heard details of six cases, including a 72-year-old patient who actually needed only seven of the 22 crowns Mr Rao insisted upon.

Incredibly he was somehow able to start up again in 2001 in Cricklewood, in North London.

But, just three years later, in November 2004, he was to be struck off again, after further cases of serious professional misconduct.

Hearings director Michael Ridler at the General Dental Council told the Olive Press this week: “Rao is completely banned from practising in this country. They were very serious allegations.”

It emerges that Rao registered with Malaga College of Dentistry in 2001. A spokesman said: “We don´t know anything about his past history.”

Rao was on holiday this week, but when contacted on his mobile phone said the claims were “all hearsay” and the cases in the UK were “in the past”.

He insisted the case with Buchanan was settled in Coin court, but he failed to give anymore details or a date.

“I had nothing to answer to and have nothing to hide,” he said.

Buchanan said last night: “The case is still proceeding. He is merely trying to slow things down.”

41 COMMENTS

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  1. All I can say to Mr. Buchanan is and perhaps it’s the way this report is written but it implies that you attended your first appointment at which the dentist offered you a glass of wine. He then told you that you had an oral abcess in a tooth that needed removing immediately and gave you an injection some of the liquid contained therein somehow entering your rear-eye socket causing “excrusiating” pain? IF, and I say if this is the case why didn’t YOU immediately walk out of the door as soon as the wine was offered? (Alcohol and medication in any form don’t mix/fatal) but chose to TRUST HIM and go ahead with any treatment he recommended, YOU must be a fool!

  2. I too attended this “dentist” with tooth pain and was offered wine a soon as I got there, which I refused, as I am sure Mr Buchanan did. Mr Rao has a state of the art surgery with all the bells and whistles which lulls you into a false sense of security, he told me I would need 6 implants and that he would be happy to do them for me for an absurd amount of money. After reading Mr Buchanan’s story I am glad I did not have any more treatment. Something must be done about people who think they can get away with this sort of thing when they are not qualified.

  3. firstly when a client has an abcess or any other oral infection it is dangerous to treat unless antibiotics have been given normally amoxicillan for a period of 7 days prior to any surgical intervention.
    secondly how many dentists in the u.k offer wine to a patient
    thirdly one assumes that this dentist is still in possesion of his qualifications which to my knowledge only have to be legally translated and stamped for inclusion on a european register away from his home country .
    i think that its not to much to ask that a phone call to the professional body of the home country is made to avoid any doubt as to the status of the person .oh and finally doesnt the dentist carry practise insurance a legal requirement in most european countries.

  4. Don’t be so hard on poor Mr Buchanan. Not everyone is compos mentis enough to make all these ‘realisations’ in the face of what might well be crippling nerves as well as crippling pain. And I have no doubt at all that the ‘dentist’ in question is very plausible. It’s just so scary that he is still practising.

  5. I have been receiving implant treatment with Raj Rao for the past 12 months. He took time to explain the different options and fees open to me and was very thorough in his explanations to ensure I understood every aspect of the plan. I have nothing but praise for his professionism, commitment and skills during my time in the clinic. He is by far the best dentist I have had and I recommend him without hesitation.

  6. Stewart you do realise that this dentist was struck off TWICE in the UK, you must be mad to continue to have him treat you. He was on a documentary called Dentist from Hell, you don’t star in something like that for being professional, commited and skillful.

  7. I am in total agreement with you Stewart, I am having treatment at the moment and everything has been explained to me at every stage.
    I had an abscess and no treatment was undertaken until after a full course of antibiotics.
    As we all know you cannot believe everything you see on the television or read in the news papers, they after all are there for sensationalism and money!

  8. I believe he is a great dentist and you should not believe everything you read about him. This is my second comment. My first was not approved for some reason but I have had only professional treatment and care from this dentist.I agree with Stewart.

  9. It has only recently come to my attention the bad press received by Dr Raj Rao. I was recommended to Dr Rao about seven years ago and have nothing but praise for him and his work. At first I was only having normal dental treatment checkups, cleaning, filling etc. I was never put under any pressure to have any further treatment. Due to bad dental practice in the sixties while travelling and working in Europe I had had many teeth extracted and two years ago discussed with Dr Rao the possibility of having implants and veneers to improve both my dental health and looks.He explained in great detail all that this would entail with both the pros and possible cons made very clear. The work was carried out in totally sterile conditions and the after care was excellent. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr Rao to any of my friends and family.

  10. I also post a positive comment in defence of Dr Rao,he was nothing but professional and meticulous throughout my treatments,and i was very shocked to see his story in the paper.Also i have always recieved a phonecall the following morning to make sure all is well.
    I would keep recommending him.

  11. This dentist is very plausible and full of care when you visit his practice.My daughter went with toothache and he informed her that a root canal was required. This was carried out efficiently and without pain. However, after treatment the toothache continued. He had root canalled the wrong tooth.
    I am sure that many of his patients are treated successfully. I would not like to be one of the exceptions. Given the evidence is he worth the risk

  12. Raj has been our dentist for many years and is in my opinion the best dentist in this area. He is very thorough and in his checkups and very professional in all his work. He has never caused me or my family any pain and is also thorough in his aftercare. He always tells us exactly what he is going to do and what it will cost. When I first heard these vicious lies told about Raj I asked him directly what the situation was – he has nothing to hide and people should not believe rumours spread by people who do not know the truth. Any professional person inevitably is vulnerable to people trying to profit at their expense and this is what is happening here.

  13. I think you are right melanie,so i thought I would do some research.there is an article in the daily post,liverpool,1/12/o4 and another on the 3/12/04.dentist struck off after cataloge of errors. After reading how he was struck off and all about the documentary DENTIST FROM HELL I think some of these positive comments should be retracted.even if they are his friends

  14. I have sat and read all the comment,s on this page and from personal experiance of beeing treated by a butcher dentist in the uk who every time i went to see him gave me filling,s that were not needed and was stuck of for this type of practice and nhs billing abuse if i didnt know better would agree with some of the other comments,BUT
    i have been going to alhaurin dental center for over 4 years now and i dont think i have had unnessasry work done
    in fact no new fillings only some repair,s to existing work done in the uk no implant,s no wine only good service and at a similar price to every other dentist i think they all charge the same more or less.

  15. I guess its personal choice, if u choose to be treated my a dentist that has been struck of twice,hthat we know of , there are also reports of a practise he opened in Spain before his current “clinic” then its at your own risk.
    I know for sure I personally choose to use a dentist that comes highly recommend and who operates legally,(very happy to pass on her number to anyone who is interested!!!!)

  16. I went to a dentist in Alhurine el grande that was supposed to be a reputable Spanish dentist, she left me with a hole in my back tooth with excruciating pain after five injections. The same dentist told my wife that she had to have her wisdom teeth pulled when she had already had them taken out when she was 18 years old, she is now 40 years old. I had to go for an operation in central Maálaga for the damage this dentist caused me. When the dentist saw my tooth, he wanted to know who had done this and couldn´t believe the state that she left my tooth in. The hole was a size of a piece of sweet corn. Since then, I have always used Raj and i have never had any problems and nothing to complain about. This article that has been written about him whether it is true or not, is not important to me and to the many other patients that have been very happy with him. Thou who has not sinned may cast the first stone. Amen.

  17. delving into this mans past is interesting the trail of pain and suffering he has left is shocking.the lax laws in spain was obviously an attraction .I think people who support this could be aiding his rein of terror.who will be next a child as he does them free.some people are really gulable.rules and regulations are there to protect people from this sort of crime.I hope mr buchanan takes him for every penny hes got

  18. going by what ive read about him being struck of in the uk he is no different than most people from the uk who run businesses here. bob the builders, drain cleaners, in fact i feel sorry for decent people who try to earn a living honestly here and have to put up with being scammed by their own kind beware the authorities are now checking so make sure you pay your staffs social and tax ,

  19. HELLO,
    I HAD MY EXTENSIVE COSMETIC DENTISTRY DONE BY RAJ RAO AND ALSO HAVE NOTHING BUT PRAISE. YES I WAS OFFERED WINE, COFFEE, TEA OR JUICE WHEN I FIRST VISITED. AS THE FIRST VISIT WAS JUST A MEETING TO SEE WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE I DON’T THINK THAT THERE’S A PROBLEM IN THAT AT ALL. I’M TERRIFIED OF DENTISTS AND SO WAS PLEASED AT THE FRIENDLY APPROACH FROM HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE SALONI. I WAS SENT TO GET AN X-RAY DONE SO WE COULD SEE THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE AND TOOK THAT BACK TO HIM THE FOLLOWING WEEK. HE PROCEEDED TO FACILITATE ME WITH A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF WHAT NEEDED DOING AND HOW MUCH IT WOULD COST. I WAS OFFERED DIFFERENT ALTERNATIVES AS TO HOW THE WORK COULD BE CARRIED OUT AND HOW PAYMENT FOR SAID WORK COULD BE MADE. EVEN THEN I PROCEEDED TO GET A SECOND OPINION AND FOUND THAT ALTHOUGH MR RAO WAS A LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE THE SERVICE HE WAS OFFERING WAS ALSO FAR SUPERIOR. I’VE RECOMMENDED HIM ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS AND NONE OF THE PEOPLE I’VE RECOMMENDED HIM TO HAVE HAD ANY COMPLAINTS NO MORE THAN I HAVE TO DATE. I’VE HAD TO VISIT OTHER DENTISTS (WHEN AWAY) AND EVEN THEY HAVE PRAISED THE WORK HE HAS DONE. I AM MORE THAN HAPPY FOR ANYBODY TO VISIT ME TO ASESS FOR THEMSELVES THE QUALITY OF THIS MANS WORK AS THAT’S WHAT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!…

    LUCY

  20. The Court of Justice in Coin ruled in favour of Dr. Rao after an independent dental expert testified that he had not encountered any sign of the facial paralysis which Mr. Buchanan said he had suffered as a result of Dr. Rao’s treatment. According to spanish law the plaintiff has the right to appeal against the verdict to the higher courts if he so wishes. As a happy patient of Dr. Rao for many years I am disgusted at the way Mr. Buchanan has decided to pursue a slandering campaign against a truly professional person working legally in this country. If he really thinks he has got a case why does he not go back to court. Is it because Mr. Buchanan is just an opportunistic scoundrel who found out about some past mistakes and was trying to cash in on them?

  21. Totally agree with you Piero, this article demonstrates again the typical way how a small media organisation tries to hit the big time by posting a non verified / non proven article which only serves to raise self interest and profit. By reading this article, i have personally started to question all the stories posted on this website. Every person has a different story in life, but starting to dig out past and old mistakes (which we all make in life) actually makes the publisher of this site and the associated media companies the monsters. Ive read most of the above comments and as always, only see people who speak with common sense, others are just being ignorant. Im happy that the court ruled in favor of Mr Rao, which at the same time proves he runs his business legally in Spain for many years.

  22. At the end of the day “Twice struck off the general practitioners list for severe malpractice in Britain, Rao is currently working in Spain.”

    you can have praise for him, BUT THAT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACTS!

    Also has anyone else noticed that most of the comments that are pro Raj, seem to be written in a very similar style.

  23. At the end of the day I can definitely speak for myself: I and my writing are very unique and real so whatever you are trying to imply is a load of old cobblers for want of a better description that may not appeal to everyones’ taste…. My e mail address is [email protected] and my telephone number is 619727120 if anybody would like to enquire as to my very existance, I even volunteer to materialise before their very eyes whenever’s convenient. My thoughts are :STOP!! When the battle’s lost, it’s lost and all that remains is to question the grounds on which it was fought in the first place!!!

    Regards

    Lucy Spence

  24. What do you mean with facts B.O.W ? im sure every person has good and bad facts in life..so what? I also dont see that everybody writes in the same style, other then being either negative or positive? Is it so hard to accept that some people are just not being lured into this nonsense posted? There are many professions media organizations can write about which include scams, ripoffs and other similar practices, yet they choose to talk about this dentist in alhaurin…cmon, lets not be naive, this is just to personal in my opinion and most likely mr buchanan rounded up a few of his media friends to go after this person… I could go on for hours with similar stories but frankly I got so tired of the costa del sol, the way the spanish work and the way retired expat brits are getting involved in things which they should not, just for some excitement. Im happy i left the UK and Spain long behind me.

  25. I am glad to read that the truth is slowly coming out. Yes Raj may have made some mistakes in the past but that does not give people such as Mr Buchanan to try and exploit the situation for his his own financial gain. People should be very careful about believing all they read in many of the one-man-band publications that appear on the coast, many of which are run by unprofessional people trying to make a living from other´s misfortune. If I had a genuine grievance I wanted to air I would go to a reputable paper that would ensure the case were reported fairly. As for people´s suggestions that all the “pro-Raj” comments are written in the same style, that is absolutely ridiculous. We have just recommended Raj to yet another friend who is totally happy with the treatment.

  26. This is getting so ridiculous it is incredible.

    There are three indisputable facts here:

    1. Raj Rao was TWICE stuck off in the UK for malpractice.

    2. Had the British Dental Association sent its warning letter to the right department in 2004 he might well have been stuck off in Spain as well.

    3. He was most recently taken to court for apparently “butchering” a client Mr Buchanan, for which he has so far won his case in court, with an appeal approaching. Either way, it is extremely unlikely that a man who suffered what he suffered would have moved back to Scotland and taken on a costly complicated legal claim if he didn’t think he had a good case. The UK papers clearly thought so too, if you cared to search the story elsewhere.

    I wish you all plenty of luck visiting Mr Rao, who may well be a fantastic dentist most of the time…Me, I’m going to find someone else.

    Taffy, James R… stop trying to blame the messenger for doing precisely the job that the Olive Press is meant to do… ie. expose exactly the above facts.. Well done to the Olive Press…it is the only English newspaper in Spain brave enough to take on these stories and doesn’t deserve this ridiculous flak.

    Graham, Alhaurin el Grande

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