Sydney Dentist On Trial For Mistreating Patients

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A trial has begun for a Sydney dentist who is accused of mistreating a number of nursing home patients; Mr Andrew Istephan is believed to have treated a dozen patients without authorisation.

Mr Istephan has been charged with 12 counts of assault in connection with the treatment of 12 patients at nursing homes in Sydney. He is believed to have filed the teeth of a number of patients without any form of anaesthetic and without proper consent.

Twelve patients are the subject of the trial and the court believes that only three patients were mentally fit to give their consent for the procedure, which involved filing and preparing the teeth prior to having a crown fitted. The patients involved were residents at four different care homes in areas of Sydney, including Lewisham, Manly Vale, Haberfield and Leichhardt.

At the Downing Centre District Court, the jury was told that only three patients were mentally fit to give their consent for treatment; jury members were also informed that Mr Istephan had filed one woman’s teeth without giving her local anaesthetic.

Mr Istephan was present in court and took notes as he heard the evidence; he is expected to speak in the coming days.

Mr Istephan was providing dental care to patients with long-term illness as part of the government’s Chronic Disease Dental Scheme, which has recently closed down. It enabled patients with long-term health conditions to receive dental care free of charge.

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