Brisbane dental clinic at Carina closed by Queensland Health, dentist suspended

Gap Free Smile dental clinic was closed and a dentist suspended following the investigation.
Photo: Ben Bissett

A Brisbane dental clinic has been closed by Queensland Health and one dentist suspended after serious hygiene concerns were raised by the Office of Health Ombudsman.

Patients of Gap Free Smile at Carina would be contacted by Queensland Health and encouraged to get independent checks in the rare situation they had contracted hepatitis C from recent dental treatment at the clinic after the closure on Friday.

The clinic on Old Cleveland Road was closed on Friday by Queensland Health after its inspectors checked the premises this week.

The Office of the Health Ombudsman had also inspected the dental clinic this week after concerns were raised about hygiene practices.

One dentist has been suspended by the Office of the Health Ombudsman following their investigation.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the dental clinic would be closed until it could satisfy Queensland Health “proper infection control standards” were being met.

“The risk of transmission is very small,” Dr Young said.

“We are acting from an overabundance of caution but investigations this week have revealed potential ongoing problems,” she said.

“And it’s prudent to notify the public.”

Queensland Health will contact people specifically treated at the clinic to recommend they see their GP and arrange testing for blood-borne diseases, including viruses such as hepatitis C.

Dr Young said Queensland Health was unaware of patients being infected.

“Although we have no indication that any infectious or transmissible disease has been contracted by patients, it is important people be tested,” she said.

Fairfax Media’s attempts to contact the clinic on Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

The clinic’s website shows it offers special children’s dental schedules, crown and bridge work, dental implants, root canal and wisdom tooth services as well as dentures and mouthguards.

Fairfax Media understands Queensland Health immediately closed down the clinic because it was heavily booked between Christmas and New Year and because it treated many children.