A REDDITCH dentist who left a woman in "absolute agony" after he drilled through a tooth and into her gum has been struck off.

Ajanthan Trevor Reginald's name has been removed from the register after the General Dental Council (GDC) found him guilty of serious professional misconduct and making dishonest claims to the Dental Practice Board.

After a hearing of the professional conduct committee last Monday, the GDC said the dentist had to be struck off to protect the public.

Reginald, 33, was found guilty of a catalogue of charges over mistreatment of 24 of his patients.

It was found he had failed to fit proper crowns, provided such poor root canal treatment that teeth were lost and carried out bridge work that was not necessary.

He was also found guilty of failing to treat a patient for serious gum disease, failing to provide patients with treatment plans or responding in good time to complaints.

He also used 20 of his patients to fleece the Dental Practice Board out of cash for work that was not done.

Many patients were left in severe pain and needed corrective treatment. Some of the damage was irreversible.

The charges relate to his time at surgeries in Woodrow Centre, which has since closed, and the surgery in Loxley Close, Church Hill, which came under new management several years ago.

One victim, who cannot be named, told the Advertiser: "I cannot say how pleased I am the committee found him guilty.

"He put a crown on my tooth which repeatedly came off. I kept returning to complain but it was not rectified and I lost half my tooth.

"I went to another dentist and was given a huge quote for work which needed doing.

"I returned to Reginald and he then drilled through my tooth and straight into my gum. I have never known so much agony.

"I'm delighted we victims pursued our complaints and that this man will never again work as a dentist here or anywhere else."

At the end of the conduct hearing, chairman Prof Colin Smith said the committee had taken into account information from Reginald's solicitors in relation to his medical conditions and ''cognitive deficiencies'' but said this would not explain many facts proved against him.

"There was substantial evidence of a continuing pattern of neglect which covered a wide range of failings resulting in a real risk to patients, including children," he said.

Alan McMichael, Dental Public Health Consultant at South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust (PCT), said: "This situation goes back a number of years.

"The case arose from various complaints and discrepancies in the period from about November 1999 to March 2002.

"Following an initial appearance before the GDC, he ceased practising voluntarily at about that time and procedurally, he was removed from the NHS list of Redditch and Bromsgrove PCT with effect from December 9, 2002."

The case dates back to the days of Worcestershire Health Authority, before it became South Worcestershire PCT in April 2002.

Reginald qualified as a dentist in 1996 and by 1999 he was in charge of the two practices in Redditch.

The Dental Practice Board grew suspicious of the ''higher than average'' number of claims he was making and the range of treatments.

Reginald, who was last known to be living in Coventry, did not attend the hearing in London and was not legally represented.

He has 28 days from the date of the hearing to appeal against his permanent erasure from the dental register.