British Columbia dentist practiced despite dozens of complaints

Oct. 24, 2012
Complaints spanned more than two decades

It took until late 2010 for the College of Dental Surgeons to end the practice of a B.C. dentist who has been the target of dozens of complaints and lawsuits from patients since the mid-1980s.

Dr. Derek Duvall was able to continue practising on and off for more than two decades by changing provinces twice, moving cities frequently and initiating legal action against the B.C. college when it tried to impose restrictions on his professional activities. One of those restrictions was an agreement requiring Duvall to see a psychiatrist and obtain medications regularly to treat a mental illness, which is now at the centre of a discrimination complaint Duvall filed against the college at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Most recently, Duvall was cited for 33 instances of incompetent practice and professional misconduct that occurred during 2006, 2007 and 2009, including removing four permanent teeth from a patient without informed consent, permanently cementing a damaged bridge to a patient’s mouth and botching numerous procedures such as root canals and crown placements, according to the college’s disciplinary panel.

Duvall has practised in many B.C. communities since he registered with the college in 1973, including Comox/Courtenay, White Rock, Kamloops, Gibsons, Vernon, Kelowna, Clearbrook, Fort St. John, Chetwynd and Delta, said college spokeswoman Anita Wilks.

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