A DENTIST who fraudulently charged patients for work he never did has avoided going jail.

A judge told Ravinder Suryavansi he had been motivated by greed when he conned patients.

The 51-year-old dentist faces suspension by the General Dental Council, but was also prosecuted for fraud at Chelmsford Crown Court. The court was told he would probably be banned from ever working as a dentist again.

Suryavansi, of Burywood, Braiswick, Colchester, admitted a total of 14 charges brought by the NHS Counter-Fraud Service.

The charges related to work Suryavansi charged for, but never did, at his dental practice in Witham. He also overcharged patients, the court heard.

Judge Christopher Ball QC gave Suryavansi a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also told to pay a total of £3,190 compensation to the patients involved, cover the £35,777 cost of the investigation and carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Judge Ball told Suryavansi: “The public expects high standards from their professionals and your conduct has diminished the reputation and standing of your profession.

“It was motivated by personal greed. You wanted more money than you were entitled to for the work you were doing.

“Conduct of this kind undermines the confidence we have in our professionals.”

His lawyer, Christina Lambert, said Suryavansi’s career as a dentist was finished.

She added: “There will be a report to the General Dental Council to suspend him and then there will be a hearing.”

She added, “as night follows day”, Suryavansi would be removed from the dentists’ register.

Suryavansi is now a director of the Zen Clinic, a dental practice in London Road, Stanway.

All the charges against him relate to his time at the Collingwood Dental Surgery, in Witham, and date from between 1988 and 2004. He now has no connection with the practice and its current dentists were not involved in his fraudulent practices.

He claimed cash from the NHS for numerous procedures he had not carried out, including fitting dentures and crowns.

He pretended to have used precious metals in filling when he had fitted crowns made of cheaper metals.

He banked extra money by falsely claiming to have received emergency calls from patients with toothache.

The NHS Counter-Fraud Service was tipped off and caught him after checking patient records to see if they matched Suryavansi’s bills. Another dentist was also used to check patients’ mouths to see if crowns and fillings had been put in.

Following the prosecution, investigators are believed also to be planning to sue Suryavansi in the civil courts in the hope of recovering more than the £3,190 he was ordered to pay back.