British Columbia

B.C. dentist loses licence after committing misconduct more than 70 times

A Richmond dentist who charged patients tens of thousands of dollars for work he didn't do has lost his licence and been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in fines and investigation costs.

Dr. Bin Xu of Richmond disappeared after voluntarily withdrawing from practice in January 2017

Dr. Bin Xu's misconduct, which often involved children or elderly patients, was 'alarming,' according to the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)

A Richmond, B.C., dentist who charged patients tens of thousands of dollars for work he didn't do has lost his licence and been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in fines and investigation costs.

Dr. Bin Xu has not been seen or heard from since January 2017, when he voluntarily withdrew from practice in the face of an investigation by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C., according to a penalty decision issued last month.

This summer, the college's inquiry committee found that he was incompetent and had committed misconduct more than 70 times in just three years. After a penalty hearing on Dec. 3, Xu's registration has been cancelled and he's been ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and $48,117 in costs.

"The impact was financial, emotional and, in some cases, his patients suffered pain and discomfort as a result of his substandard practice. The fact that many of his patients were elderly and vulnerable makes Dr. Xu's conduct particularly troubling," the discipline panel wrote in their decision.

In submissions to the discipline panel, the college described the magnitude of Xu's misconduct as "alarming."

The penalty decision highlights examples of how Xu's mistreated about two dozen patients and took financial advantage of seniors and other vulnerable people.

One elderly man paid Xu $85,000 upfront for implants for himself and his wife, but the dentist didn't complete the treatment and wouldn't provide a refund. The work Xu did perform was substandard, the decision says.

Dr. Bin Xu had a dental clinic on Park Road in Richmond, shown here in 2011. (Google Street View)

A much younger patient went to Xu for orthodontic work, and Xu provided her with ill-fitting braces that left her in serious pain. He then failed to show up for her appointments or give her proper instructions for the care of her braces.

Other patients received ill-advised root canals and unnecessary work, according to the decision. When one patient tried to get a refund for procedures Xu hadn't performed, he tried to trick her into thinking he really had treated those teeth.

No sign of missing dentist

Xu began working as a dentist in China in 1985 and had been registered as a dentist in B.C. since 2005.

Since he stopped practising two years ago, at the age of 54, two private investigators have been unable to locate him. He hasn't appeared at disciplinary hearings or responded to emails from the college, and his patients told the college he essentially "abandoned" them.

As a result of the college's decision, Xu won't be able to apply for reinstatement of his registration for the next five years.

He'll only be allowed to practise again if he repeats dentistry school, passes the national board exams, completes an ethics course and pays back any patients who have successfully sued him. He would also have conditions placed on his practice for the first three years.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay is a B.C. journalist with a focus on the courts, health, science and social justice issues. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.