An Auckland dentist has had his registration cancelled after he continued to treat patients despite being suspended because of concerns around his competence.

The New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found that Dr David Lyall Edwin Zimmerman had performed dental or orthodontic procedures on five occasions after his suspension.

On July 11, 2014 he received a letter from the Dental Council of New Zealand explaining he would be suspended from the practice of dentistry or orthodontic services as at July 17, 2014 because of concerns he posed a serious risk of harm to the public by practising below the required standard of competence.

This move followed a long list of complaints laid against him.


In 2001 a complaint was made with the Health and Disability Commissioner over concerns about the adequacy of Zimmerman's patient information and records and in 2005 the New Zealand Health Practitioners Tribunal charged him with professional misconduct because of his failure to keep adequate records and matters of informed consent.

In 2008 the Dental Council was made aware of advertising where he described himself as a specialist in craniofacial pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and sleep disorders. Zimmerman apologised to the DCNZ and agreed to alter future advertisements to comply.

In 2009 he was found to have neglected to treat a patient appropriately and the dentists' board ordered that he be supervised between November 2009 and June 2010 while a competence review was carried out. The two reviews found he did not meet the required standard of competence.

Conditions on the scope of his practice were made while he undertook a competence programme but in 2014 another three patients laid complaints.

The Dental Council concluded there were fundamental issues and suspended his practising certificate until he had completed the programme and passed the assessment.

ACC later laid a complaint with the Dental Council after finding he had been practising while suspended.

The New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found he had treated and provided advice to five patients between July 24, 2014 and February 2, 2016, despite his suspension.

The tribunal found him guilty of professional misconduct and cancelled his registration as a dental practitioner. The tribunal also censured him and ordered he pay $22,500 in costs.


The tribunal ruled that before Zimmerman could apply for re-registration he needed to complete a course of education or training to satisfy the Dental Council of his competence to practise and his understanding of his professional obligations as a registered health practitioner.