This post is informative and relates to this video
This transcript has been automatically generated through an Abode system from a PDF and may have some errors on it. The original was sent to Dr Mew from the BOS on 31st March 18
Background. At the British Orthodontic Conference a meeting was convened at which Dr Mew was unanimously suspended for the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) for comments made on the first video “Beyond the teeth”. It was stated that unless Dr Mew could provide a written response, validating all the comments in the video, which satisfied the council members, he would then be expelled. Dr Mew repeatedly responded asking for details of the allegations without success, until the GDC contacted him, as the BOS had also reported Dr Mew to the GDC for the same video. At this point Dr Mew contacted his indemnity society who pushed the BOS into the response below, at which point the BOS chose to include details on a number of other videos in addition to the original one.
Dr Mew’s legal representatives feel that if several of these accusations are upheld he is very likely to lose his license to practice. Dr Mew feels that this is a philosophical debate which highlights the current differences between mainstream and non-mainstream orthodontics and such debates should be held in scientific not legal forums.
Investigatory Report : Dr Michael Gordon Mew
GDC Registration Number- 69138
- I have been instructed by the Board of the British Orthodontic Society (“BOS”) to carry out an investigation into the conduct of Dr Michael Gordon Mew (“Dr Mew”) arising from a number of social media posts that have been published in the field of Orthodontics and which purport to advertise his practice called Orthodontic Health Limited trading as Orthotropics.
- I am the Chair of the Ethics Committee of BOS and an experienced Orthodontist. I am
Consultant Orthodontist at Royal Derby Hospital and a former President of BOS. I have 29 years’ experience as a Consultant Orthodontist.
- 3. In carrying out this investigation, I have kept an open mind and I have based my findings on the social media postings made by Dr Mew from September 2017 to I have not considered all of the social media activity by Dr Mew but have listed below the video recordings that I have watched and postings I have seen in this matter.
The British Orthodontic Society
- The British Orthodontic Society (“BOS”) is a charity which strives to promote the study and practice of orthodontics, to maintain and improve professional standards in orthodontics and to encourage research and education in orthodontics. In doing so, BOS seeks to improve the quality of dental care for the benefit of patients. The charity’s ultimate beneficiaries are therefore patients, and benefits to patients are provided through the advancement of knowledge, practice and standards in the
- The British Orthodontic Society is governed by the rules and regulations set down in its company Memorandum and Articles of Association, originally dated 14 January 1999 and updated subsequently with the last update agreed at the BOS AGM 22 September 2012.
- Membership of BOS is not a requirement for orthodontists but many orthodontists choose to join our All Orthodontists are registered with the General Dental Council.
- The purpose of this report is to investigate concerns raised by members of the society that Dr Mew has behaved in a way that essentially amounts to misconduct and I has brought the orthodontic profession into disrepute by making a number of misleading, inaccurate statements about his skills, experience and the treatment that he can offer to patients.
- Dr Mew is an experienced Orthodontist and practices in Purley in Surrey. He has a large online media presence and has undertaken a number of lectures on Orthotropics which is something which was developed by Dr Mew’s father, DrJohn Mew. Dr John Mew was erased from the register of the General Dental Council in December 2017. In undertaking this investigation, I have focussed solely on the conduct of Dr Michael Mew and not that of his father.
Action taken by BOS to date
- Dr Michael Mew was suspended in September 2017 under Article 17 of BOS’ Articles of Association which read –
“The Executive may suspend any member whose conduct in its opinion is contrary to the interests of the Society, or who fails to comply with these Articles or with the
Rules and Bye-Laws“
- The conduct leading to suspension arose from a video that Dr Mew posted on Social Media which the BOS were concerned had, or could have the potential to mislead patients or cause harm.
- The video was posted to YouTube on 6 September 2017 and to Dr Mew’s YouTube Channel which contains a link to his clinic, Orthodontic Health Limited in Purley in Surrey.
Action post suspension
- On 16 November 2017, Dr Mew wrote to BOS to ask for further information about the conduct and requested that BOS should “ quote the very words” that he used which caused offence. The purpose of this report is to provide Dr Mew with the requested information.
Issues that have arisen since suspension
- At the time of his suspension, Dr Mew was requested to remove the video in question but he has chosen not to do
- Additionally, since Dr Mew’s suspension, Dr Mew has posted a number of additional videos to his YouTube account I his Channel which will also be considered in this report and which are a cause of concern.
- In producing this report, I wish to make it clear that neither I nor anyone at BOS has any issue with a member raising concerns or putting forward evidence-based suggestions to improve orthodontic care in the United BOS and its members welcome research and scientific evidence which will improve the lives of orthodontic patients and improve care.
Although they have yet to engage me in any debate on the aetiology of malocclusion which would have considerable bearing on the accusations’ below, most of the videos discuss this issue.
The General Dental Council Standards
- As an Orthodontist, Dr Mew is subject to the General Dental Council Standards.
- The relevant standards that apply to Dr Mew’s alleged conduct are set out below
1.2 “You must treat every patient with dignity and respect at all times”
1.2.1 You should be aware of how your tone of voice and body language might be perceived.
1.2.2 You should take patients’ preferences into account and be sensitive to their individual needs and values.
1.2.3 You must treat patients with kindness and compassion.
1.2.4 You should manage patients’ dental pain and anxiety appropriately
1.3 “You must be honest and act with integrity”
You must justify the trust that patients, the public and your colleagues place in you by always acting honestly and fairly in your dealings with them. This applies to any business or education activities in which you are involved as well as to your professional dealings.
You must make sure you do not bring the profession into disrepute.
You must make sure that any advertising, promotional material or other information that you produce is accurate and not misleading, and complies with the GDC’s guidance on ethical advertising
7.1 You must provide good quality care based on current evidence and authoritative guidance
You must find out about current evidence and best practice which affect your work, premises, equipment and business and follow them.
If you deviate from established practice and guidance, you should record the reasons why and be able to justify your decision
7.2 You must work within your knowledge. skills. professional competence and abilities
You must only carry out a task or a type of treatment if you are appropriately trained, competent, confident and indemnified. Training can take many different forms. You must be sure that you have undertaken training which is appropriate for you and equips you with the appropriate knowledge and skills to perform a task safely.
You should only deliver treatment and care if you are confident that you have had the necessary training and are competent to do so. If you are not confident to provide treatment, you must refer the patient to an appropriately trained colleague
Dr Mew’s YouTube Channel
- Dr Mew’s YouTube Channel can be found as follows
- In addition, the YouTube Channel connects to Dr Mew’s clinic’s Facebook Account to which he also posts the YouTube In addition to the videos on Facebook, Dr Mew’s clinic posts a number of public postings.
- In conducting this investigation, I have viewed a series of YouTube videos posted by Dr
Mew on YouTube and to his own YouTube Channel and social media posts as follows
|DATE||TITLE||VIEWS||SUMMMARY OF CONTENT||DESCRIPTION|
|4962||Interview with Dr Mew, his father and Dr Steven Lin||Subject of Dr Mew’s suspension|
|V Log 17,10,24
Getting a Bit
|4079||Comment on suspension from BOS, father’s suspension from GDC and earnings|
|The Abs Walk||18,466||Advice on how to improve your|
|Mark you may well die a decade early and this is preventable; by Dr Mike Mew||11,239||Advice to Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook from photographs of his face|
|Taylor Swift, Facial and Dental Analysis by Dr Mike – with a purpose||5,453||Advice to Taylor Swift from a photograph of her face|
|28/09/2017||A Response to Mark
whether there is evidence
|Preventing Children from Needing Orthodontic Treatment in the Future||2,331||Suggesting that orthodontic problems may be avoided or reduced by baby led weaning|
|27/09/2017||Treatment of Patient
(see BOS letter of 16
|7,404||Patient with breathing problem|
|09/09/2017||Treatment of Patient
2 (see BOS letter of
16 October 2017)
|2981||Orthotropic journey- Sam’s video diary 1,2 &3|
Summary Potential Misconduct
My investigation was confined to the reviewing of the above material. There are a vast quantity of videos on Dr Mew’s YouTube Channel and Facebook account and it has not been possible to screen them.
I had a number of concerns about Dr Mew when I viewed his videos and postings. I was expecting Dr Mew’s methods to be rather unorthodox and approached the materials with an open mind. Having reviewed his postings and videos I have grave concerns about Dr Mew’s fitness to practise and it is important that Dr Mew engages with BOS so that the Board can understand the reasons for his conduct.
From the videos, Dr Mew appears to offer advice to patients and the public which has no scientific basis. Whilst on occasions, Dr Mew has stated openly that orthotropics is a system which needs a huge amount of research, he certainly seems to utilise social media and YouTube to induce patients to come to him for treatment. He openly states in his YouTube video “A reply to Mark Werthheimer” – “ I‘m not here to defend it, clearly I advertise the system to get patients to come and see me”. There are links on the YouTube account to his practice and in some of the videos such as the Mark Zuckerberg video he specifically asks Mr Zuckerberg to come and see him.
As well as providing what appears on occasions to be inaccurate advice, Dr Mew seems to stray into an area of medicine for which he seemingly has no experience such as orthopaedics, and paediatrics.
On other occasions, Dr Mew’s comments appear to be highly offensive including reference to patients as “ugly” and offering advice from photographs to celebrities giving diagnoses based on their photographs.
I thought that in fairness to Dr Mew the most sensible way forward was to draft a number of specific allegations and invite him to respond in writing. This will enable Dr Mew to put forward a very clear explanation for his conduct and allow the Board to take this into account in considering further action (if any). I know that Dr Mew is now represented by Hempsons Solicitors and will no doubt be able to take advice on his response to the allegations.
Having reviewed the evidence listed in the table above, I have drafted the following allegations to which I would ask Dr Mew to respond in writing.
- In a videoposted to his YouTube Channel on 61
September, Dr Mew made the following comments –
(a) “Yes I think that most orthodontists are still focussing on the alignment of the teeth and not the health of the face” A slight miss quote.
(b) Dr Mew’s father stated “I think that that most orthodontists aren‘t aware that incorrect treatment can actually change and possibly even damage the facial appearance so it’s become much more important over recent years as people are generally becoming much more concerned about how they look” You agreed stating “Yes I think that they are going beyond concerns of how their teeth look to how their face looks”
(c) “Before we could have straight teeth or teeth could be moved, people didn‘t think about having their teeth moved or straightened but now it becomes apparent that you can influence facial growth”
(d) Dr Mew’s father stated “I do think that you should look at this example behind me of how orthodontics can actually damage or improve faces there are plenty of examples. Many of the public can‘t imagine that merely moving the teeth will have much effect on the face but it undoubtedly can and does” Dr Mewagreed and replied “Yeh I think we need to expand a little on moving teeth”‘
The above statements were (i) misleading (ii) inaccurate (iii) deliberately misleading (iv) without scientific evidence (v) made to induce others to undertake treatment with you I your clinic (vi) bring orthodontics into disrepute.
Allegation 2 :
- In a videoposted to his YouTube Channel on 6th September Dr Mew suggested that the optimum time for treating patients was at the age of 5 or 6. Dr Mew made the following comments –
(a) “If a patient walks into my office over the age of 8 they‘re into the area where it‘s going to be compromise – it depends on how hard they work“
(b) “If someone comes in at aged 5, 6 I can almost get a complete correction.
(c) “If someone comes in younger I can give them advice on how they can correct themselves”
The above statements were (i) misleading (ii) inaccurate (iii) deliberately misleading (iv) without scientific evidence (v) made to induce others to undertake treatment with you I your clinic (vi) were potentially harmful to patients or potential patients
- 1n a video posted to his YouTube Channel on 16 October 2017, Dr Mew gave the impression that children with crooked teeth were more likely to be less intelligent, were unable to breathe through their nose, were full of allergies, were more likely to have conditions of the gut and behavioural problem as well as sleep Dr Mew made or agreed with the following statements –
(a) “ We are going to talk about some areas for intervention as well – we‘re talking about sleep apnoea”
(b) Dr Lin replied “ Well exactly so the patients that we’re seeing so the kids that can’t breathe though their nose, they are full of allergies, and these are reverberating
to far more conditions in the gut, conditions with their sleep, conditions with their behaviour unfortunately”. Dr Michael Mew replied “ Yes intelligence” and “the intelligence of your child through the rest of its life“
The above statements were (i) misleading (ii) inaccurate (iii) deliberately misleading (iv) without scientific evidence (v) made to induce others to undertake treatment with you I your clinic (vi) were potentially harmful to patients (v) unprofessional (vi) offensive
The quotation seem somewhat ambiguous, it appears that MM is referring to the effects of sleep apnea not crooked teeth.
- In a video posted to his YouTube Channel on 16 October 2017, Dr Mew gave the impression that children with straight teeth were better looking and children with crooked teeth were worst looking and that those children with good health were good looking with straight teeth
(a) Dr Mew’s father commented “I think simply put if the face grows correctly and you start treatment you can fairly reliably promise that if you start correctly all your other problems will go and you‘ll have a good looking child with good health and that is what most people really want and we have to be careful not to get side tracked into too many of the other issues that will go with thaf’ Dr Mew appears to agree with this and his reply is- “We balance good looking and healthy faces which is the same thing. Saying people’s faces are good looking is an emotive thing. Sometimes doesn’t come across well particularly if you have a child that doesn’t have a nice-looking face”
(b) Dr Lin says “But as you say the idea of health and the idea of being good looking
go hand in hand’. Dr Mew replies “It’s the same. It’s the same thing- it’s just a different view of the same thing …. /like John Flutters comment when he sees someone with crooked teeth he knows they are not healthy”
(c) Dr Lin states “we can see exactly what’s happening throughout the body just by
looking at the mouth” Dr Mew’s reply “yes”
The above statements were (i) misleading (ii) inaccurate (iii) deliberately misleading (iv) without scientific evidence (v) made to induce others to undertake treatment with you I your clinic (vi) were potentially harmful to patients (v) unprofessional (vi) offensive
- In a video of 24 October 2017, Dr Mew referred to his suspension from BOS, his father’s suspension by the GDC and suggested that (i) the GDC had mishandled his father’s suspension (ii) that the salary he earns was around the same as a hygienist.
The video contained the following statements –
(a) “Dad’s suspended from the GOG so he can’t go back and work. You have actually taken someone’s livelihood away actually the GOG has taken someone’s livelihood away. The suspension was upheld because he did admit that he had done the wrong thing now I could scientifically prove that he did do the right thing but I don’t get that opportunity. You don‘t get that opportunity in court because no expert no case. You don’t have an expert stating your case you are likely to lose. The courts get bored of hearing of this evidence the devil can quote the bible I guess. Unless they hear it from an expert they are not particularly interested of
course if you don‘t have an expert you got problems really. I am also a little bit
and I have lived with this all my life the orthodontic community treat me a bit like a
leper really. You know. I am treated as wrong and unable to make my case. You know..treated like a leper I cannot make a comment without people saying there is no evidence for what I say. But I can‘t present the logic behind it. The philosophical ground behind it. I just don’t. No-one bites. Anyway yeah I had better get on ...Go and engage people in conversation ….
(b) I am working as hard as I can but I have a lot of hassle on my plate. It is really
hard work to do what I do. “I do a 10 hour day: I think it’s been a light day. I think per hour I’m probably paid like hygienist. So yeah I’d like some help really I would. Post my videos”
The statement in (a) above was (i) inaccurate (ii) misleading (iii) deliberately misleading (iv)
misled the public about the work of the General Dental Council
The statement in (b) above was (i) misleading (ii)dishonest
Dr Mew’s YouTube video shows a link to a website called Orthodontic Outrage. In post by Dr
Mew on http://www.orthodontic-outrage.com/informed-consent-prior-to-surgery/ he makes the comment below which reads-
(a) “Modern techniques such as Facial Growth Guidance and Orthotropics can avoid the need for surgery in most children. However most orthodontists and surgeons are untrained in these methods and suppress this information from their patients. They are supported in this by the General Dental Council, the body that is supposed to look after the interests of the public. As a result many patients receive major and potentially life threatening surgery quite unnecessarily”
The above statements were (i) misleading (ii) inaccurate (iii) deliberately misleading (iv) without scientific evidence (v) made to induce others to undertake treatment with Dr Mew I his clinic (vi) were potentially harmful to patients (v) unprofessional (vi) comprise advice that you are not qualified to give (vii) bring the General Dental Council into disrepute
John Mew is referring to images of facial damage on this web site, it is his site not mine and I am not responsible for all the content on the site, so that allegation is irrelevant.
On 16 February 2018 and after his suspension from BOS, Dr Mew posted a YouTube video to his YouTube Channel called “Taylor Swift Facial and Dental Analysis by Dr Mike” in the video Dr Mew analyses a photograph of the pop star Taylor Swift, which contains the following material –
(a) In the description of the video, Dr Mew wrote “ Can we help Taylor? She is a very talented star who looks great but could she look better and might her previous orthodontics be putting her upper front teeth at risk?“
(b) Dr Mew stated -“Taylor …we’ve got to work on our body and oral posture and function. Specifically we look at the combination of mewing and the abs walk. But the general space improvements we can make. My concern would be. Taylor, if you are watching this is if you have fixed retainers or you put retainers in at night, you are effectively holding your teeth forward out of your balance zone. We know that the teeth the bones and the gum sit in the balance zone and if you change this artificially with orthodontics that’s fine its made the teeth straight but now you are holding it there with the retainer. So, you are holding the teeth out of the balance zone in time
if you are not careful and you continue that swallow pattern and your posture the bone and gums will want to return to that balance zone leaving the teeth out of the balance zone so I would watch the gum and bone level on your upper front teeth. That would be my concern my actual, acute concern for you anyway all the best love your music“
In the video Dr Mew recommended treatment for Taylor Swift as a patient which was (a) not requested (b) for which there was no evidence-based diagnosis (c) no clinical indication.
On 12 January 2018, Dr Mew posted a video to his YouTube Channel for Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook. The video was entitled “Mark you may well die a decade early and this is preventable; by Dr Mike Mew” This post was viewed 11,239 times. In the post, Dr
Mew states “you need to know these messages” and he made the following statement –
(a) “Almost everyone who uses one of these will get worse, worse, worse” [referring to sleep apnoea treatments]
(b) Dr Mew diagnosed Mark Zuckerman with sleep apnoea and stated that the treatments do not work (not sure that this is true).
(c) Dr Mew recommended- “ The alternative come and see me or talk to me”
(d) “I believe I am getting with best facial changes in adults yet achieved“
(e) “I am also certainly in my opinion getting the best facial changes upswing in facial form in young children. I mean my results are outstanding yeah they are outstanding”
(f) “I am not meaning to be rude I am a doctor I am here to help people. I am here to make people better“
(g) “I presented in Philadelphia and I said to people that I thought 10 per cent of people over 60 in North America and probably Western Europe are doing to die
10 years earlier because of sleep apnoea and its consequences”
(h) “I could tip that scale for everyone else on the planet”
The diagnosis of Mark Zuckerberg’s alleged sleep apnoea was (i) inappropriate (ii)
irresponsible (iii) unprofessional (iv) inaccurate (v)without clinical evidence
The statements in (a) (d) (e) (f) (g) and (h) were (i) inaccurate (ii) misleading (iii) deliberately misleading (iv) made to induce others to attend Dr Mew’s clinic
On 10 November 2017 Dr Mew posted a video to his YouTube Channel entitled “The Abs Walk” which had 18,466 views. In the video, Dr Mew appears to give the suggestion that he is qualified to help patients to improve posture and abdominal muscles –
(a) “ Someone with good head and neck posture is far less likely to have sleep apnoea.
We know people with sleep apnoea tend to usually gain calories, to gain pounds” (b) “This goes way beyond orthodontics and I do this for greatly the benefit of the world
and trying to get a message out there because I think it is important to get that....a lot
of people follow me”.
(c) During the video, Dr Mew shows of a group of black men appearing to be slaves and chained by the neck and uses the words “A shameful history without question but these guys have got great abs” and “I bet you that they have never been down the gym and they have never done a single sit up they are just naturally like that“
The slave issue is discussed (see the replies to the comment highlighted via this link) in the discussion below. These are Australian Aboriginals, not slaves, there was no history of slavery in Australia that I am aware of. There were, however, not always treated well which I elude to in my comments.
The statement in (a) above is (i) inaccurate (ii) misleading (iii) not an area of medicine on which Dr Mew is qualified to advise patients
The statement in (c) above was (i) unprofessional (ii) offensive
On 23/03/2017 , Dr Mew posted a video to his YouTube entitled “Preventing Children from
Needing Orthodontic Treatment in the Future” In the video Dr Mew suggested that orthodontic problems may be avoided or reduced by baby led weaning. He also suggested a means of aiding a choking baby that is contrary to the recommended paediatric guidelines.
In the video Dr Mew made the following remarks-
(a) “babies should go from breast or bottle to something solid. Try not to give them soft food”
(b) “Give them hard food…Also large lumps of hard food – at this age it is very difficult to choke- their hyoid hasn’t dropped and if she (the baby) does take something on
board that causes her to choke, right now, it’s very easy to turn her upside down and give her a sharp smack on the back”
The statements in (a) & (b) above are (i)inaccurate (ii) misleading (iii) not an area of medicine on which Dr Mew is qualified to advise patients (iv) Dr Mew’s advice has the potential to cause harm or death to a baby
This is the concept of BLW (Baby Led Weaning), these are controversial issues but well discussed in other groups, suggesting no net increase in choking. Also this video was posted some time before initial allegation was raised.
This video is a taped discussion with a patient who is complaining of breathing issues. The consultation has a general direction of outlining a treatment plan but throughout the consultation Mr Mew appears to attempt to exaggerate the symptoms. At 1.2 he states that ENT treatment philosophy is symptomatic and implies that it does not relate to the cause of a problem. Importantly, at 3.20 the patient states that his resting oxygen saturation was 85%. It is submitted that if the oxygen saturation is below 90% this is defined as critical and the patient should be seen by a medical practitioner. (British Thoracic Society guideline for oxygen use in Adults in Healthcare and Emergency Settings.) Mr Mew appeared to find this amusing and did not immediately address this problem. He suggested that at course of orthodontic treatment would be provided. This would take several months.
(i) The statements regarding the ENT treatment are not in an area of medicine on which Dr Mew is qualified to advise patients.
(ii) Dr Mew’s video was misleading and had the potential to cause harm to patients
Fred is currently under the care of an ENT department, and is very unhappy with the treatment provided.
On 6th September 2017 Dr Mew posted the first part of a video diary, there were two follow up videos posted on 27th September and 4th October
(if the last link does not work try here)
These are a series of videos showing a patient who is having treatment to improve the function of his face.
(i) This type of care recommended by Dr Mew is not based on evidence
(ii) The type of care recommended by Dr Mew breaches GDC standard 7.1.1.
(iii) The video concerned a vulnerable patient who is being treated unnecessarily. (iv) The treatment is inconsistent with Dr Mew’s other statements that you cannot
change the face after 8-10 years old.
(v) The video is (a) misleading (b) untrue and (c) Dr Mew displayed conduct which is unprofessional and I or irresponsible
The case is progressing very nicely with clear and obvious upswing in facial form. Stunning really.
It is important that the Board does not pre-judge Dr Mew. Although there is a great deal of video evidence which, on the face of it, looks concerning, it is important that Dr Mew is given the opportunity to put forward his explanations, his experience and views.
Dr Mew should be asked to provide a response to all of the comments in this report and in particular the allegations that have been set out above.
The response should initially be provided in detail and in writing. I would suggest that Dr Mew is given two weeks in which to provide a written response. A written response will ensure that the board of BOS fully understand Dr Mew’s position and that there are no misunderstandings.
Thereafter consideration should be given to oral representations from Dr Mew. This will enable the Board to ask further questions about his written response.
If Dr Mew can satisfactorily respond to the allegations, he will need to have his suspension lifted.
Dr Alison Murray
Chair of Ethics, British Orthodontic Society
28 March 2018
This document has been automatically transcribed by Adobe software which may have caused some minor inaccuracies.