A dentist accused of unhygienic practices including using sterilised instruments to clean his ears is to face a disciplinary hearing.
Alan Hutchinson, 51, from Batley, West Yorkshire, is understood to deny the charges and is due to appear before the General Dental Council (GDC).
He cleaned his fingernails with tools which were then mixed with sterilised equipment, the GDC claim.
Mr Hutchinson started work at the Branch Road Dental Practice in 1978.
It has been reported that Mr Hutchinson has retired. No one was available for comment at the dental practice.
Papers on the GDC's website allege: "During the period from about February 1990 to March 2006 on occasion, whilst treating patients, you used dental instruments to clean your fingernails and ears and then replaced those instruments on a tray alongside sterilised instruments.
"The dental instruments with which you cleaned your nails... were, along with other instruments on the tray, liable to be used on a patient without being re-sterilised."
The GDC papers state he failed to "take adequate steps to protect yourself, your dental nurses and your patients against the risk of cross-infection".
Mr Hutchinson is accused of being "unprofessional" and acting "contrary to the best interests of patients and dental nurses".
Mr Hutchinson's case is due to heard by the GDC's Professional Conduct Committee in London on 2 April.