Press Digest - Rampant increase in number of bogus dentists

BOGUS dentists and illegal dental practices are getting more rampant, with eight cases of complications following visits to these quacks, reported so far this year.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is looking seriously at particularly illegal cosmetic dental procedures, Sin Chew Daily reported today.

He said more and more public members complained to the ministry of complications after seeking dental treatment from unqualified practitioners.

He warned that those who engage the services of these unqualified practitioners may not only be left with gum infection, uncontrolled teeth movement and mouth ulcers but also risk getting infected with HIV and hepatitis from the use of dental apparatuses that are not properly sterilised.

In an interview with the daily, he said it was regrettable that due to the lack of awareness, many people did not know that some of the people who offer dental service are not qualified to do so.

He said the services offered by quack dentists include orthodontic treatment (usually with braces), fitting of dentures and scaling of teeth.

According to the report, the Health Ministry has received a total of 46 reports by patients against bogus dentists since 2015: 10 in 2015; 28 in 2016; and eight so far this year.

Eighteen of these cases were brought to the courts.

In the latest case on March 30 this year, an Indonesian woman who is not a dentist was fined RM300,000 for operating a dental clinic in Johor.

He said under the Dental Act 1971, only dentists who are registered with the Malaysian Dental Council can offer dental treatment in Malaysia.

Under the act, all dental apparatuses can only be handled by qualified dentists.

Public members can refer to the ministry's website http://dpims.moh.gov.my/ for the list of registered dentists.