MOH views seriously issue of illegal dental practioners

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Health (MOH) views seriously the issue of illegal dental practitioners which has become increasingly prevalent in offering cosmetic dentistry services, such as installation of braces and dental veneers.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today said the ministry was also concerned that the public were unaware that those offering the services were not qualified dentists, and that they were attracted merely because the services were offered at a relatively low price.

"The MOH would like to remind the public to be wary of the risks that come with availing the services of illegal dental practitioners.

"The adverse effects or complications that may occur are pain, infections, mouth ulcers, loose teeth, unusual movement of teeth, dental caries, tooth loss, as well as gum abscess," he said.

Noor Hisham said worse still was the risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis, as the equipment used were not disinfected properly after each use.

He said the ministry had been deluged with complaints from customers who experienced complications or adverse effects from the services offered by those illegal dental practitioners.

"This includes making dentures, scaling, and tooth whitening," he said.

Noor Hisham said that tooth whitening products (with acid concentration of less than 0.01%) were openly sold in the market and they may be self-applied by consumers.

However, dental procedures that use tooth whitening products exceeding the prescribed concentration, should only be carried out by qualified dental practitioners registered with the Malaysian Dental Council under the Dental Act 1971 and run services in health premises registered under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998, he explained.

Those with information regarding suspicious activities by dental practitioners are urged to make an official complaint to the ministry's Oral Health Division by calling 03-88834215 or email at ohd@moh.gov.my, to enable enforcement and legal action to be taken against the perpetrators.

He said since 2015, a total of 46 complaints had been received relating to illegal dental practitioners, with 18 cases had been brought to court.

In the latest case in Johor on March 30, 2017, he said, the accused was fined a maximum of RM300,000 in default three months' jail.

"The MOH urges the public to get dental treatment only at government or registered private dental clinics carried out by a qualified dental practitioner," he said.

The registration status of dental practitioners can be checked on the Malaysian Dental Council's website at mdc.moh.gov.my or dpims.moh.gov.my. — Bernama