Stay away from illegal, quack dentists, warns Health Ministry

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry today expressed concern over the widespread number of illegal dental practitioners offering cosmetic dental services such as fixing of braces and dental veneers.


Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement today, said from 2015 until today, a total of 46 complaints have been received on illegal dental practitioners, of which 18 cases have been successfully brought to court.


“In the latest case in Johor on March 30, the accused was fined a maximum RM300,000 or three months’ jail.


“Those with information on such illegal practitioners are urged to lodge a formal complaint with the ministry’s dental health division, so as to ensure enforcement and stern legal action can be taken,” he said.


Dr Noor Hisham also noted the ministry has been receiving numerous complaints from consumers who have experienced complications or side effects from unprofessional services offered by the illegal practitioners, which included the making of dentures, scaling and tooth whitening.


He stated that tooth whitening products sold openly in the market, with an acidic concentration of less than 0.01 per cent, can be self-applied by the public.


However, dental procedures which use whitening products exceeding the permitted concentration, have to be carried out by a certified dental practitioner who is registered with the Malaysian Dental Council and operates his or her services at a registered health premises under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.


“We would like to remind the public to be alert on the risks of acquiring the services of uncertified illegal dental practitioners.


“The side effects and complications that could occur are pain, infection, mouth ulcers, loose teeth, unusual teeth movement, caries, loss of teeth, as well as swollen gums and gums with puss,” he said, adding that there was also the high risk of being infected with the HIV virus and Hepatitis due to inadequate disinfecting of dental tools.


“Please get your dental treatment at registered government or private dental clinics, by certified dental practitioners,” he said.


The public can call 03-88834215 or email the ministry at ohd@moh.gov.my to lodge formal complaints on illegal dental practitioners.


The registration of dental practitioners, meanwhile, can be checked at the Malaysian Dental Council’s website at mdc.moh.gov.my or dpims.moh.gov.my.