Fake dentists putting lives of patients at stake, Malaysian Dental Association warns

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) has issued a warning that dental treatment carried out by ‘fake dentists’ could increase the risk of morbidity or even death in a patient. The issue of fake dentistry came to light recently when an individual who reportedly learned to carry out orthodontic treatment from video sharing site YouTube, was arrested and subsequently released after a crowdfunding exercise.

MDA however illustrated that the repercussions of being treated by uncertified dentists could lead to irreparable damage. “Among the many negative impacts of seeking services from fake dentists include complications that are not only unmanageable by the fake dentists but rendering the disease even more complicated to treat, and may incur higher cost. “Infection control is often compromised and the risks of contracting a dangerous infection such HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and probably airborne diseases such as Tuberculosis not only poses a threat to the patients but also to the fake dentists themselves,” the association said in a statement.

Being duped by the irresponsible parties put the patients at a loss for money and more importantly, their general dental health. MDA said the dental profession as a whole was saddened by the apparent lack of awareness by the general public on the seriousness of this matter, with some still resorting to seeking dental care from these unregistered (illegal) practitioners. The practice of dentistry, they added, was regulated via Act 51, Dental Act 1971, for the safety of the patients in the country.

“The general public needs to carefully look for a practitioner who is legally registered with the Malaysian Dental Council. “Any form of dental procedures should be carried out by a registered practitioner in public healthcare facilities or under a clinical environment in a premise that is registered under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998,” said the association, adding that the general public had the constitutional right to seek safe dental treatment in Malaysia.

MDA together with their stakeholders, Malaysian Private Dental Practitioners Association, Malaysian Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, Malaysian Endodontic Society, Malaysian Association of Aesthetic Dentistry, Malaysian Oral Implant Association, Malaysian Association for Prosthodontics, Malaysian Association of Paediatric Dentistry, Malaysian Orthodontic Practitioners Association and Islamic Dental Association of Malaysia have been following closely all the events and news related to the issue of practising “fake dentistry” on Malaysian citizens.

“MDA in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders are in the process in heightening public awareness through direct public engagement to educate the public on the issue of Fake Dentistry.” On Thursday, 20-year old Nur Farahanis Ezatty Adli was released from prison after serving only six days out of her six month jail term for failing to pay a court fine of RM70,000. She was fined by the sessions court in Melaka on Sept 29 for running a private dental clinic which was not registered under Section 27 of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998. The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) and the Malaysia Islamic Economic Activist Organisation, having learned of Nur Farahanis’ case through the media, decided to raise funds to help her settle the fine. Since then, many health and dental organisations have put the crowdfunding individuals under fire for seemingly backing the bogus dentist and her dental practise.