PETALING JAYA: A warning to those who go to unqualified people to fit dental braces – you risk contracting serious diseases.
The younger generation might think it fashionable to get braces done. But the Health Ministry has warned that those seeking the services of unqualified orthodontists to fit braces could end up being infected with HIV and hepatitis.
The illegal dentists could also be jailed and fined.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said customers could suffer uncontrolled teeth movement, loss of teeth, and swollen and pus-filled gums.
“They can be infected with HIV and hepatitis if the equipment used is not sterilised,” he said in a statement yesterday.
It was reported that a 21-year-old woman was fined RM25,000 by the Sessions Court on Tuesday for operating an illegal dental service at a hotel in Kuala Terengganu.
Nurul Nadzirah Mohd Saidi, 21, pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 27 of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998. She paid the fine.
It was reported that she learned how to perform the procedure to fix braces by watching YouTube and through friends.
Dr Noor Hisham said braces were used to align the teeth and correct imperfect jaws.
The procedure should be carried out by certified orthodontists or dentists registered with the Malaysian Dental Council. Dentists would normally refer patients needing braces to qualified experts.
But some teenagers see braces as a symbol of wealth, status and fashion. Because of the rising trend, irresponsible people have taken advantage by offering services at a low cost to those who were ignorant of the risks, he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said such illegal operations were usually carried out at places such as hotels, rest houses, beauty and spa centres, and houses.
The perpetrators also move from one place to another to avoid detection and irate customers, if things go wrong.
He also said nine cases of dentistry services provided at unregistered premises have been brought to court.
Those found guilty of providing dentistry services in unregistered premises could face a RM300,000 fine or be jailed for six months.
Those who know of such cases can call the ministry’s Oral Health Division at 03-883 4215 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.