Jaw-dropping prices but reality bites

PETALING JAYA: Not only do they offer their services at the fraction of the cost of normal dentists, quacks on social media are even offering special discounts.

A quick search on Instagram and Facebook showed that orthodontic treatment such as fixing braces cost below RM1,000.

The Star sent a Whatsapp message to one of the numbers provi­ded in an Instagram account which showed that getting a full set of braces would cost about RM850 compared to anything between RM4,000 and RM8,000 at a genuine clinic.

When contacted, the operator said he was having a special promotion.

Questionable repute: A calling card detailing services offered by an unlicensed dentist.

“Now I have a promotion, RM700, together with teeth whitening,” said the man who wished to be known as Kamal.

He asked for a snapshot of the upper and lower set of the patient’s teeth over the handphone so he could assess the treatment needed.

After that, he asked for a bank deposit of RM100 before he would reveal his location.

The purported treatment is to take place today (Friday) at his home somewhere in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, and would be done by a woman.

“It is okay, sis, all the equipment is here. You just show up,” he said.

He said once the braces were fitted, the writer would need to come for whitening service, which cost RM50 for the upper and lower teeth.

Asked about the payment, Kamal said the balance would be settled once the braces were fitted.

Checks on social media showed some illegal operators providing house calls for the treatments, with an additional charge, of course.

All one has to do is type the hashtag #bracesmurah and scores of Instagram accounts featuring such services will appear.

There are even fake dental bra­ces, teeth whitening and teeth trainers for sale, with some claiming that these trainers can help straighten teeth within a few months.

The Star also reached out to another Instagram account selling teeth trainers for only RM29.

When contacted, a soft spoken woman said she too wears the trainer and had her teeth straightened within a few months.

All one had to do was to bank in RM29 with an additional postage services fee of between RM7 and RM10 to have the trainers deli­vered.

There are two types of trainers, one used for phase one – for over a period of five months for beginners, and the second phase is for maintenance.

“If you buy both phase one and two, it will be cheaper, only RM60.

“If you buy it separately, it will be RM29 for the first phase and RM39 for the second one,” said the wo­­man who identified herself as Nisa.

“The product is from the United States but we have a local supplier here.

“You need to wear it when you go to sleep. It will be painful in the beginning but you will get used to it.

“It will make your teeth straight,” said Nisa.

Apart from Instagram and Facebook, YouTube also has videos which shows how one can put bra­ces on.

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 after watching the procedure on YouTube.



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