Illegal ‘dental school’ raided

KUALA LUMPUR: “I know it is wrong but I see many people doing it, so what’s the problem if I want to look for pocket money?” says a beautician who had her centre busted for allegedly offering illegal dentistry services and training.

Acting on The Star’s tip-off, a team of enforcers from the Health Ministry raided the beautician’s hair salon in Setapak yesterday and confiscated dental probes, dental fillings and nickel-titanium wire that is commonly used for braces.

The authorities also confiscated a desktop that has records of certificates believed to have been issued to those who came for various illegal courses including veneer, whitening drip and platelet-rich plasma injections.

Health Ministry dental officer Dr Taufik Firdaus – who acted as the lead raiding officer – said a preliminary investigation found that the beautician, who denied having any helper, was not registered with the Malaysian Dental Council.

The small cockroach-infested premises that she was operating from was also found to be unregistered. The raid took four and a half hours.

“We received a complaint ... that the premises has been providing illegal dental treatments, hence we conducted our investigation before the raid.

“We found dental materials that can be used as evidence. The case will be charged under Section 4(1) of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act,” Dr Taufik told the media after the raid.

Section 4(1) states that no person shall establish, maintain, operate or provide a private medical clinic or private dental clinic unless it is registered under Section 27.

The Star in July reported about the same premises that was found to have been providing a handful of dental courses before issuing worthless certificates to its “students”.

The short courses, mostly just a few hours long and ranging between RM1,500 and RM3,000, also provided students with a starter kit to help them kickstart their own business including mobile dental services.

The Star’s journalist who attended this beautician’s veneer course was given, among others, a polishing gadget, veneer composite, LED light, bonding agent, etchant gel, mouth retractor and other instruments, some of which are only sanctioned for use by medical practitioners.

Meanwhile, the 36-year-old beautician, who remained calm during the operation, claimed that she acquired her skills from an Indonesian woman who also provided a one-day course.

“Locals are not that skilful, so I went to her class in Danau Murni, Taman Desa in Kuala Lumpur. It cost me about RM3,600 for a day course.

“After that, I set up my own business because there were a lot of requests. Also, many are doing it (providing veneer services) so I tried it myself just so that I could earn money as a single mother.

“I know it is wrong, but many are doing it, so what’s the issue if I want to look for pocket money?” she said, adding that she was doing it as a part-time job.

She admitted to giving her students a “participatory certificate” upon finishing their courses.

“The certificates are for those who wish to learn ... I will assess them when they learn and see if they can do it,” she said.

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