Illegal Dentistry, a Worrying Trend
Illegal dentistry is a problem in the United States, where the Office of the Surgeon General recently estimated that around 108 million children and adults are forced to use poorly trained and under-qualified ‘dentists’ due to a shortage of qualified dental professionals.
It seems that the trend is now spreading to the UK, where we’re seeing more and more reports in local and national press, of people setting up dodgy operations in their homes and carrying out dental work for which they possess no official qualifications.
Take the case of Dawlish, UK resident, Mr. Steven Sickelmore, who was recently convicted of operating a denture supply and fitting business out of a room in his house. The pictures, published in the local and national press, exposed an amateurish and unsanitary working environment that was an accident waiting to happen.
Also consider Colorado, US-based dentist, Dr. Stephen Stein, who is currently under investigation for reusing needles for patients receiving IV sedation. All the certifications were in place, but his illegal acts were putting patients at risk for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, all for minor financial benefit.
The trend doesn’t seem to be dissipating, as Ali Cook from the Dental News Network uncovered some chilling details about illegal dentistry in Nevada, USA in an April, 2012 broadcast.
Surfacing lately, there are specific sites dedicated to listing registered, qualified professionals, like http://dentureprofessionals.org.uk/. Websites like these can help patients ensure they’re heading into a safe dental environment.
Why do you think illegal dentistry is a reoccurring problem, and how do we prevent unlicensed or unqualified “dentists” from performing healthcare procedures at the risk of their patients?