The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC) has seized a significant amount of dental equipment from a man who appears to have been practising dentistry illegally. The equipment and material seized may not have been cleaned or sterilized properly and much of it may not meet Health Canada standards.
CDSBC was alerted when a woman who said she was a patient of Tung Sheng Wu (also known as David Wu) complained about the treatment she received from him. The College determined he was not a registered dentist and hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance at a residence on Southwood Street in Burnaby.
The investigation provided evidence that Mr. Wu was practising dentistry illegally. CDSBC sought a court order to enter the premises to gather evidence to obtain an injunction to stop him practising and to confiscate any dental equipment and supplies. CDSBC investigators and the RCMP entered the residence on May 29, 2013 and found a dental office in a bedroom, along with approximately 1,500 client files.
Mr. Wu’s dental practice did not meet CDSBC’s requirements for infection prevention and control. Fraser Health Authority is issuing a health alert and recommending that anyone who has been treated by Mr. Wu get tested for Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Mr. Wu may have been practising as far back as the 1990s. Prior to the Burnaby location, he operated out of a residence in Port Moody.
While its primary role is to monitor the conduct and competence of its registrants, CDSBC will also take action to protect the public from illegal practitioners. The illegal practice of dentistry presents a risk to public health and safety because there are no assurances that the practitioner is appropriately trained or competent to provide the services of a dentist.
Members of the public can use CDSBC’s online directory of dentists to check that their dentist is registered to practise in B.C.
Mr. Wu allegedly relied on word-of-mouth referrals, specifically within the Chinese-Canadian community.