A Facebook post by a local dentist shines a light on the current trend of getting low-cost, fake braces for fashion and the dangerous consequences of getting them from unqualified individuals
Last week, Selangor-based Azila Mohd Kasim, who is an actual dentist, took to her Facebook profile to share a harrowing ordeal a woman from Johor suffered. She got herself a pair of fake braces, to follow in the footsteps of her colleagues.
The idea behind the fake braces was to look cute for Instagram. However, the "just for show" look not only cost the woman dearly, it also caused a great deal of discomfort.
Azila revealed that while the woman's colleagues got their fake braces done by an Instagram dentist for RM220, she found someone claiming to be a "dentist", who offered to do it for RM190
Excited at having scored such a sweet deal, the woman agreed to his proposal and fixed an appointment for him to come to her house to install the braces.
According to the actual dentist, the woman said that her mouth was initially washed with an unidentified blue liquid that was painful before having the braces installed.
After a week, the woman realised something was not right.
Her face had swollen and her lips were filled with pus. However, when she spoke about her condition to the "dentist", he told her to not worry, saying it "was normal."
As the photo below shows, the woman's condition was certainly not "normal". Dr Azila revealed that the woman's swollen mouth soon began to sprout pus-filled blisters.
As the incident occurred over the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, the woman had to suffer through her pain and fever for a full three days before going to a private clinic to have the braces removed
At the private clinic, she was charged RM650 for the removal process.
"It's good for us private dentists to earn more, but think about it, for a fashion statement of worth RM190, she now had to pay RM650 and suffer so much pain," Dr Azila wrote.
Following the removal of the fake braces, doctors at the private clinic took a sample of the woman's blood. The lab results showed that the braces had caused bacterial infection and rampant germs throughout the woman's body, Dr Azila revealed.
Aside from raising awareness about dubious individuals posing as "dentists", Dr Azila also advised the public to report such unscrupulous practitioners who put people's lives in danger
Dr Azila advised people to report these individuals to the Ministry of Health (KKM).
"Please all, if there is a case about medical/Dental/pharmacy or anything related to KKM, please make a complaint. If we don't report, KKM won't know," she wrote.
She also shared an example of how one can write a simple complaint:
'I would like to make a complaint about a dental treatment conducted by an individual named ___________ that is at the location ___________.
I believe that he/she is not a certified dentist, unregistered and non-licensed with MDC but he/she is arbitrarily giving dental treatment to clients.
I ask KKM to investigate my complaint because I am worried that there are irregularities and lies that may happen in the premise that is done by a non-qualified individual.'
In October 2017, a young woman who simply learned dentistry from YouTube was sentenced to six months of jail for practising without legitimate qualifications: