A WALVIS Bay undercover police operation yesterday led to the arrest of a man and woman who were allegedly posing as dentists at the town.
The two have allegedly been performing dental procedures, such as fillings, braces and tooth replacements in clients’ bedrooms and living rooms at Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo.
“We are here to upgrade your smile. Fixing teeth. Fill up, straighten your teeth, we do implants, whitening, plus all dental work is done at our clinic. Don’t hesitate to call us while all prices are on special,” reads their advertisement on Facebook, without providing the location of the clinic.
Apart from the dental business, they allegedly also run a Kruger rand coin-buying business.
The two were arrested at a guest house near Ekutu open market.
The suspects have been charged with contravening the Medical and Dental Act of 2004 for unlawfully and intentionally conducting dental operations without an operating licence, and for not being registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia.
Erongo police spokesperson sergeant Anna Frans confirmed the arrests.
The couple will appear in court on Monday.
According to a police source, a female client was in the process of getting a dental filling and brackets for braces when the police arrived at the scene.
“However, they had no numbing gel or syringes. They were also not dressed in anything that shows they are dentists,” the source says.
Given Mutzai, who almost fell prey to the ‘dentists’, says he approached the duo because he wanted to replace a tooth he lost as a child.
He was introduced to the man and woman by a friend at Walvis Bay last month, he says.
“I was informed that they do tooth jewellery, but out of curiosity I asked if they also do tooth replacements. They said they could and they had a tooth ready for me. It was just not the right colour for me. It was a bit dark,” Mutzai says.
They agreed that a new tooth would be made for him, which was to be delivered on Thursday.
Mutzai says he was charged N$2 500 for the tooth and the procedure.
He then consulted a dentist friend who informed him that practising dentistry involves specialist services and cannot be performed on the street as it is illegal.
Upon obtaining this information, Mutzai decided not to go through with the procedure.
Windhoek-based dental surgeon Dr Kagiso Moloi, who is the former president of the Dental Association, yesterday confirmed that the suspects are not registered with any professional body.
“Even if they are failed dental students, in this country you need to have a licence from the Ministry of Health and Social Services. You need to have a facility. You can’t work in a bedroom,” he said.
Additionally one needs a registered practice number, which is obtained through the Medical and Dental Council.