BC Health Alert: Unlicensed dentist puts patients at risk

This message was just issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia on behalf of the Provincial Health Officer and the Fraser Health Authority.

August 8, 2013

Health-care Provider Alert – IMPORTANT

A recent investigation undertaken by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC) has identified an individual practising dentistry without a licence. Tung Sheng Wu (also known as David Wu) was providing dental treatments in Burnaby and Port Moody, BC, from the 1990s to May 28, 2013.

Fraser Health Authority (FHA) and the CDSBC have determined that clients who received dental care from this person may have been exposed to inadequately sterilized dental instruments putting them at risk for blood borne pathogen infection. The overall risk of patient-to-patient transmission in licensed dental offices is rare, but transmission of blood borne infections has occurred. Poor infection control practices by this individual increases the risk for his clients. The equipment and materials used in the dental surgery did not meet Health Canada standards.

Fraser Health Authority is recommending that all clients of this person get testing for Hepatitis B, C and HIV (HBsAg, anti-HCV, and HIV). Letters of notice to known addresses have been sent and public announcements have been issued as there may be additional clients for whom there is no record. Fraser Health Authority is asking any patient of Mr. Wu to call its Hotline so that they can provide them with information about the investigation and testing. It is anticipated that the majority of clients are from the Lower Mainland, but some may now be living across the province.

Clients will either be provided a laboratory requisition directly from public health, or provided with information to bring to their health-care provider to arrange testing and follow-up. Health-care providers are also encouraged to call the Hotline if they have questions about the investigation or to report a patient who has been a client of Mr. Wu. Health-care cards are not required to access this testing.

Fraser Health Authority expects that it will identify new cases of Hepatitis B, C and HIV that may or may not be related to this exposure. It will initiate the usual public health follow-up of these cases and refer these cases back to their health-care provider for further assessment. This may cause a temporary increase in the number of newly identified patients with HBV, HCV or HIV that require clinical care. Health-care providers with questions about their patients’ test results or follow-up should call their local public health unit.

If testing has been arranged through public health, individuals with negative test results will receive a letter indicating that they do not require any further follow-up. All positive results will be followed up by public health as usual.

Further information about this investigation can be found at http://www.fraserhealth.ca.

Any questions regarding this process should be directed to the toll-free Hotline at

Questions about the investigation or about dental work done by Mr. Wu should be directed to the College of Dental Surgeons of BC at 1-800-663-9169.

Categories: Health

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