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B.C. dental college targets two more unlicensed operators

B.C.’s dental college has revealed the names of two more people operating unlicensed dental clinics.


B.C.'s College of Dental Surgeons has released the names of two more men who it says were operating unlicensed clinics, prompting the regulatory body to take legal action against them.

The college had said in October that it was pursuing legal action against the men, but it could not release their names due to court orders. On Wednesday, the college announced the orders had been lifted and the two men are Hua Zheng Huang and Vladimir Shapoval.

Jerome Marburg, the college's registrar and chief executive officer, issued a statement that said both men came to the college's attention following its investigation of Tung Sheng Wu, also known as David Wu.

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Mr. Wu disappeared for months after his Burnaby clinic was raided in May. He had first been caught practising without a licence in 2003 and had signed a court order agreeing to stop. After he fled, he was sentenced to three months in absentia. He turned himself in to police in Toronto last month, and is now serving his time in British Columbia.

Mr. Marburg said the college first learned of Mr. Huang's clinic after a complaint from a member of the public.

The college received permission from B.C. Supreme Court to conduct a search and seizure of Mr. Huang's Vancouver residence, which it carried out in October. Several media outlets were on hand as dental equipment was removed from the home.

Mr. Marburg said Mr. Huang earlier this week agreed to a permanent injunction that prevents him from practising dentistry. Mr. Huang has never been registered as a dentist in this province.

The same is true of Mr. Shapoval, who first came to the college's attention in 2006 when a member of the public filed a complaint about him. Mr. Shapoval agreed to an order at the time that prevented him from practising dentistry.

Mr. Marburg said the college, following the investigation of Mr. Wu, decided to follow up on past injunctions and reviewed Mr. Shapoval's file as a result.

He said investigators conducted surveillance of Mr. Shapoval's Coquitlam home and collected evidence that he was again performing dentistry. His clinic was also raided in October. The matter is due back in court early next year.

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Mr. Marburg said both clinics did not meet the infection control standards of licensed dentists, but some efforts at infection control were made. He said health officials have determined a public health alert – like the one that was issued after Mr. Wu's clinic was raided – is not necessary. Mr. Marburg did recommend, however, that any person treated by Mr. Huang or Mr. Shapoval see a physician or a registered dentist.

Illegal dental clinics tend to be underground and secretive, which the college has said makes them difficult to find and shut down.

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