Illegal dentist’s patients warned of infection risk

Valentyn Uvarov had been under investigation since fall of 2013, but evidence for court order was elusive until now

The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. says an unlicensed practitioner in Surrey was apparently reusing single-use anesthetic containers

Patients who were treated by an unlicensed dentist operating illegally in Surrey are being warned they may have been exposed to blood borne infectious diseases because of lax infection control safeguards.

The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. said Valentyn Uvarov had been operating without a dentistry license out of 14275 62 Avenue and its investigators suspect he was reusing what are supposed to be single-use containers of injectable anesthetic from one patient to the next.

“This would potentially pose a risk of blood and body fluids transferring from one client to the rest and associated with that blood borne infections such as hepatitis B and C and HIV,” said Fraser Health medical health officer Dr. Michelle Murti.

Uvarov’s patients are advised by Fraser Health to follow up with health care providers or call 811 to determine if testing is recommended.

Murti said Uvarov didn’t keep patient records, but it’s believed he treated a relatively small number of mostly Russian-speaking patients, many of them friends and family.

The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. obtained a court order April 24 barring him from practising dentistry or claiming to be a dentist.

“We first got wind of him in September of 2013 when a member of the public alerted us,” college registrar and CEO Jerome Marburg said.

The initial investigation didn’t yield enough evidence, Marburg said, but by this March investigators had enough for a warrant to search the premises, turning up more grounds to obtain the court injunction.

Other incidents of rogue dentists operating without a licence in Metro Vancouver have spawned health warnings before.

Most notorious was Burnaby’s Tung Sheng (David) Wu, who was sentenced to three months in jail in 2013 for violating a court order against practising dentistry. He operated in unsanitary conditions at cut-rate prices.

Four other illegal dental practitioners have been flagged by the dental surgeons’ college in the past 18 months – Vladimir Shapoval in Coquitlam, Hua Zheng Huang in Vancouver, Chao Ming Guan in Vancouver and Wei Ming (Margaret) Du in Vancouver.

Marburg said others are actively under investigation but he wouldn’t guess at how many illegal dentists operate in the region.

“Most of it’s underground so you just don’t know the scale of it.”

Marburg said new immigrants often don’t realize dentistry is a regulated profession and can be preyed on by practitioners they find by word of mouth through their community.

“These people are not good Samaritans. They are purveyors of harm. They are not do-gooders.”

He said anyone can check a dentist’s status through the college’s website, and added various low- or no-cost clinic options exist for patients who can’t afford care. (See the college’s advice letter to patients here.)

Just Posted

Cyclist injured in Langley hit-and-run

Rider was taken to hospital

Phasing plans for Brookswood defeated

Council voted against staggering neighbourhood planning in Brookswood-Fernridge.

Vigil to eliminate violence on women

Annual vigil observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Langley author pens tribute to the men and women of Canada’s military for Remembrance Day

‘A soldier, a sailor and an airman … stood before the Pearly Gates’

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read