PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A teen girl went to have braces done and ended up with all her teeth glued together.
Another in her late teens had dental work down at a motel room and ended up nearly losing a couple of teeth as they were pushed out of the gums.
Unsuspecting young adults have become victims of quack dentists who perform highly specialised dental treatment, said orthodontist Manveen Singh, who has seen at least four such patients this year alone.
On the girl who had her teeth glued together, Malacca-based Dr Manveen said the person who did the braces had left the composite material used to stick the brackets to the teeth all over her teeth.
"There was food trapped underneath and she suffered from gum disease," he said in a telephone interview.
Dr Manveen, who has been practising dentistry for more than 10 years and orthodontics for more than six years, said it took him over an hour to remove the composite from the girl's teeth.
He said he had asked the mother to lodge a police report but she felt that they were at fault for going for cheap treatment.
The patient in her late teens almost lost her teeth because there was no space for her teeth to move.
"They were being pushed out and you could see part of the root in the gum.
"If she had continued with the so-called treatment, she'd have lost a few teeth," he said.
He added that one of the patient's friends had brought her to a motel to put the bracket in.
"Asking someone to put braces is as serious as asking a doctor to remove a patient's appendix. It is not something people should take lightly," he said.
Dr Manveen said there were two main issues with braces - fake ones that can be bought online, which are dangerous as some of them contain lead; and real brackets put on by unqualified people.
"People must understand that the orthodontic treatment is a medical treatment that requires constant and professional supervision.
"It is not something that is magical," he said.