Suspected illegal dentists raided in East Vancouver

Two homes believed to be housing illegal dentistry practices were raided in East Vancouver on Monday.

Equipment removed from houses at 34th and 38th avenues

B.C. College of Dental Surgeons carted away dental equipment 2:16

Two homes believed to be housing illegal dentistry practices were raided in East Vancouver on Monday.

Equipment, including a dentist's chair, was removed from a home at 1381 East 34th Avenue by authorities and loaded onto a waiting U Haul truck.

The B.C. College of Dental Surgeons, acting on a tip, raided the house with the assistance of private investigators.

Lead investigator Alex Penner said they had removed everything related to dentistry found at the home, including equipment and full and partial dentures.

He said it was a concern that there was no radiographic or sterilization equipment present.

"You can't extract teeth or do dentistry with unsterile instruments and and proper x-rays," said Penner.

A U Haul truck is filled with the contents of an alleged illegal dentist surgery operating out of an East Vancouver home. (CBC)

The raid happened just after another at a home on East 38th Avenue.

The action follows several other raids that have taken place since the case of illegal dentist David Wu hit headlines in fall last year.

Wu was sentenced to three months in jail for contempt of court and ordered to pay "special costs" estimated at around $140,000.

To practice dentistry in B.C., candidates must complete a general dentistry program, be registered with the B.C. College of Dental Surgeons and pass either the National Dental Examination Board of Canada (NDEB) or the National Dental Specialty (NDSE) exams.

According to WelcomeBC, foreign dentists hoping to practice in B.C. must complete a full-time, two-year qualifying program or degree completion at an accredited university, as well as registering with the college, and completing either the NDEB or the NDSE.

As an alternative, dentists educated abroad can have their training assessed through an equivalency process, undergoing three assessments before taking the NDEB written exam and Objective Structured Clinical Examination.

The college does not require potential dentists to pass an English language test, but two such tests are required to enter the qualifying and degree completion programs.

According to the college, it registers, certifies and regulates more than 3,400 dentists in B.C.