British Columbia

Illegal 'bedroom dentist' clinic in B.C. exposed

Conditions inside an illegal dental clinic in Burnaby, B.C., were dirty and disorganized, according to video of a raid by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. obtained by CBC News.

David Wu not qualified to practise dentistry in British Columbia

'Bedroom dentist' clinic exposed

9 years ago
Duration 3:05
Conditions inside illegal clinic were dirty and disorganized

Conditions inside an illegal dental clinic in Burnaby, B.C., were dirty and disorganized, according to video of a raid by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. obtained by CBC News.

On Wednesday, the college issued a health alert for about 1,500 people who were patients of Tung Sheng Wu, also known as David Wu, who is not qualified to practise dentistry in British Columbia.

David Wu ran an illegal dental practice out of the bedroom of his home in Burnaby, B.C. (CBC)

Officials said the 62-year-old worked out of his home in Burnaby and may have exposed people to HIV and hepatitis B or C through improperly sterilized instruments.

The video shows that the living room of the house was set up as a waiting room.

The dental practice itself was run out of an apparently filthy bedroom in Wu's home, with a dirty floor and shelves covered with dust and debris, including plaster chips. 

There is no evidence of any source for sterilized water.

One of the inspectors in the video points to an old sterilizer for dental equipment, which was unplugged and covered with dust.

Dental supplies are stuffed into closets, sitting on top of surfaces, and yellow Post-it notes clutter up a wall. Mould is visible on some of the shelves.

The affected people, mostly Chinese-Canadians, are being urged to be tested for blood-borne viruses.

Ten years ago, Wu was the subject of a court injunction ordering him to stop his underground dental practice.

He told authorities he was leaving the country, but the new clinic was discovered in May.

So far, only the College of Dental Surgeons is investigating the case, not the RCMP.

"There's no criminality with me saying 'I'm a dentist,'" said Cpl. David Reid of the Burnaby RCMP.

Reid said the RCMP would investigate only if the college decided a criminal line was crossed.

"If this individual proves to be responsible for causing physical harm to any of his patients, criminality is associated to that, and we would look at a charge of criminal negligence," Reid said.

It is believed Wu has dental training from another jurisdiction, but has not met B.C. standards and requirements.

The real Dr. Wu

Meanwhile, a retired Burnaby dentist with the same name is seeking to distance himself from the scandal.

"Although we share the same name, David Wu, we are completely different people, I have nothing to do with him," said David Hon Wei Wu.

He said some of his former patients have been calling him, asking if he has gone crazy or why he sank so low.

"That kind of comment really hurts, because I think it was directed to me, Dr. Wu, and not that Mr. Wu."

He has moved on to a new career as a realtor.

With files from Belle Puri