Hamilton

Burlington dental patients may have been exposed to improperly cleaned tools, HIV

Officials in Halton Region are warning patients of a dental clinic in Burlington they may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used in procedures.

Upper Middle Dental patients may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments

Halton region officials are warning patients of Upper Middle Dental in Burlington to get tested for various diseases. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

Officials in Halton Region are warning patients of a dental clinic in Burlington they may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used in procedures.

The Halton health unit says Dr. Vick Handa's office at Upper Middle Dental at 1900 Walkers Line was closed on June 9 after an inspection.

"Improperly cleaned dental instruments carry a low risk of transmitting infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to clients," said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, acting medical officer of health for Halton Region, in a statement.

"As a precaution, the Halton Region Health Department recommends that all clients who have ever received dental services at Upper Middle Dental contact their physician (or go to a walk-in clinic if they do not have a physician) to discuss testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)."

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) suspended Handa's license on June 12, before a re-inspection on June 14 confirmed that the clinic now meets infection prevention standards.

Handa's suspension was lifted on June 14, the news release reads.

"Infection prevention and control in dentistry is a critical issue for safe patient care," said the RCDSO in a statement. "As a result, cases like this are extremely rare. Dentists are extensively trained on infection prevention and our mandatory continuous education program makes the subject a priority."

Vick Handa, also known as Vivek Handa, is also the nephew of Dennis Khanna, who is facing charges of fraud and sexual assault stemming from his work as a mortgage broker in Hamilton.

The provincial regulator for mortgage brokers, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, identified Handa as one of the sources of funds for Khanna's mortgages – though borrowers had no idea they were closely related.

When stripping him of his licence, a provincial tribunal found that Khanna and his company, Metro Financial Planning Ltd., was manipulative and exploitative.

The tribunal ruled with the regulator, who had alleged he used practices like allegedly taking out mortgages in already financially distressed clients' names without their knowledge, charging significant fees and, when some borrowers couldn't make their payments, transferring the homes or titles into the names of his nephew and his wife.