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

Maple Ridge chef tops in B.C. for agriculture in the classroom

Chef Brian Smith named the B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Flames drop to eighth in PJHL

Ridge loses two games over the weekend

Man known to frequent Maple Ridge wanted by Langley RCMP

An arrest warrant is out for Bryce Telford for allegedly impersonating a police officer

New Maple Ridge council has old problem: Albion flats

Staff asking for politicians to decide direction

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

Most Read