• Haslina Rani Department of Family Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry, The National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7660-4095
  • Bashirah Arjunaidy Department of Family Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry, The National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nur Asyiqin Roslan Department of Family Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry, The National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Wan Nur Syuhada Azwa Wan Muhamad Department of Family Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry, The National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nurul Asyikin Yahya Department of Family Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry, The National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9497-4508




Unlicensed dental practise, Illegal dentistry, Fake Dentist, Social Media


Despite the fines and action taken by authorities against illegal dental practise, it could not be eliminated and remain a threat to the public’s oral health. The aim of this study was to gather holistic evidence on unlicensed dental practice by collating news coverage, scientific research publications, and information on social media activities of illegal dental practitioners. Information on news coverage was collated via Google, Yahoo and Bing while information on research publications was obtained through three databases, Scopus, Pubmed and Google Scholar. Public data from Facebook and Instagram were extracted to gain information on illegal dental services actively provided. Out of 195 news reported regarding unlicensed dental practitioner, only 110 news reported on legal actions received with 81 news reports were on financial punishments, and the rest was on jail terms or probation. For scientific publications, only 13 related publications were found, and the majority were case reports. Despite having a law that stated an unlicensed dentist would be punished, there were more than 170 Facebook, and Instagram users with thousands of followers found actively offering illegal dental services to the public. In conclusion, not much attention was paid by the scientific community on illegal dental practice despite it being a significant public health issue and covered quite thoroughly in the news, and services are still actively offered through social media. This descriptive report helps give a holistic perspective on the illegal dental service providers issue, especially in Malaysia.


Chow M.D. Stay away from illegal, quack dentists, warns Health Ministry. New Straits Times 2017. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/236373/stay-away-illegal-quack-dentists-warns-health-ministry (Accessed 2.2.2018)

Pikri E. Other Bogus Dentists That Operated In Malaysia — And How You Can Spot The REAL Ones. 2017. https://vulcanpost.com/624079/fake-dentist-malaysia/ (Accessed 2.2.2018)

Kumar H.M.& Ricki H.N.A. Quackery : A Major Loophole in Dental Practice in India. 2014; 8, 7860.

Bernama. Bride-to-be fined RM25k for providing unregistered dental service. 2016; https://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/09/171274/bride-be-fined-rm25000-providing-unregistered-dental-brace-fitting-service (Accessed 2.2.2018).

Bernama. Bogus dentists visiting homes to treat patients. 2017. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/10/12/bogus-dentists-visiting-homes-to-treat-patients/ (Accessed 2.2.2018)

Sandesh N. & Mohapatra A. Street dentistry: Time to tackle quackery. Indian J. Dent. Res.2009; 20, 1

Diviani N., Van Den Putte B., & Giani, S. et al. Low health literacy and evaluation of online health information: A systematic review of the literature. J. Med. Internet Res. 2015; 17.

Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, & Altman DG. The PRISMA Group. 2009. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 6(7): e1000097.

Oberoi, S. & Oberoi, A. Growing quackery in dentistry: An Indian perspective. Indian J. Public Health. 2016; 59, 210.

Swapnil P., Shuchi T. A. B. A cross-sectional study to explore the reasons to visit a quack for prosthodontic solutions Swapnil. J. Indian Prosthodont. Soc. 2018; 18, 1–8

Madihah N., Azis N. & Abidin K. Z. Acrylic partial dentures fixed to adjacent teeth : a case report on quack dentistry. Arch Orofac Sci 2015; 10, 41–45

Reddy K.V.G., Bansal V. & Singh P.K. et al. Perceptions Regarding Treatment by Dental Quacks and Self- Rated Oral Health Among the Residents of Bhopal City, Central India. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2017;15:84-8

Zakyah A. D., Shekarwangi R. & Nuzulul H.A., et al. The influencing factors of citizen of Bandung preferences towards dental quack on constructing custom-made orthodontic appliances. Padjadjaran J. Dent. 2016; 28, 188–193.

Sushma K. N. & Kumar S. Fixed-removable partial denture- A case report. Indian J case reports 2017; 3, 249–51.

Pauly N.G., Warrier S. & Kashyap R.R., et al. The Curse of Quackery in Dentistry: A Double-Edged Sword. Arch Med Heal. Sci 2017; 5, 4.

Memon M.R. & Memon, S.A. Assessment of Patients Wearing Auto Polymerized Acrylic. Pakistan Oral Dent. J. 2015; 35, 159–161.

Gupta D. & Utreja A. Clinical blackout in orthodontics. J. Orthod. Res. 2015; 3, 138.

Chauhan H., Potlia I. & Purohit N. et al. Is Quackery still a Parallel World of Dentistry- A Case Report. Int. J. Oral Heal. Med. Res. 2016; 3, 59–63

Chalakkal P. De Ataide, I.D.N. & Krishnan R. et al. Dental treatment abuse. J. Clin. Diagnostic Res. 2014; 8, 7–8.

Joshi S.R., Pendayla G. & Dadpe M. et al. Quackery or mockery. Pravara Med Rev 6, 1 (2014).

De Lacey, M. Fake braces trend is a new status symbol for Asian teenagers, but could they kill wearers. Daily Mail Online. 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ femail/article-2256608/Fake-braces-trend-new-status-symbol-Asian- teenagers-KILL-wearers.html. (Accessed 2.3.2018).

Malaysian Dental Act 1971. 2006.

Malaysian Dental Act 2018. 2018.

Nissen T. & Wynn R. The clinical case report : a review of its merits and limitations. BMC Res. Notes 2014; 7, 1–7.

Ting, H., Ming, W. W. P. & Cyril de Run, E. et al. Beliefs about the Use of Instagram: An Exploratory Study. Int. J. Bus. Innov. 2015; 2, 15–16.

Department of Statistics Malaysia. Current Population Estimates 2014-2016. Department of Statistics Malaysia Official Portal. 2016; https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/ctheme&menu_id. (Accessed: 27th February 2019)

Instagram account of Kortugi https://instagram.com/korbantukanggigi?igshid=m3tlbwnvofus. (Accessed:15th August 2020)

Facebook account of Kortugi. http://www.facebook.com/kortugi. (Accessed 15th August 2020)

Youtube account of Kortugi. http://www.youtube.com/c/KorTuGi. (Accessed 15th August 2020)

Facebook account of Medical Mythbusters Malaysia. http://www.facebook.com/MedicalMythbustersMalaysia. (Accessed 15th August 2020).




How to Cite

Rani, H., Arjunaidy, B., Roslan, N. A., Wan Muhamad, W. N. S. A., & Yahya, N. A. . (2020). A DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY OF UNLICENSED DENTAL PRACTICE. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 20(2), 252–260. https://doi.org/10.37268/mjphm/vol.20/no.2/art.548