Three persons, including two brothers, are in the grip of the police for allegedly operating two separate dental clinics in Agona Swedru in the Central Region without licences.
The brothers, Robert and Ernest Eduah, are said to have operated their deceased father’s facility, Paul Dental Clinic, for the past 15 years, although they have not been formally trained as dentists.
The third suspect, Isaac Nyarko, according to the police, was found operating a dental clinic in a wooden kiosk with the inscription ‘Nyarko Dental Works’.
He is said to have been operating since 1994.
The Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council, Dr Eli Kwasi Atikpui, told the Daily Graphic that the fake dental practice was discovered by investigators from the council on a tip-off.
Items retrieved from the two clinics, he said, included a bidet, which, though is not a tool used in dentistry, was being used as an improvised head support for patients who wanted their teeth checked.
Also found by the team were a non-functional steriliser, dental needles, dental syringes, dental casts, artery forceps, dental plaster, extraction forceps, impression trays and dental casts or models.
The team, according to Dr Atikpui, also retrieved a number of teeth set-up in wax to make dentures or what is popularly known as artificial teeth, a bench clamp and mixing bowls and spatulas.
At Paul Dental Clinic, which is located on the ground floor of a two-storey building, he said the two brothers claimed they offered two major services: polishing of teeth and fixing of dentures.
He said the team, however, found that the two men who claimed they had under-studied their father while he was alive, rendered other services such as tooth extraction.
According to Dr Atikpui, apart from the unhygienic condition, the team found that most of the tools used were rusty.
“A room which appeared to be a bathroom had been converted to an operation room where extraction and replacement of tooth were done,” he said.
In that room, he said, there was only an ordinary wooden chair with a water closet in front of it for patients to spit into.
At Nyarko Dental Works, Dr Atikpui said, the operator, Nyarko, charged GH¢80 to extract the tooth of one of the team members who pretended to be experiencing excruciating pain.
Dr Atikpui said after the team member had sat on a chair, the suspect got to work without gloves on his hands holding a rusted needle with bloodstains on it.
He was said to have told the team that he started practising in 1974 but later abandoned the profession when he gained employment with the Ghana Cocoa Board but returned to the practice after he was laid off 22 years ago.
Although Nyarko claimed he had not had any formal training in dentistry, he explained to the team that he had learnt the trade from his late father who was a dentist.
Illegal operators warned
Dr Atikpui said further investigations at the Swedru Government Hospital had established that the practice of unqualified dentists in the area had resulted in patients reporting with complications.
He stated that the council had embarked on a special exercise to clamp down on the activities of illegal medical and dental practitioners, saying: “We will not spare anyone who breaches the law.”
Some victims of the activities of the fake dentists told the Daily Graphic that they were compelled to seek help outside the Swedru Government Hospital because of the pressure on the dental clinic of the facility.
According to them they had no choice to seek alternative attention when they could no longer bear the excruciating toothaches.