4 May 2013

Checks urged after unregistered man did dental work

6:54 am on 4 May 2013

Health authorities are urging people who had dental work done by a South Auckland man to get checked at hospital as soon as possible.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board says despite not being registered as a dentist, Sione Heinave Vailea has been doing fillings, extractions and other dental surgery at his home in Mangere for many years.

Spokesperson Clive Ross says the DHB is very concerned that a large number of people may have been exposed to blood-borne diseases or other infections.

He says inadequate or incorrect dental work could also cause injury and infections.

Dr Ross says blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B are rife in parts of Auckland and can be easily transmitted by injections and unclean instruments.

"We have no idea in this case as to whether this has happened but people need to be checked and cleared."

The Ministry of Health and DHB want anyone treated by Mr Vailea to contact Middlemore Hospital's dental department or Pacific health unit as soon as possible.

The DHB says Mr Vailea is facing criminal charges.

Dental Council chair Mark Goodhew said the council can act only against registered dentists so it is up to the criminal justice system to determine whether Mr Vailea has acted illegally.