wmthomas-sliderBy William Thomas

David Wu, a 62-year-old Vancouver man, has been ordered to stop practicing dentistry without a license. The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia believes Wu has performed dental work on more than 450 patients working out of his house in Burnaby, B.C.

Now known as the “bedroom dentist,” Wu ignored a 2003 court order to stop practicing dentistry and instead continued to take on more clients. Apparently, there were very few complaints about the work Wu did and he is certainly not the only one doing dentistry without a degree in Canada.

Rogue dentistry many have something to do with the fact that in this country you can now buy a new car for the same price as intricate dental work. The fact that Canadians are now travelling to Mexico, Costa Rica and Columbia to save money on dentistry might be just a bit of a tip off that Canadian dentists are drilling more than our molars.

But a dentist without a degree practicing in his home where the living room served as the waiting room and the bedroom doubled as the operating room!!! And there’s more charlatans like Wu out there?!! How will you know if your dentist is an unlicensed imposter? Geez, I’m glad you asked.

Surefire Signs Your Dentist Is A Quack

•When you enter the waiting room, the receptionist informs you that the dentist is running a little late and would you please take a lawn chair.

•There’s a well-behaved Doberman sitting at the window who barks every time a police car drives by.

•The sign on the reception desk reads: “Dr. Wu requires same-day payment in cash, non-perishable food products or prescriptions for Oxycontin.”

•The framed degree on the wall issued by Acme University offering “Learn Dental Surgery in the Comfort of Your Home.”

•Beside the degree on the wall is a framed photo of the dentist himself being cured of blindness on stage at a Benny Hinn “Fire & Brimstone Rally” in Dallas.

•You’re the first patient of the day and, entering the dentist’s operating room, you notice he’s still in his pajamas.

•After the initial examination of your mouth, the dentist puts on a hard hat, duct tapes your wrists to the armrests and says: “This could get rough!”

•There’s a donation jar on the dentist’s dresser marked “The Tooth Fairy Not-For-Profit Foundation.”

•The dental chair you sit in looks suspiciously like the bucket seat from a 1990 Chevy Truck.

•In lieu of any freezing device, the dentist offers you a shot of whiskey and asks you to bite down hard on a Dentabone.

•You notice the “Dentist of the Year” photo of him on the wall has the handcuffs and leg restraints whited out.

•A day after a front incisor replacement falls out you discover it’s actually a Chicklet.

•Halfway through your noon hour appointment, the receptionist comes in and asks: “Who wants to chip in for take-out Chinese?”

•You notice the dentist keeps all his instruments in a “Tim the Toolman” leather belt strapped around his waist.

•Halfway through a difficult crown insertion the dentist goes over to the bed and takes a power nap.

•During a consultation for a root canal, the dentist introduces you to an endodontist who you’re certain is also your mailman.

•As the dentist describes the location of your three cavities, the receptionist comes in with a box of polyfill.

•The dentist extracts the wrong front tooth but offers to put it back in for free.

•The dentist uses the bottom of his B.C. Lions T-shirt to demonstrate flossing.

•You refuse the dentist’s offer of a “polish” after noticing a can of Pledge on the side table.

•The dentist offers to create a space between your two front teeth because he believes it brings good luck.

•In lieu of a suction tube, he has his assistant wad your mouth up with Bounty paper towels.

•Instead of extracting your eyetooth, the dentist asks you to wear a patch.

•The dentist refuses to extract your impacted wisdom teeth claiming that it might make you stupid.

•You get a call from your dentist’s receptionist asking you to meet a woman named Millie in your neighbourhood to exchange dentures that got mixed up in the mailing.

For comments, ideas and copies of The True Story of Wainfleet, go to www.williamthomas.ca.