How I became a 'dentist' in just five hours

4/7/2022 5:45:00 PM

It takes six years to be a fully registered #dentist in Malaysia. But why wait when it takes just five hours using dubious methods? Read more at

Dentist, Na

It takes six years to be a fully registered dentist in Malaysia. But why wait when it takes just five hours using dubious methods? Read more at

PETALING JAYA: It takes six years to be a fully-registered dentist in Malaysia. But why wait when it takes just five hours using dubious methods.

It was RM1,500 each for the journalist and another eager learner, a 30-year-old running a beauty salon.Hayati had secured a volunteer, a young Indonesian woman who had consented to be the patient for the duo to test their newly-acquired skills.She had good teeth so it was rather puzzling as to why she would sit in for the veneer-fixing procedure.

Hayati reassured her that it would be okay before continuing to mould 16 of the woman’s teeth with white composite, which made her look ghastly.Licking her newly veneered front teeth, she asked “It feels weird. Is this how it is supposed to feel?”In the event the client wanted the veneer removed, which is common, the charge would be RM50 per tooth.

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This journalism-trained reporter is now a certified “dentist”.No problem.× Copy URL The Ministry of Health says Selangor was the only state to report more than 1,000 fresh Covid-19 infections yesterday.× Copy URL The Ministry of Health reports 1,617 people in hospital with Covid-19, of which 43 are in ICU.

The training centre is a tiny shop on the ground floor of a down-in-the dumps low-cost flat in Setapak and the trainer “Hayati” offers a host of dental procedures. The course for the day was fixing veneers. Some beauty centres are offering illicit dentistry courses under the guise of beauty treatment. It was RM1,500 each for the journalist and another eager learner, a 30-year-old running a beauty salon. The latest figure takes the cumulative cases since the onset of the pandemic to 4. Hayati first laid out the tools needed for the course. Take “Mimi” for instance. She handed over some white clay for her two students to get used to moulding the substance, before actually using the composite. Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription.

Out came a set of model teeth and the journalist was told to apply the composite, as Hayati gave step-by-step instructions. “Now, I make good money providing services to my customers and coaching others. Hayati had secured a volunteer, a young Indonesian woman who had consented to be the patient for the duo to test their newly-acquired skills. The woman apparently had been a regular feature at the salon and Hayati would regularly use her for various beauty courses. It is so easy that I mastered the procedures in those a few hours. It was obvious that the young woman was nervous as she opened her mouth wide. She had good teeth so it was rather puzzling as to why she would sit in for the veneer-fixing procedure. In an investigation that took several months, The Star studied the demand and trends in the fast-growing but poorly regulated beauty industry that allowed just about anyone to openly offer these short dentistry courses.

A mouth retractor, which looked far from sanitary, was inserted into her mouth. The woman grimaced. The short courses, mostly just a few hours long, include the installation of braces, veneer and denture fittings and teeth-whitening procedures. And in a hardly audible voice, she mustered: “Is this going to be painful?” Hayati reassured her that it would be okay before continuing to mould 16 of the woman’s teeth with white composite, which made her look ghastly. The whiter-than-white teeth were unnatural. Those who attended a veneer-fitting course were given, among others, a polishing gadget, veneer composite, LED light, bonding agent, etchant gel, mouth retractor and other instruments, some of which are only sanctioned for use by medical practitioners. After three hours of lying on her back on a tattered massage bed that was wet with saliva, she finally sat up.

Licking her newly veneered front teeth, she asked “It feels weird. “We will teach you how to install, remove, polish, clean and touch up the veneer, and give you new teeth. Is this how it is supposed to feel?” Hayati told her that in two to three days, any pain would be gone and she would be able to enjoy her porcelain white teeth. She told us later that assuring clients was part of the “game”. The investigation also found Indonesians offering a five-day course on “behel” – an Indonesian word for braces – for as low as RM1,000. In the event the client wanted the veneer removed, which is common, the charge would be RM50 per tooth. A trained dentist told The Star that such procedures should not have induced pain. The course is scheduled to be held in August.

“As professionals, we learn about human muscles on our faces that connect to our teeth. If that is not taken into account, when your jaw moves, the veneer could break and you could hurt your gums,” he said. “The knowledge you gain is forever and you can turn this into a business of your own, just like me,” said the woman in her late 20s. After the five-hour lesson, the reporter and her “coursemate” were given a certificate for completing the dental course as well as a starter kit to get into the business right away. The coursemate, who had already dabbled in the industry, was going to apply what she learned as soon as she got home. Besides the lessons, the woman said she would be able to supply all the equipment necessary for the reporter to start her own dentistry business. Before the course started, Hayati had just ended another beauty course with a student from Batu Pahat who learned how to administer beauty injections.

For the RM1,500 she charged the student, she had the learner carry out the procedure on her. In addition to promoting courses, many Indonesians living in Malaysia are also aggressively promoting dentistry services for cheap, especially on social media. After the class, she had a badly bruised and bloody arm. The day this journalist attended the course, Hayati earned about RM5,000 from her three clients. But it is not one to be shown off. Her business runs non-stop, sometimes even during the weekends. She claimed that her “centre” is the best place to learn all about fixing dentures, braces, whitening injections, platelet-rich plasma injections for hair and face, as well as facelifts. “We provide the certificate but you should not show it off.

“A student of mine who does facelifts earns about RM1,000 to RM2,000 a week now. My Indonesian friend tells me she gets about RM20,000 per month,” she said, obviously proud of the kind of money the illicit business brings. “It will be issued by our ‘leader’, who is an expert on teeth-related matters,” said one of the beauticians, who was careful enough not to reveal her leader’s identity. Hayati’s operations is a no-frills business. The less-than 200sq ft unit holds a small massage bed which doubles as the dentist’s chair. And many do pay, given that there are many desperate Malaysians looking for cheap “cosmetic” dental procedures. It is next to a small toilet, sewage pipe and back alley drain.

The stink is unbearable. Article type: free. To supplement her already lucrative business, Hayati said she has her own local supplier for all the equipment needed for her “operations” and that she is willing to supply her students all that they would need. Article type: free .