Thousands of Pieces of Fake Dental Equipment Seized Throughout the UK

dental implant clinicWhat would you do if you found out your dentist or cosmetic dentistry practitioner gave you a routine cleaning, all on four dental implants or even a cavity filling with counterfeit tools?

Countless people across the United Kingdom are now grappling with this question as news emerges of more than 12,000 counterfeit pieces of dental equipment being seized from dental practices and dental implant clinics across Britain over the last six months.

According to the BBC, the products ranged from drills to X-rays and were counterfeit pieces modeled off of major dental brands’ equipment. The equipment seized is poor in quality, and was imported from China and Pakistan after being purchased from various auction-based online merchants like eBay and Amazon, the Telegraph reports. Many of the pieces had been marked with the letters CE, which typically means they meet European dental safety guidelines; in this case, the letters stand for Chinese export.

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reported that it seized “24 dental X-ray machines that emit high levels of radiation, 384 hand-piece drills that could malfunction and disintegrate inside patients’ mouths and 3,242 poor quality root canal files that could break,” the Telegraph article reports, among thousands of other tools.

If found to have knowingly bought the fake equipment — equipment which put the health and safety of patients at risk — the MHRA states that the dentists’ offices, dental implant clinics and other specialized dental offices from which the pieces were seized could face prosecution.

“We don’t need to stretch your imagination too far to think if you’ve got a high-speed drill, operating at 30,000 revolutions per minute in close proximity to your teeth and the end falls off, it’s going to do some pretty serious damage inside your mouth,” Danny Lee-Frost, from the MHRA enforcement team, told the BBC.

According to the Telegraph, the MHRA is currently working with both eBay and Amazon on six ongoing investigations into the matter.

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