TORONTO - A British Columbia man who's been dubbed the "Bedroom Dentist" after he set up an illegal dental surgery in the bedroom of a house near Vancouver has surrendered to Toronto police.
Tung Sheng (David) Wu turned himself into police on Saturday and is to appear in court Monday for a bail hearing, Toronto police said in a news release.
Wu, 62, was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to three months in jail for ignoring an earlier court order to stop practising dentistry without a licence, but B.C.'s College of Dental Surgeons had been unable to locate him. He was convicted in absentia and did not respond to the college's allegation.
The college uncovered an illegal dental operation in Burnaby this past May, shutting the clinic down and warning hundreds of patients to get tested for blood-borne illnesses such as hepatitis and HIV.
In 2003, a court had ordered Wu to stop practising dentistry without a licence, but B.C. Supreme Court Judge Austin Cullen concluded Wu did not comply.
"There is uncontradicted evidence that the defendant has never been registered with the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia," Cullen said as he sentenced Wu last month.
"I accept beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Wu was engaged in the practice of dentistry continuously since the time of the (2003 injunction) until May of 2013."
Aside from the jail time, Wu was also ordered to pay the college's legal bills, which so far have cost more than $140,000.
The dental college released a brief statement late Sunday, saying it was "gratified" to hear news of Wu's arrest and would be watching to see what happens at Wu's court appearance. The college expected to have more to say on Monday.
Jerome Marburg, the dental college's registrar and CEO, has previously condemned Wu as someone with "no honour" who preyed on vulnerable patients.
Marburg publicly accused Wu of "taking active steps" to evade the college and the courts.
For months, Wu evaded the college's efforts to find him, including an offer of a $2,000 reward for information about his arrest. He was also the subject of a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest.
The college launched an investigation after a public complaint, which eventually prompted officials with the college and the RCMP to raid the clinic in May.
According to court documents, the living room of the house was set up as a waiting room, with rows of folding chairs to accommodate patients, while the bedroom served as the operating room.
The bedroom was "filthy," the court documents say, with no source of sterilized water. Investigators did find a sterilizing machine, but it was unplugged and covered in dust.
A search of Wu's car in August indicated he may have been planning to set up shop again, either in Vancouver or Toronto, the college has alleged.
The college believes Wu performed dental work on more than 450 people.
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Did you know that adopting mouth-healthy habits may ultimately keep your heart healthy, too? Research has found a surprising number of links between the state of your dental health and your heart.<br>"Inflamed gums and loose teeth can be warnings of <a href="http://bit.ly/xS7fE8" target="_hplink">heart disease</a>," says Alyson Hope Koslow, DDS, a clinical assistant professor of restorative dentistry at the University of Illinois Chicago. That's because if you have a gum disease like periodontitis, the bacteria in your gums could travel to your heart and contribute to coronary artery disease. Bacteria may also increase your risk for heart disease by contributing to the formation of clots or further plaque build-up in your arteries that can interfere with blood flow to the heart. One Swedish study found that people with more pockets of infection of the gum around the base of the tooth had a 53 per cent increased risk of heart attack compared to those with the fewest pockets.<br>And as the recent AHA study found, regular dental cleanings will safeguard your smile and protect your ticker.
The most common dental health condition for diabetics? <a href="http://bit.ly/z20e9l" target="_hplink">Gum disease</a>.<br>"Gum disease, bleeding gums, and loose teeth are all warning signs of diabetes," Dr. Koslow says. "Diabetics also tend to have a slower healing time."<br>Infections at your gum line can worsen the state of your diabetes and can contribute to the risk for heart disease and stroke, so it's important to take steps to keep your mouth healthy (and your diabetes under control).
Osteoporosis is characterized by the weakening of bones, and it's most common in post-menopausal women. But could your dentist be clued in to your thinning bones before you are?<br>"Osteoporosis does not cause changes in the teeth, but it doescause changes in the bone that supports the teeth," Koslow explains. "This may show up as a receding gum line and loose teeth."<br>If your <a href="http://bit.ly/w1BoEd" target="_hplink">dentist</a> sees any oral signs of osteoporosis, let your medical doctor know right away.
This gradual loss of cognitive function is often signaled by confusion, loss of memory, disorganization -- and an unhealthy mouth. "People with early dementia may show all the signs of poor oral hygiene," warns Koslow.<br>If you notice that a loved one is neglecting her oral health, skipping dental appointments, and having problems managing <a href="http://bit.ly/y5zS0N" target="_hplink">daily routines</a>, talk to her doctor.
By nature, people with anorexia or bulimia usually try to hide their condition -- but a dentist may be the first one to spot it.<br>That's because eating disorders can cause poor <a href="http://bit.ly/wHVLPj" target="_hplink">nutrition</a>, which can lead to oral conditions like bleeding gums and dry mouth. In addition, "erosion on the insides of the front teeth may be a sign of forced vomiting in a young person with bulimia -- stomach acid wears away at enamel and also makes teeth more sensitive," says Koslow.
"Erosion of enamel from the insides of teeth, especially the upper back molars, is a clue to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)," Koslow says. Reflux of stomach juices can happen at <a href="http://bit.ly/xfnuEE" target="_hplink">night </a>-- but you may not be aware of it until your dentist sees its effects on your dental health.<br>Reflux disease can cause erosion of the esophagus and may even lead to esophageal cancer, so let your doctor know if your dentist sees possible signs of reflux. Treatment can include elevating the head of your bed, not eating in the hours before bed, and taking acid blocking medications.
What's the big deal about dry mouth? "Saliva helps to wash away bacteria and debris that lead to <a href="http://bit.ly/ABT1Cp" target="_hplink">cavities</a> and gum disease," Koslow says.<br>And if you're producing too little saliva, your dentist will know. Dry mouth may be caused by medications or it may be a sign of a disease such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease. The solution? Up your fluid intake, and your dentist may even suggest a saliva substitute.