An investigation by The Irish News has found that “dirty” dentists are losing millions of euros each year after they have taken over the business of extracting the mineral powder used in dental care.
Dentists have a lucrative business in using mineral powder to provide dentists with their best products, but many are now taking over the minerals extraction business as their customers are more discerning and are looking for more affordable alternatives.
The article said the business has been under increasing pressure as dentists and dentists’ unions have been pressing the Government to regulate the mineral extractors and have been demanding tougher penalties.
It said there was an increase in complaints about the business from customers.
“Dentist and dentist’s unions have expressed concern that the extractors are abusing their monopoly to extract the minerals.
The extractors have said that they do not extract minerals and that their products are safe and hygienic,” it said.
The report said the industry has been left without adequate oversight by the Government.
“There is a lack of regulation and enforcement of the mineral extraction business and this has left dentists vulnerable to abuse and the potential for harm to the environment,” it added.
The Irish News investigation revealed that dentists from several regions are using mineral extractor equipment to extract minerals from their clients’ teeth.
A report from the National Association of Dental Technicians (NADT) said it has heard complaints from customers about mineral extractions from dentists in the Cork and Kerry regions.
“I have received numerous complaints from my customers and we have a very strong stance that there is no need to use mineral extract, because there are many safe and effective alternative options for dental care,” said a spokesman for the NADT.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the Government has taken action to make sure the extractor industry is held to the same standards as the dental industry.
“Mineral extractors operate on a voluntary basis with the Government taking every step possible to ensure that they are compliant with their licence conditions, the regulations and the Government’s regulatory framework,” the spokesman said.
“The Government will continue to enforce the regulations as they are now, and the Minister for Health has set out the regulatory framework.”
A spokesman for Dentistry Ireland said that the organisation has a long history of providing dental services in the Republic of Ireland and is committed to a clean and safe practice.
“We have a strong and experienced team of dental technicians working in our dental unit and we continue to work to keep our clients safe, healthy and comfortable,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement to The Irish Star, a spokesperson for Dentists United said the union was disappointed by the report and believed that the government is taking action to protect the dental profession.
“As an industry, we recognise that there are significant concerns surrounding the extraction of minerals from dental products and the government should ensure that the industry is protected from unscrupulous extractors,” they said.