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Challenges in curbing illegal orthodontics in Malaysia: A qualitative study on dental law enforcement

Cheong, Joo Ming and Bahar, Aufa Dahlia and Kamarudin, Yasmin and Mohd Nor, Nor Azlida and Zainal Abidin, Haznita (2022) Challenges in curbing illegal orthodontics in Malaysia: A qualitative study on dental law enforcement. In: National Oral Health Research Initiative (NOHRI) Conference 2022, 15-16 October 2022, Connexion Conference & Event Centre, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Unpublished)

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Background: Braces are popular among teens in Southeast Asia because they are commonly associated with social status. This has led to a rise in the trend of fake braces, which are sold on the illegal market. Fake braces have raised public health concerns in Malaysia and despite ongoing efforts to increase public awareness of the issue, this unethical business remains unalarmed especially on social media platforms. Objectives: Data from 3 focus groups representing The Oral Health Legislation and Enforcement Section, Ministry of Health were used to explore the officers’ perceptions of the challenges in managing complaints against fake braces providers in Malaysia. Methods: 3 focus group discussions were carried out in either English or Malay, involving 12 active members of the dental law enforcement unit who have managed complaints of illegal orthodontic practice over the last two years. Semi-structured interview guides were used to prompt discussion. Participants were asked about their actions in response to complaints and their perceptions of the challenges faced during the incidents. Data collection was concluded once data saturation was achieved. Transcriptions of the recorded online discussions were posted to the participants to confirm their responses. All data were thematically analysed using NVIVO software and significant quotes were translated accordingly for data representation. Results: Data revealed six predominant themes which were: (1) lack of resources; (2) emotional strain on enforcement officers; (3) external support for illegal providers; (4) difficulty gathering information; (5) complex planning and execution of raids; and (6) lack of online regulation. Conclusion: The focus groups revealed that dental law enforcement on fake braces activities is complicated and requires detailed planning by various parties for a successful outcome. This study provides valuable insight into the challenges faced when combating illegal orthodontics in Malaysia and some ways to improve law enforcement effectiveness in fake braces reporting.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information: This is a collaborative research with University of Malaya and Ministry of Health on combating illegal orthodontics (fake braces). Our team won the 2nd place during the poster presentation in the NOHRI conference.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dental law enforcement; fake braces; illegal orthodontics; social media
Subjects: R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Dentistry > Department of Orthodontics
Depositing User: Dr Joo Ming Cheong
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2022 15:24
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 15:24
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/101162

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