Police says a victim paid $2,000 for some dental work, but was alarmed by ‘unsanitary’ conditions
A family of three were arrested from northwest Houston in a case involving the alleged practice of dentistry without proper licenses amid poor hygienic conditions and in a “filthy”, ramshackle office.
Police said 58-year-old Byron Alberto Zelaya and his son 31-year-old Bryant Jesus Zelaya have been charged with crime over the alleged unlawful, “self-taught” practice of dentistry.
Mr Zelaya’s nephew, 29-year-old Omar Navarrete-Sevilla, faces a misdemeanour charge.
Police arrested all three from 6401 Bingle in Houston on Monday, but had since been granted bail.
Houston police officers said the father and son performed dental procedures on patients inside a “filthy” office. The nephew made mouth moulds and worked with tools, reported news network ABC 13 KTRK.
Mr Zelaya told the police he was “self taught” and that he had been practising his dentistry inside the Bingle office for more than a year.
He also told the police he had worked at a dentist’s lab before starting his own practice.
According to court documents, one of the unnamed victims of the dental procedure paid $2,000 (£1,473) for cleaning and brackets, but was alarmed by the “unsanitary” conditions inside the office at Bingle.
The victim also said there were no licenses, certificates or diplomas on the walls of the office.
The bail document, obtained by the Daily Beast, revealed that the fake dentists’ takedown “occurred after cops executed an undercover operation after getting a complaint from an unhappy patient.”
The officers allegedly set up a bogus appointment with the dentists for some dental work, Ça disait, adding that the Zelayas “pretended to practice dentistry”.
Experts have pointed out that to avoid such fake dentists, patients should check to see if someone is licensed to practice on the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners website.