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The Gentle Dentist surgery at Campsie, Sydney Google Maps

Authorities fear up to 11,000 people could have been infected with HIV/Hepatitis at two dentist clinics

The worries stem from inadequate equipment sterilisation at the facilities.

AS IF GOING to the dentist wasn’t enough of an ordeal, authorities in Australia fear that up to 11,000 patients could have been infected with either HIV or hepatitis at two Sydney surgeries.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that New South Wales health officials have begun contacting people, who visited two surgeries operated by the Gentle Dentist franchise, of the issues they have discovered concerning infection control at the premises.

Health authorities are due to give a press conference on the problem on Thursday.

Four dentists are understood to have been suspended from practice as a result of the discovery.

The Gentle Dentist surgeries are owned by dentist Samson Chan. Chan employs 21 dentists across the two Sydney surgeries.

The Australian Dental Association of New South Wales has provided a helpline for those worried they may be affected which will be operational from 9am on Thursday.

A similar scare came to light in Nottingham, England in November 2014.

22,000 patients of dentist Desmond D’Mello were contacted after it became apparent he had been failing to wash his hands and practice safe hygiene at his surgery for 32 years.

In March 2015 five of D’Mello’s patients tested positive for Hepatitis C.

D’Mello was suspended from practice after his lax hygiene practices were secretly filmed at his surgery.

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