Bournemouth woman, Rebecca Fox, was found guilty of practising illegal tooth whitening at and was ordered to pay £700 by Poole Magistrates’ Court this week.
Following a complaint received in March 2018 from an informant who suffered chemical blisters and inflamed gums after the illegal treatment was carried out by Ms Fox, the General Dental Council (GDC) launched an investigation.
Under the Dentists Act 1984 and following the High Court’s ruling in GDC v Jamous, the legal position in relation to tooth whitening is very clear. The treatment can only be performed by a dentist or a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working to the prescription of a dentist.
Katie Spears, Head of Illegal Practice at the General Dental council, said:
“Our primary purpose at the GDC is to protect the public from harm. Illegal tooth whitening represents a real risk as those who carry it out are neither qualified to assess a patient’s suitability for the treatment nor are they able to intervene should an emergency arise. The GDC takes reports of the illegal practice of dentistry very seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute in the criminal courts.”
Anyone considering tooth whitening should first check the register of dental professionals on the GDC’s website to ensure the individual offering the treatment is qualified to do so.