GDC prosecutes illegal tooth whitener

There have been concerns within the dental industry about illegal practices with the rise in cosmetic dental treatments. Clinics are popping up offering cheap deals on teeth whitening or Botox injections and patients are at risk of receiving poor treatment from unqualified or poorly trained individuals.

A High Court decision in May 2013 stated that tooth whitening can only be practiced by dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians (working to the prescription of a dentist).

The General Dental Council (GDC) became involved in a case after it received a complaint from an individual who had suffered a sharp burning sensation to their gums following tooth whitening treatments from what they thought was a qualified practitioner.

The GDC found that the individual who was practicing teeth whitening was not qualified or properly trained to do so and was unlawfully practising dentistry.

He was found guilty in Court of breaching Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984 and fined £100 for each charge and was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge, as well as compensation to the victim of £135. He was also ordered to pay full GDC costs of £994.33.