Having a pearly white smile may be important to you, but what’s more important is where you get this treatment carried out. With this controversial topic recently shown on BBC Watchdog, the General Dentist Council has made it clear that whilst teeth whitening can be classed as cosmetic treatment, it is nonetheless a dental procedure which must only be provided by a regulated dental professional.
Unfortunately, unlawful teeth whitening is still being carried out across the UK. On the 3rd September 2015 Julie Marino pleaded guilty at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court to unlawfully holding herself out as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening. She has been fined £1000, ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and costs to the GDC of £2,000. Julie Marino is also a director of The Teeth Whitening Company which is based in Cambridge and has numerous franchisees across the UK.
This just goes to show that even if someone appears to be qualified, they may not be. The GDC have made it clear that “by law, dentistry must only be carried out by dental professionals who are registered with the GDC”. If they are not registered, it is illegal to carry out tooth whitening. You can check if your local teeth whitening establishment is registered by visiting www.gdc-uk.org.
The recent prosecution shows that not only is it a huge risk for the people carrying out the treatment but more importantly it is a huge risk to you as a consumer. There are real dangers in getting this treatment in places which aren’t registered, the rules even apply to whitening products sold over the counter by tanning salons and similar establishments.
Dentists have warned it can result in irreversible damage to teeth and gums because often the products used are imported from other countries with no note of the concentration and chemistry involved. Not all people are suitable for teeth whitening and it is important to see your dentist before you get any treatment.
In the event that you have sustained serious injury following unregulated teeth whitening then you may be able to bring a negligence claim against that individual or company. Please feel free to contact one of our Solicitors to discuss your potential claim.
All information is correct on the date of posting.