In light of my previous posting I am very pleased to see this action being taken by the GDC; there is clearly a strong case for protecting the public and this now sets a legal precedent that should make further prosecutions much simpler. As ever, if you are interested in any work such as whitening or other cosmetic procedures, talk to your dentist who should be able to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of each technique and what improvements you are likely to see at the end of it. All cosmetic dentistry is entirely elective which means it is done purely at the choice of the patient; there is no clinical need to make teeth look whiter.
U.K. regulators tackle teeth whitening by nondentists
March 28, 2011 — Two cases involving nondentists performing teeth-whitening services without the proper credentials — one in the U.K., the other in New Zealand — have made headlines worldwide.
The U.K. General Dental Council (GDC) has successfully prosecuted a nonregistrant for performing tooth whitening, which the GDC regards as the practice of dentistry.
It was the first such case of its kind in the U.K., according to the GDC.
Paul William Hill of Warrington, director of PW Healthcare Consulting, pleaded guilty March 23 to four offenses, including practicing dentistry while not registered as a dentist or dental care professional between October 2, 2010, and March 11, 2011. Under the Dentists Act 1984, it is an offense for nonregistrants to practice dentistry.
Hill has been ordered to pay a total of £6,265 in fines and costs and PW Healthcare Consulting, which traded nationally as Style Smile Clinics, has been ordered to pay a total of £6,765 . The amounts include costs of £5,500 for the GDC.
The GDC launched its investigation last year after receiving hundreds of complaints from members of the public and dental professionals about teeth-whitening treatments being provided by individuals who are not registered dental professionals.
The GDC, which regulates all dental professionals in the U.K., began criminal proceedings under the Dentists Act 1984 on the grounds that teeth whitening may only lawfully be provided by those who are registered dental professionals.
Charges relating to two other people and one other company have been adjourned until 18 May.
“This case has significant implications for the dental profession and for public protection,” said Evlynne Gilvarry, chief executive and registrar of the GDC. “The GDC will now consider its position carefully with regards to the hundreds of other complaints about the illegal practice of dentistry that it has received. We are concerned about the risk to the public posed by such potentially hazardous treatment being provided by people without the training and qualifications necessary for registration as a dental professional.”