GDC wins first-ever ‘illegal’ tooth whitening case

In the first case of its kind,he UK’s dental regulator has successfully prosecuted a clinic’s boss for ‘illegally’ performing tooth whitening.

The General Dental Council (GDC) regards this cosmetic treatment as the practice of dentistry and won its case against national chain, Style Smile Clinics.

Paul William Hill, 48, of Warrington, is director of PW Healthcare Consulting Limited (which trades nationally as Style Smile Clinics) and pleaded guilty to four offences, including practising dentistry while not registered as a dentist or dental care professional between 2 October 2010 and 11 March 2011.

Under the Dentists Act 1984, it is an offence for non-registrants to practise or be prepared to practise dentistry.

Mr Hill was ordered to pay a total of £6,265 in fines and costs and PW Healthcare Consulting Limited, 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 case took place at City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London,

The GDC launched the case last year after it received hundreds of complaints from members of the public and dental professionals about tooth whitening treatment being provided by individuals who are not registered dental professionals.

The GDC, which regulates all dental professionals in the UK, began criminal proceedings under the Dentists Act 1984 on the grounds that tooth 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.

Chief executive and registrar of the GDC, Evlynne Gilvarry, says: ‘This case has significant implications for the dental profession and for public protection.

‘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.’

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