That’s according to a cohort of leading dentists who are supporting a new ‘go-to’ website that aims to make it easier for the public to sift the qualified clinicians from the illegal rogue traders who plague an industry now worth £3.6 billion.
A survey by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) recently revealed 23% of Brits have already had some form of cosmetic dental treatment.
And, as an increasing number of patients turn to the internet to source people and places for teeth whitening, Botox and other cosmetic dental procedures, the risk of receiving treatment from illegal sources increases.
Now, with the launch of Comparethetreatment.com, the first UK-based interactive platform that enables dentists to promote their expertise and engage directly with patients, practitioners are hoping the tide will turn on illegal practices.
The website provides a safe route to smile makeovers and other cosmetic treatments and has already gained the support of many leading dental practitioners keen to support clarity and transparency in the provision of cosmetic treatments.
Tim Molony, founder of Comparethetreatment.com, has added his voice to the growing number of people who fear little has changed in regulation of the industry since the government’s cosmetic surgery review in 2013 in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal.
He said: ‘The review of the cosmetic industry by Sir Bruce Keogh recommended that all practitioners should be properly qualified.
‘In November 2015, Health Education England published part one of its report on non-surgical cosmetic interventions and hair restoration surgery, acknowledging that “there are currently no restrictions on who may perform cosmetic procedures, no qualification requirements and an absence of accredited training courses in an industry which is booming and expected to be worth £3.6 billion by 2015”.
‘The Department of Health is reviewing the HEE recommendation and will choose how best to take the work forward, but the process is slow and we now wait to hear further developments, which look set to be at the end of this month.’
He added: ‘The new GMC rules, that will come into play in June, do go some way to helping the public with regards certain cosmetic procedures that come under its remit, but Comparethetreatment.com has already taken a massive step towards helping to bridge that knowledge gap for patients, offering evidence-based advice from qualified member clinicians on aesthetic procedures.
‘We launched the website in a bid to help crack down on cowboy procedures such as illegal Botox and teeth whitening, the latter of which has been acknowledged by the BDA as “running rampant across the UK”.
‘With beauty therapists and hairdressing salons among those breaking the law – but with much of the public in the dark about who can do what – we aim to erase any grey areas that may lead to harm for patients and frustration for practitioners.’
Voice of support
Dr Mani Bhardwaj, managing director of The Smile Studios Dental Group in Richmond, west London, welcomed the new website.
He said: ‘Comparethetreatment.com’s structure is fantastically forward thinking and great for the dental market, providing the public as it does with dental IQ and motivation to find the right practitioner. This will make treatment planning and providing options far easier for practitioners.’
Dr Sunil Hirani, a specialist orthodontist and founder of Smilelux, an orthodontic practice in Milton Keynes, also added his support. He said: ‘Comparethetreatment.com is a fantastic educational website that will truly help patients understand the myriad of treatment options that currently exist and ensure they see appropriate, well-trained clinicians who will look after them in a caring manner. This website is much needed to ensure greater patient safety.’
To find out more information on how to join this exclusive dental community and help shape the future of cosmetic treatments, visit www.comparethetreatment.com/raise-your-profile.