The Federation of European Dental Competent Authorities and Regulators (FEDCAR) published a statement last November that stated: ‘In the interests of high standards of oral healthcare, and irrespective of the chemical products used, tooth whitening should only be provided under the supervision of a dental practitioner’.
This statement goes some way to supporting the legal position in the UK, established in the High Court case of GDC v Jamous 2013, that tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and therefore can only be performed by registered dental care professionals.
The General Dental Council (GDC) has successfully prosecuted a number of illegal tooth whiteners since the High Court decision.
The FEDCAR statement creates a European position on the issue, which it is hoped will improve patient safety across Europe.
Victoria Sheppard-Jones, interim head of illegal practice at the GDC said: ‘This is great news for the dental profession and patients.
‘It endorses the UK legal position that tooth whitening is a complicated and potentially risky procedure and as such can only be undertaken by a qualified dental professional.
‘As always, we encourage anybody who is considering tooth whitening to check the register to ensure that the individual is legally allowed to do so before proceeding.’