The UK regulator of dental practice, the General Dental Council (GDC), has successfully prosecuted a woman for unlawfully practising dentistry - namely tooth whitening.
Tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry. This means that, in accordance with the law, it must only be carried out by registered dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians (working to the prescription of a dentist).
On 30 July 2015 Cassandra Wright was found guilty in her absence at City of London Magistrates' Court of two charges of unlawfully practising dentistry contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984. She had previously entered a not guilty plea at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 8 April 2015.
The two offences took place at Harley Street Allure, 1-7 Harley Street, London on 14 October 2013 and 3 January 2015.
Both patients who received the so-called 'self-administered' tooth whitening suffered harm. The first patient suffered headaches, extremely sore gums and hyper sensitivity to their teeth as a result of the treatment provided by Ms Wright. The second patient suffered sensitivity to the roof of their mouth and pain during the treatment.
Ms Wright, who has never been registered with the GDC, was ordered to pay £4000 in relation to the two charges. She was also ordered to pay compensation of £279 and £319 to the two victims respectively, a victim surcharge of £120 and costs to the GDC of £6,000. This amounted to a total sum of £10,718.
Patients can check their dental professional is registered by logging on to the GDC's website: www.gdc-uk.org.