Man admits offering illegal teeth whitening

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A MAN has pleaded guilty to carrying out teeth whitening despite not being a registered dental practitioner.

The UK regulator of dental practice, the General Dental Council (GDC), has successfully prosecuted a provider of a so-called ‘self-administered’ system of tooth-whitening treatment.

By law, only dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians (working to the prescription of a dentist) can carry out tooth whitening.

Graeme Pattinson this week pleaded guilty at Teesside Magistrates’ Court to unlawfully practising dentistry, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984.

Mr Pattinson also pleaded guilty to unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry, contrary to Section 41 (1) and (1B) of the Dentists Act 1984.

The offences took place at Ultimate Tanning and Beauty Salon, 4-5 Enterprise House, Thomlinson Road, Hartlepool, on June 24 last year.

Section 37 of the Dentists Act 1984 sets out that only registered dentists and appropriate dental care professionals may provide ‘treatment, advice and attendance’ that is ‘usually given by dentists’.

The regulator said handing someone a tooth whitening tray and, among other things, assisting them with its application, may constitute the ‘advice and attendance’ usually given by a dentist, and therefore be illegal.

Mr Pattinson pleaded guilty to the offences on the basis that the treatment he provided was ‘self-administered’ by the victim.

He accepted, by his guilty plea, that his actions were illegal. Mr Pattinson asserted that he used the Megawhite teeth-whitening system.

Mr Pattinson, who has never been registered with the GDC, received a two-year conditional discharge.

He was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £1,000 towards the GDC’s costs.