Hartlepool man who carried out illegal dentistry has ‘had enough’ of beauty industry

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A BUSINESSMAN who pleaded guilty to carrying out illegal teeth whitening says he is “getting out of the beauty industry”.

Hartlepool man Graeme Pattinson, who worked for the Ultimate Tanning and Beauty Salon, in Thomlinson Road, Hartlepool, admitted unlawfully practising dentistry, and unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry, contrary to the Dentists Act 1984.

The 47-year-old, who was employed for 13 years by the firm which his wife owns, told the Mail he has “had enough” following the prosecution by the General Dentistry Council (GDC) at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, in Middlesbrough.

The prosecution came about following a complaint from a client to whom he sold the self-administered ‘gum-shield’ style teeth whitening product to, despite not being a registered dental practitioner.

He admitted breaching the technical guidelines of the law which states that only dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians, working to the prescription of a dentist, can carry out whitening.

Speaking from his home in Meadowgate Drive, off Hart Lane, in Hartlepool, Mr Pattinson said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare to be blunt. Luckily the shop insurance covered all my legal expenses otherwise I’d have been left seriously out of pocket.

“I wish I’d never bothered with this product.”

He added: “My advice to any salon, or anybody offering teeth whitening if they aren’t a dentist, is to stop immediately.

“I wouldn’t want anybody to have to go through all of this.”

The offences took place at Ultimate Tanning and Beauty Salon, based at Enterprise House, 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.

The GDC said 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.