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Wigan woman prosecuted for illegal tooth whitening


  Posted by: The Probe      17th August 2018

Christie McCarrick, of Orchid Hair Tanning and Beauty in Wigan, pleaded guilty to offering illegal tooth whitening and was ordered to pay almost £2,400 by Wigan Magistrates’ Court this week.

Following a complaint received in December 2017 from an informant who suffered burnt gums and sensitive teeth after a tooth whitening treatment, the General Dental Council (GDC) launched an investigation. On 20 March 2018 Ms McCarrick held herself out to undercover investigators as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, illegally.

Under the Dentists Act 1984 and following the High Court’s ruling in GDC v Jamous, the legal position in relation to tooth whitening is very clear. The treatment can only be performed by a dentist or a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working to the prescription of a dentist.

Katie Spears, Head of Illegal Practice at the General Dental Council, said:

“Our primary purpose at the GDC is to protect the public from harm. Illegal tooth whitening represents a real risk as those who carry it out are neither qualified to assess a patient’s suitability for the treatment nor are they able to intervene should an emergency arise. The GDC takes reports of the illegal practice of dentistry very seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute in the criminal courts.”

Anyone considering tooth whitening should first check the register of dental professionals on the GDC’s website to ensure the individual offering the treatment is qualified to do so.


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