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Doncaster resident prosecuted for illegal tooth whitening

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Doncaster resident, Paul Dela Cruz, pleaded guilty to offering illegal tooth whitening and was ordered to pay more than £2,000 by Leeds Magistrates’ Court this week.

After receiving a complaint that Mr Dela Cruz was offering illegal tooth whitening at his business, Benz and Blanc in Leeds Corn Exchange, the General Dental Council (GDC) launched an investigation. On 4 April 2018, Mr Dela Cruz held himself 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 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.