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High Court confirms that tooth whitening is only to be carried out by regulated dental professionals

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A High Court case has confirmed that tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and should only be undertaken by regulated dental professionals.

Lorna Jamous is a qualified beautician who was carrying out teeth bleaching procedures in her beauty salon. The General Dental Council (GDC) took action against Ms Jamous as they claimed that tooth whitening constituted dentistry, which would require registration as a dental professional. Initially a lower court ruled in favour of Ms Jamous, however, the High Court ruled that tooth whitening does constitute the practice of dentistry. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the matter was remitted to the Magistrates Court for sentence.

The consequence of this is that any person unregulated by the GDC who carries out the procedure is committing a criminal offence. Ms. Jamous was convicted of practicing dentistry and unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry when not regulated by the GDC. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 toward court costs for the GDC.

If you are concerned about compliance with any of the General Dental Councils regulations or have any other registration issues, Stephensons Solicitors LLP has a team of lawyers who advise and defend professional clients across a range of sectors. Our team regularly deals with disciplinary cases before the GDC, as well as advising on registration issues.

By Francesca Snape, Professional Discipline & Regulatory Department