A WOMAN who carried out illegal teeth whitening at a Leeds beauty salon “lacked the skills, knowledge and proper training” to carry out the procedure safely.
Gail Fielding of Room 11 Nails and Beauty, Front Street, ignored two warning letters from the General Dental Council (GDC) before the industry body received a third complaint sparking an investigation into her conduct last June.
She was later charged with being prepared to carry out illegal tooth whitening without being on the register of dental professionals and appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court March 31.
She was found guilty and sentenced to a 12-month condition discharge.
The GDC said Fielding, who claimed to have been trained by the company Beaming White, ignored two warning letters from the body in March and September 2014. It was after a third complaint, the GDC opened an investigation into Fielding’s conduct which resulted in a criminal prosecution.
She was also ordered to pay £500 towards the GDC’s costs.
Francesca Keen, head of illegal practice at the General Dental Council said, “The outcome of this case is makes it clear that anybody found to be carrying out illegal teeth whitening will be punished, as it is the practice of dentistry.
“Ms Fielding chose to ignore our previous warning letters which made it explicitly clear that it was illegal to carry out tooth whitening without being registered with us. Ms Fielding lacked the skills, knowledge, proper training and the experience to carry out tooth whitening safely which meant we had little option but to proceed with the prosecution.
“People who are prepared to carry out tooth whitening illegally without being on our register pose a risk to the public and as our ninth prosecutions so far this year show, it continues to be an issue.
“I would always advise to consult your dentist or check the GDC’s register before you agree to any tooth whitening treatment. Not doing so there is the risk of permanent damage to your teeth.
“We rely on people coming forward with information so we can investigate, and if necessary take action.”
On Saturday, the Local Government Association warned that illegal teeth whitening products akin to “brushing with bleach” are being used by rogue beauticians.
It is calling for tougher penalties on those selling dangerous kits and on unqualified teeth whitening practitioners. It also wants the Government to raise consumer awareness of the dangers of both illegal operators performing the treatment and home-based kits with dangerous amounts of bleach.
Professional dentists are the only people legally allowed to perform teeth whitening services at a business premise.