Illegal tooth whitening on the rise, get the facts

Posted on 02 Feb 2017 at 18:18

Celebrity culture and reality as well as the rise in social media have made teeth whitening one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the UK. According to Mintel research, more than a third of adults are considering having it done. However the treatment should only ever be carried out by Dental Health professionals. LS1 Dental Leeds would like to share some information with you to help make it clear, who can and cant provide the treatment of tooth whitening

Some beauty salons are continuing to provide illegal teeth whitening despite being prosecuted by regulators, in one such case undercover reporters were offered tooth whitening by a therapist that had already been fined thousands of pounds just months earlier !

The General Dental Council has already prosecuted 24 people this year – more than the whole of last year.

So with the popularity of teeth whitening continuing to soar, who is allowed to do it and what are the dangers if you are treated by someone who isn’t properly qualified?

What is teeth whitening? & Is it dangerous
?

The British Dental Association (BDA) says whitening is perfectly safe if carried out by a registered dental professional. But the BDA warns anyone else won’t have the right training or knowledge and could cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums. For example, if the mouth guard containing the bleaching gel does not fit properly some of it may leak and cause painful chemical burns. In extreme cases, people have been sick after swallowing the bleaching product. The BDA says beauticians aren’t properly trained to take a medical history to make sure someone is suitable for teeth whitening.

Who’s allowed to do it?

Under the Dentists Act 1984, it’s illegal for anyone other than dentists or dental health professionals such as hygienists to carry out teeth whitening. But we found dozens of beauty therapists across the UK offering the treatment

Tooth whitening FAQs

I have an appointment booked to get my teeth whitened, but I’ve heard that they aren’t trained. Can you tell me whether they are allowed to perform tooth whitening?

Only registered dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and clinical dental technicians, working to the prescription of a dentist, can perform tooth whitening. You can check to see whether someone is registered by going clicking here. If the person performing the tooth whitening cannot be found on one of the GDC registers they are not legally allowed to practice tooth whitening and it would be unlawful for them to whiten your teeth.

I’ve seen a leaflet advertising tooth whitening at my local hairdresser’s. It says that the staff are insured; if that’s the case then it must be legal?

False. The fact that somebody who offers tooth whitening states that they have valid insurance or indemnity does not indicate that the tooth whitening procedure itself is legal. The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTC) states that they will not insure individuals to carry out tooth whitening as there is no government recognised qualification for this treatment.

I have heard that only dentists and some other dental care professionals can whiten teeth.


True. Only dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist can legally perform tooth whitening
.

You may have been told that it’s not illegal for beauticians to offer tooth whitening:

False. The High Court case of GDC v Jamous confirmed that tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and can only be legally performed by a dentist or a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working to the prescription of a dentist.

If you are considering tooth whitening why not contact us at LS1 Dental Leeds for a free consultation on tooth whitening . Where our team can give you expert advice and the treatment will be carried out by a fully qualified dental professional.

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