Illegal teeth-whitening procedures increase

  • February 19, 2020
  • Serious injuries caused

    The number of illegal teeth-whitening procedures carried out in the UK has risen, even though untrained beauticians have caused patients injuries such as burns, blisters and even tooth loss.

    The General Dental Council (GDC) has advised that teeth-whitening “can only safely and legally be offered by registered dental professionals”. Unfortunately, this has not prevented the rise in illegal procedures – in 2019 the GDC received 732 reports of illegal teeth-whitening cases, although actual figures could be higher because not all problems will be reported.

    Fraudulent qualifications

    BBC researchers discovered a number of companies offering fraudulent qualifications, and went undercover, taking part in a five-hour course at the London School of Nails and Beauty. The school told those who took part that after completion they would receive a certificate which could be used to set up their own business. They were also told that they could earn “from £80 upwards per session.”

    Although the GDC does not have the power to prosecute companies providing fraudulent training, they said: “it is a criminal offence for an individual who is not registered with us to receive payment for dental treatments or advice.”

    Dr Ben Atkins, President of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “When things go wrong in dentistry, they can really go wrong.”


    If you have been a victim of fraudulent teeth whitening procedures or dentistry, you can report this to the General Dentist Council by calling 020 7167 6000 or by writing to: Illegal Practice, General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8DQ. You can also report on-line at

    The GDC said: “We will publicise the cases that we prosecute to raise awareness to ensure that dental treatment is conducted safely by registered dental professionals.”

    Inez Brown, Partner at Medical Accident Group, said: “Anyone using the title of a dentist, dental nurse, dental hygienist or dental technician should be registered with the GDC and should adhere to General Dentist Council guidelines.”

    If you or a family member have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors who will guide you through the process of making a claim. Call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or email at [email protected].

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