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Unregistered dentist caught out by undercover investigator



Sixty-year-old Robert Webb of Hertfordshire has been caught performing illegal dentistry in unhygienic conditions, Stevenage Magistrates Court heard recently. The rogue dentist misled patients about his qualifications, claiming to be a clinical dental technician, when he has never held such a high position.

Mr Webb was caught out by an undercover investigator from the General Dental Council, posing as a client looking to enquire about dentures for her elderly mother. The conditions of the ‘clinic’ where he worked from were described as ‘cluttered, dusty and very dirty’ and bizarrely the unlicensed dentist kept pet hedgehogs in the premises. Jenny Stewart, the prosecutor at his trial, was quoted in the Daily Mail, “It is hard to gauge how many people he treated but he was clearly profiting from this and he would have come into contact with quite vulnerable elderly people.”

The courts found Mr Webb guilty of three offences relating to hisunlicensed practice and fined him over six thousand pounds. It emerged that the rogue dentist was previously struck off as a dental technician back in 2014 but continued to practice for a further two years before being found out. Mr Webb, who represented himself in court, said that it was his nature to be kind and helpful and that was how he ended up getting caught.



Belfast City Council warns about dangers of illegal tooth whitening


Staff at Belfast City Council have noticed an increase in the number of places offering tooth whitening and have issued a warning to the public about the dangers of businesses providing illegal treatments. Anyone who wants to carry out the cosmetic dental treatment has to be registered with the General Dental Council; it is illegal for anyone without the proper qualifications to offer tooth whitening to patients.

A spokesperson for the council said ‘any business which offers tooth whitening without being registered with the GDC is breaking the law. If the council becomes aware of an individual or business offering this service illegally, we must inform the GDC which may bring legal proceedings.’

Businesses have also been warned that council staff will be visiting them to make sure that they are complying with the legislation. If any providers are found to be in breach of the law they could face a fine of up to £20,000. Letters have been sent to businesses across Belfast to remind them of the law and how they should be providing teeth whitening in accordance with it; which states that they must be a dental professional that is registered with the GDC.

Unregistered dental practitioner is fined for illegal treatment


A man from Sheffield has been fined more than £3,000 for providing illegal dental treatment to patients in the area, primarily teeth whitening – which cannot be carried out without a dental license. Nathan Holliday pleaded guilty to the charges, which centred on the illegal tooth bleaching in December last year, at the hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court this week.

Not only is it illegal for uncertified people to carry out teeth whitening, Holliday also caused an injury to the patient while attempting the treatment. The accused also pleaded guilty to unlawfully holding himself out as being prepared to practise dentistry at the Neat Teeth clinic on Ecclesall Rd on March 31st this year.

Holliday was fined £3,350 and ordered to pay legal costs to the General Dental Council amounting to £2,743.18, with a £120 victim surcharge on top of that.

Although teeth whitening is not a hugely invasive treatment it has to be carried out by a dental professional with the right certification and training, as there can be some injuries to the teeth and gums if it is not performed properly.

Illegal tooth whitening case reopened


A Lancaster woman had had her case reopened after she was prosecuted for illegally whitening teeth and fined nearly £3,500. Hayley Wilding, 25, failed to attend her hearing at Lancaster Magistrates court but was found guilty in her abscess of unlawfully practising dentistry and carrying on the business of dentistry during her time working at Vanity Salon in Lancaster, last year. However, Ms Wilding was apparently unaware that the General Dental Council was taking legal action against her, as she had moved house and was not receiving any of the letters from the court; which means that the case has been reopened.

Ms Wilding maintains that she thought she had completed a legally certified tooth whitening training course and had only realised that there was a court case addressing her after reading about it in the paper. She told the Lancaster Guardian; ‘I’ve been in to sign a document at the court saying I didn’t know anything about it and they have put it on hold. I’ve been doing teeth whitening since last February, after I did a three-day course with a company down in Cardiff. It cost me £400.’

The beautician said that she had been reassured that the whitening was not being carried out with peroxide-based products, so it was legal, and she added that she found the rules ‘confusing’. She went on to say that she feels ‘stupid and embarrassed’ and ‘like a criminal.’

The General Dental Council released a statement saying; ‘If you want to carry out tooth whitening, either by yourself or as a business, you must qualify as a dentist, dental therapist or a dental hygienist.’

General Dental Council advises against non-professionals whitening teeth


In the world of cosmetic dentistry, it is advisable to have a dental professional assess your teeth before going ahead with a whitening treatment – this is something the General Dental Council have been forced to reiterate after more people have had problems with procedures carried out by unqualified individuals. The GDC has issued a reminder to the public that it’s not a good idea to have their teeth bleached without a professional advising them on suitability first.

Only dentists, hygienists, and dental therapists working to a prescription are allowed to offer the treatment, but it seems there are still some people who are willing to provide it without registering first – the GDC has successfully prosecuted two such practitioners in the last year. To help consumers understand what the pitfalls could be, a guidance leaflet has been made available online and providers are being reminded of their responsibility with regards to proper, legal use of whitening products.

Although dental whitening is a relatively safe procedure, there can be complications if the teeth undergoing treatment are in an unhealthy state to begin with, and there is the possibility of injury if the provider does not have the necessary training. A statement from the GDC said that they ‘will continue to prosecute these cases’, whilst reminding the public to make them aware of ‘any concerns they may have that tooth whitening is being undertaken unlawfully.’

Government promises action over teeth whitening concerns


Government promises action over teeth whitening concernsThe British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed a government commitment to address concerns over teeth whitening treatments in the UK.

Edward Davey MP, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said whitening products should not be directly available to consumers.

He has also promised to raise the issue of chlorine dioxide in whitening products with the European Commission – a pledge that was met with approval by the BDA.

The association previously voiced concerns that the stance taken by trading standards officials over the procedure may prompt people to seek whitening treatments from unregulated practitioners and non-dental sources.

It warned that a tough approach from trading standards departments, as seen recently at Essex County Council, could potentially have dangerous consequences for consumers.

Meanwhile, a new awareness campaign designed to improve patients' understanding of the risks posed by uncertified tooth whitening operations has been launched by the General Dental Council.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800608106-ADNFCR

Teeth whitening patients ‘should seek treatment from professionals’


Teeth whitening patients 'should seek treatment from professionals'It is worthwhile seeking out the guidance of dental healthcare professionals when considering teeth whitening, as there are risks associated with making poor decisions.

While many internet and pharmacy-bought kits may be much cheaper than going to a treatment centre, the end result is sufficiently different to warrant paying more.

According to the Daily Mirror's Miriam Stoppard, professionals will apply a special teeth whitening gel and explain exactly what to do in the weeks following an appointment.

In her view, it is definitely worthwhile spending more money, as the treatment will be done with the patient's teeth in mind, rather than simply being a standard application from a box.

Ms Stoppard added: "Some online treatments, supplied from abroad (don't be fooled by a address!) may contain illegally high concentrations of bleach that may permanently damage the tooth enamel."

Last month, BBC News reported that the General Dental Council called for new legislation regulating who is able to carry out tooth whitening operations in the UK.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800565639-ADNFCR

Celebrities ‘maintain Hollywood smiles with cosmetic dentistry’


Celebrities 'maintain Hollywood smiles with cosmetic dentistry'An increase in the popularity of cosmetic dentistry could be due to the high number of celebrities opting for the treatment.

Singers and actors with dazzling white teeth seem to be encouraging regular people to aspire for the same thing, Dental Health Magazine suggested.

While various celebrities will pay thousands of pounds to maintain their perfect smiles, experts have revealed there are cheaper options that could have the same effect.

Cheryl Cole, who has recently been announced as a judge on the American version of The X Factor, was transformed after receiving dental veneers and teeth whitening in the early stages of her career.

Other celebrities who have sought cosmetic dentistry include singer Hilary Duff and Cole's fellow X Factor judge Simon Cowell.

Meanwhile, the General Dental Council has urged the government to take action to create tougher controls for cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening and ensure they can only be conducted in a safe and hygienic environment.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800527209-ADNFCR

General Dental Council calls for tougher controls on teeth whitening


General Dental Council calls for tougher controls on teeth whiteningStrict regulations should be placed upon teeth whitening practitioners to ensure patient safety, the General Dental Council (GDC) has claimed.

Calling for tougher controls, the organisation has put forward proposals to ensure those performing the procedure are appropriately trained, BBC News reports.

This comes after an increase in the number of people choosing to undergo the treatment in high streets and shopping centres in a bid to save money.

Chief executive of the GDC Evlynne Gilvarry warned people contemplating having their teeth whitened that the procedure should be carried out in a clean and hygienic environment by a professional.

She said: "Over the last few years we have received hundreds of complaints from the public and dental professionals about poor tooth whitening."

Meanwhile, the popularity of teeth whitening procedures in America has been highlighted after figures from the American Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry revealed £1.4 billion (£846 million) is spent on the procedure annually, Stylecaster reports.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800519902-ADNFCR

Patient left in pain after ‘botched’ cosmetic dentistry


Poor cosmetic dentistry allegedly caused problems for one man.The case of a man whose cosmetic dentistry went wrong could encourage would-be patients to take better care over where they book procedures.

Andrew Plant from Carlisle told the News and Star he went to have a bridge fitted by Jasper Van Der Westhuizen in October 2007.

However, he was left in terrible pain and despite emergency dentistry to remove a root, it has not gone away.

Mr Plant now has to take a cocktail of painkillers to get through each day and has been told there is nothing that can be done to repair the damage.

The victim took his case to the General Dental Council and it was agreed that Mr Van Der Westhuizen had failed to take X-rays before the treatment, although other allegations regarding negligence were not upheld.

Earlier this month, Jean Wall from Droylsden was awarded compensation after a blundering dentist caused burns and nerve damage while carrying out dental veneers, crowns and teeth whitening.

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