23 November 2012
GDC successfully prosecutes tooth whitening company
The General Dental Council (GDC) has successfully prosecuted Pearl Teeth Whitening Limited – trading as Pearl National – for illegally carrying on the business of dentistry.
On Friday 23 November 2012 a representative of Pearl National pleaded guilty at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court.
The Company was charged under section 43 of the Dentists’ Act 1984, which states:
“A body corporate commits an offence if it carries on the business of dentistry at a time when a majority of its directors are not persons who are either registered dentists or registered dental care professionals.”
It was alleged:
• That Pearl Teeth Whitening Limited (trading as Pearl National), did unlawfully carry on the business of dentistry at various locations in England and Wales between the 17 January 2011 and the 15 May 2012 at a time when a majority of its directors were not and are not persons who are either registered dentists or registered dental care professionals
This is Contrary to Section 43 (1) and (3) of the Dentists Act 1984.
During sentencing, District Judge Bennett said:
“It is clear from their website that Pearl National operated from a large number of locations and from the facts of the case presented to me, that they employed unqualified people to provide teeth whitening to their customers.”
He added that it occurred to him that the company “must have received a lot of money and had never filed accounts at Companies House.”
The court has fined the firm £3,500 and ordered them to pay £4,000 towards the GDC costs.
Advice for the public
Anyone considering having tooth whitening should see their GDC-registered dentist so that the dentist can assess whether treatment would be right or appropriate for them. Registered dental hygienists and dental therapists can also carry out tooth whitening on the prescription of a dentist.
Free copies of the GDC’s patient leaflet “Considering tooth whitening” can be ordered from the GDC’s website www.gdc-uk.org
You can check your dental professional is registered by visiting the GDC website: www.gdc-uk.org
or by calling 0845 222 4141
Reporting illegal tooth whitening
If you would like to report someone you believe to be practising illegally you can do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
, by calling 0845 222 4141 or by writing to:
The General Dental Council
44 Baker Street
Notes to editors:
1. The Dentists Act 1984 makes it a criminal offence for anyone other than a registered dental professional to carry out dentistry. The GDC is committed to protecting the public by bringing cases of illegal practice to court.
2. As the UK regulatory body of the dental profession, the GDC has a duty to protect the public. Registration with the GDC is a legal requirement for dentists and the following dental care professionals:
• clinical dental technicians
• dental hygienists
• dental technicians
• dental therapists
• dental nurses
• orthodontic therapists