On 28 February 2020, Stuart Waterton of Essex Smiles, Hertford, was found guilty of illegally offering tooth whitening and was ordered to pay over £5500 in fines and legal costs by St Albans Magistrates’ Court.
Following a complaint received in January 2019 from members of the public, our criminal enforcement team launched an investigation.
Jenny Stewart, Head of In-House Appeals and Criminal Enforcement at the GDC said: “Our primary purpose is to protect the public from harm. Illegal tooth whitening represents a real risk as those who carry it out are neither qualified to assess a patient’s suitability for the treatment nor are they able to intervene should an emergency arise. When we receive a report of illegal practice, we seek to educate those involved about the dangers and the law in relation to tooth whitening. Where our efforts are ignored, as in the case of Mr Waterton, we will, where appropriate, prosecute in the criminal courts.”
Under the Dentists Act of 1984 it is a criminal offence for a person who is not a registered dentist or a registered dental care professional to practise dentistry. Where we have sufficient evidence that individuals who aren't registered with us are committing offences associated with practising dentistry, operating the business of dentistry or using protected titles, we will bring criminal prosecutions. For more information visit our website here.
If you suspect any cases of illegal practice, report it here.