Tooth whitening

If you're thinking about having your teeth whitened, please read our tooth whitening leaflet and speak to your dentist. A dentist will be able to advise you whether or not you are suitable for tooth whitening treatment. Dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians will be able to discuss the options available, and provide a written estimation of treatment costs. 

​Questions to ask before going ahead

  • What types of tooth whitening are available and what are the differences between them?

  • What results can I expect?

  • What can you do about stained veneers, crowns or dentures to make sure they match my natural teeth?

  • What are the risks?

  • Will it hurt?

  • Who will be carrying out the procedure?

  • What training and experience do they have?

  • Is the work guaranteed for a certain length of time?

  • What aftercare do you provide and who can I contact for advice after treatment?

  • What happens if I am unhappy with the results?

  • Who will pay for any work that is done to correct any problems?

  • What kind of insurance do you have?

Complaints about tooth whitening

First use our online register to check whether the person carrying out the tooth whitening is registered with us.

Where we have enough evidence that the tooth whitening is being carried out by someone who is not a registered dentist, hygienist, therapist or clinical dental technician we may investigate and where there is sufficient evidence, bring a criminal prosecution. Examples of our successful prosecutions can be found in the press rel​eases section.

If the person carrying out tooth whitening is registered, we can investigate through our fitness to practise process. We can take action against any of our registrants who are carrying out tooth whitening outside their scope of practice.

Get in touch​

Please contact us to make a complaint​ if:

  • Your tooth whitening was carried out by someone who was not a registered dental professional;

  • If you have a complaint which involves patient harm, if the patient is willing to co-operate with us; or

  • You have an allegation of a registrant working outside our scope of practice guidance.

​​Public attitudes to tooth whitening

We carried out an opinion survey with patients and the public about attitudes to tooth whitening. The results and key findings from the survey can be found on the related documents section of this page.

Tooth whitening FAQs 

Related content

Contact GDC

+44 (0) 20 7167 6000

37 Wimpole Street

London W1G 8DQ


Secure area for dental professionals