The General Dental Council (GDC) has reported recently on a ruling by the High Court in London that tooth whitening is the business of dentistry and as such, should only be carried out by regulated dental professionals.
The GDC, which regulates dentists and dental care professionals in the UK and the Isle of Man, states within the ‘Standards for the Dental Team’ that only dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists (working to the prescription of a dentist) can carry out tooth whitening. All those working in the UK and the Isle of Man as a dentist or dental care professional must be registered with the GDC.
In May 2013, the High Court overturned a Magistrate’s Court decision to acquit Ms Lorna Jamous of the offences of practising dentistry and unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry when not regulated by the GDC.
On 17 September 2013, Ms Jamous was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 towards costs.
There is some evidence that tooth whitening has been offered on the Island by non-dental professionals.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said: “The Department of Health will be writing to all beauty salons on the Island, informing them about these important High Court rulings and the guidance from the General Dental Council. We would not want beauty or dental professionals to be in any doubt of how this situation is viewed legally or be at risk of prosecution.”