Tyneside-based woman guilty of offering illegal tooth whitening

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A woman has been prosecuted for unlawfully holding herself out as being prepared to practise dentistry - namely tooth whitening.

Legally, it can only be carried out by individuals who are regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC), specifically dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, or clinical dental technicians working to a dentist’s prescription.

Charlene Bell was found guilty at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court of holding herself out as being prepared to practise dentistry, contrary to the Dentists Act 1984.

The magistrates convicted Ms Bell in her absence following a formal indication that she wanted to plead guilty to the offence.

The offence took place on January 20, this year, at Celebeauty Smile White Spa in Forth Street, Newcastle.

Ms Bell, who claimed that she was trained by ‘Lovelite’, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge. She was also ordered to pay costs to the GDC of £2,000.

The magistrates said that they considered it an aggravating factor that Ms Bell had suggested she was a dental therapist, despite having never been registered with the GDC.

The magistrates also noted that she had ignored warning letters sent to her by the GDC in 2013 and 2014.

Patients can check their dental professional is registered by logging on to the GDC’s website: www.gdc-uk.org.