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01 Jan 2012 | Press Release

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UK beautician fined for illegal tooth whitening

Legal/Indemnity Whitening Teeth whitening

A Devon-based cosmetologist (aka beautician) has been prosecuted for offering tooth whitening treatment and ordered to pay 1872 Pounds Sterling.


Tooth whitening is considered the practice of dentistry in the UK and only those registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) may lawfully offer it as a treatment.

On December 22, 2011, Mr Carl Espano of 29 Western Road, Torquay, Devon TQ1 4RJ plead guilty at West London Magistrates Court to practising dentistry when not registered with the GDC, contrary to section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists' Act 1984.

He has been fined 1000 Pounds Sterling and ordered to pay a 15 Pounds Sterling victim surcharge. He has also been ordered to pay full costs to the GDC of 857 Pounds Sterling.

Mr Espano, in mitigation for his actions, raised the House of Lords judgement in the case of Optident Limited and Another v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Another (2001) UKHL 32. However, the magistrates' appeared to give this argument little or no weight when determining his sentence.

The Magistrates told Mr Espano: "This is a serious offence, particularly for potential victims as you didn't have any indemnity in place for any damage you might have done to any teeth. In addition, should you have damaged the adult teeth, a patient only has one set. Accordingly we view this as a serious offence."

Chief executive and registar of the GDC Evlynne Gilvarry said, "We are committed to taking action against people who offer tooth whitening unlawfully. They are a risk to the people they treat and it is our duty act to ensure public safety."

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