A Hucknall hairdresser has been fined for unlawfully practising dentistry, but says she had no idea she was breaking the law.
Jade Hayes pleaded guilty to tooth whitening, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984, on September 23 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.
Industry watchdog the General Dental Council (GDC) warned the practise posed a ‘significant risk to the public’ and had led, in a separate case, to someone being hospitalised after they swallowed bleach.
Ms Hayes, 23, of Derbyshire Lane, Hucknall, told the court that she had been trained to provide tooth whitening by ‘Hollywood Whitening’ and was wrongly assured by the company that the practice was legal.
She was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a court charge of £150, a £75 victim surcharge, and £150 compensation to the victim.
She has also been ordered to pay costs to the GDC of £1,000.
The offences took place on June 3 this year at LA Hair Extensions, on Brightmoor Street, in Nottingham.
A GDC spokeswoman said: “It doesn’t matter what product is used it is the practise that is illegal. We have seen cases of burns to the lips and gums. Any tooth whitening permanently changes the structure of the gums.
“In the most severe case someone was hospitalised after swallowing bleach.
“Dentists train for five years. Some of the beauticians and hairdressers have had absolutely no training and yet people are allowing them to put bleach in their mouth. How are they going to help people if something goes wrong?”
She said that, in accordance with the law, only registered dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist can perform tooth whitening.
You can check to see whether someone is registered by logging on to the GDC website www.gdc-uk.org.
Speaking to the Dispatch after the court hearing, Ms Hayes said: “I paid £1,000 for my training and I received a certificate. I had no reason to think this was illegal. There are literally hundreds of people doing this on Facebook.”
She said that she would be taking legal action against London-based Hollywood Whitening.
Sales representative Ben Shaw said: “We provided the training to sell the product to the consumer. But we did not provide her with the training to do dentistry.”
The Dentists Act 1984 makes it illegal for anyone who is not a registered dental professional to give ‘treatment, advice or attendance’ that would usually be given by a dentist. Handing an individual a tooth whitening tray and advising them on application, amongst other things, could constitute the giving of ‘advice or attendance’ and would be illegal.