19th April 2018

Former Liverpool reality TV star, Chelsey Harwood, was found guilty of offering illegal tooth whitening today by Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.

Ruling in Ms Harwood’s absence, District Judge Lloyd adjourned sentencing until 3rd May to enable Ms Harwood to provide three years’ accounts but confirmed the offences “could carry a heavy fine”, adding that if Ms Harwood failed to attend again the sentence would be passed in her absence.

After receiving numerous complaints in January 2018 that Ms Harwood was advertising an illegal tooth whitening service via social media, the General Dental Council (GDC) launched an investigation. On 12 February, Ms Harwood held herself out to GDC investigators as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening.

Under the Dentists Act 1984, and following the High Court’s ruling in GDC v Jamous, the legal position in relation to tooth whitening is very clear. The treatment can only be performed by a dentist or a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working to the prescription of a dentist.

In making the ruling, District Judge Lloyd said: “[Ms Harwood] was going about this business and could have done all sorts of harm to underage as well as overage people.”

Francesca Keen, Head of Illegal Practice at the General Dental Council, said:

“Our primary purpose at the GDC is to protect the public from harm. Illegal tooth whitening represents a real risk as those who carry it out are neither qualified to assess a patient’s suitability for the treatment nor are they able to intervene should an emergency arise. The GDC takes reports of illegal practice of dentistry very seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute in the criminal courts.”

Prosecution details:

The hearing took place on 19 April 2018 10.25am at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.

Charge 1: On 12 February 2018, Chelsey Harwood, who is not a registered dentist or dental care professional, did unlawfully hold herself out as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, at Premier Suites Liverpool located at 7 Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 3FE, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984.

Charge 2: On 27 January 2018, Chelsey Harwood did unlawfully carry on the business of dentistry, contrary to Section 41 (1) and (1B) of the Dentists Act 1984.

Ms Harwood did not attend court on 19 April 2018 and District Judge Lloyd accepted an application to proceed in her absence. Ms Harwood was found guilty of both offences (s.38 and s41), with sentence adjourned to 3 May 2018 to allow three years’ accounts to be produced.