10 August 2018

Ms Cranston was ordered to pay more than £1,100 by Newcastle upon Tyne Magistrates' Court this week.

After receiving a complaint, via Newcastle Trading Standards, that Ms Cranston was offering illegal tooth whitening services, the General Dental Council (GDC) launched an investigation. The complainant reported that, as well as providing illegal tooth whitening from her home, Ms Cranston had sold three people ‘charcoal whitening powder’ which caused ‘gum swelling and bleeding’. As part of the GDC’s investigation, Ms Cranston held herself out to undercover investigators on 3 April 2018 as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, illegally.

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.

Katie Spears, 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. When we receive a report of illegal practice, we seek to educate those involved about the dangers and the law in relation to tooth whitening. Where our efforts are ignored, as in the case of Ms Cranston, we will, where appropriate, prosecute in the criminal courts.”

Prosecution details:

Charge: On 3 April 2018, Leanne Cranston, 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 Vanity Salon Unit 2 Etal Way Newcastle Upon Tyne NE5 4NB, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984


Leanne Cranston did not attend the hearing at Newcastle upon Tyne Magistrates' Court on 9 August, however her legal representative entered a guilty plea on her behalf. Ms Cranston was fined £80, ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and was also ordered to pay a contribution of £1,000 towards the GDC’s legal costs.