Birmingham resident prosecuted for illegal tooth whitening 6 June 2018 Birmingham resident, Naomi Austin, pleaded guilty this week, and was ordered to pay over £2,000 by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. After receiving a complaint in December 2017, the General Dental Council (GDC) launched an investigation and, in January 2018, Ms Austin revealed to undercover GDC investigators that she was prepared to carry out the practice of 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 in that 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. The GDC takes reports of illegal practice of dentistry very seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute in the criminal courts.” Prosecution details: On 4 June 2018, Ms Austin pleaded guilty to the below charges and was sentenced to pay a fine of £500, GDC legal costs of £1,500 and a victim surcharge of £50. Charge one: On 23 January 2018, Naomi Austin, 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 Apartments, Dean House, 28 Upper Dean Street, Birmingham, B5 4SG, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984. Charge two: Between 18 and 23 January 2018, Naomi Austin, who is not a registered dentist or dental care professional, did unlawfully carry on the business of dentistry, contrary to Section 41 (1) and (1B) of the Dentists Act 1984. Charge three: On 23 January 2018, Naomi Austin, who is not a registered dentist or dental care professional, did unlawfully use the title ‘dental hygienist’, contrary to Section 39 (2A) and (3) of the Dentists Act 1984.