GDC issues warning leaflet for patients

As part of its campaign to raise public awareness of safety in relation to tooth whitening, the General Dental Council (GDC) has launched a new publication: Considering tooth whitening? The GDC is warning the public against tooth whitening conducted illegally by unregulated persons.

The leaflet can be found at

According to the GDC tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and may only be conducted lawfully by individuals who are registered with it.

Earlier this year the GDC successfully prosecuted a non-registrant for performing tooth whitening. 48 year old Paul William Hill of Warrington, Director of PW Healthcare Consulting Limited, pleaded guilty at City of Westminster Magistrates Court to four offences including practising dentistry while not registered as a dentist or dental care professional.

Mr Hill and PW Healthcare Consulting Limited were ordered to pay a combined total of more than £13,000 in fines and costs. The GDC launched the case after it received hundreds of complaints from members of the public and dental professionals about tooth whitening treatment being provided by individuals who are not registered dental professionals.

The Chief Executive and Registrar of the GDC, Evlynne Gilvarry, said:
“Tooth whitening undertaken by untrained and unregulated individuals carries significant risks and the only safe option is to consult a dentist or dental care professional. We have successfully prosecuted individuals for providing this treatment unlawfully and we will not hesitate to launch further prosecutions in the future.”

Research carried out for the General Dental Council in December 2010 found that 8 out of 10 people choose to have tooth whitening done at a dental surgery and think it should only be carried out by registered, trained and qualified dental professionals. 75% of the people who took part in the survey also said they thought the GDC should prosecute anyone carrying out tooth whitening illegally.


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