Lancashire mum admits practising illegal teeth whitening

Chorley Magistrates Court.
Chorley Magistrates Court.
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A woman who carried out an illegal teeth whitening business in Lancashire has been prosecuted by the General Dental Council – which says she has never been registered with them.

Jemma Knox, of Milestone Meadow, Euxton, near Chorley, appeared before Chorley Magistrates’ Court, where she admitted unlawfully holding herself out as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening.

The 31-year-old mum, who ran the Sparkle Whites beauty clinic at Shaw Hill Golf and Country Club, Whittle le Woods, was taken to court by the regulator relating to an offence on November 13.

The court heard by law, only dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians – working to the prescription of a dentist – can carry out the practice, made popular by celebrities.

Today Katie Spears, head of illegal practice prosecutions at the GDC, said: “The law is now very clear that tooth whitening can only be carried out by registered dentists, or by dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians working to a dentist’s prescription.

“We are concerned about the risk to the public posed by such potentially hazardous treatment being provided by people without the training and qualifications necessary for registration as a dental professional.

“We have seen cases of burns to the gums, blistering to the lips and even of someone being hospitalised after swallowing a bleaching agent. We take this issue extremely seriously and will prosecute where possible.”

Knox was given an 18-month conditional discharge by the bench.

However, she was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and full costs to the GDC of £2,271.40.

The businesswoman was not available for comment.