Eastbourne woman fined over tooth whitening

Hastings Law Courts 'Hastings Magistrates' Court SUS-180703-104030001

A woman from Eastbourne has been ordered to pay more than £5,000 after being found guilty of practising illegal tooth whitening.

Ashleigh Sadler was prosecuted by the General Dental Council and the case was heard in her absence at Hastings Magistrates’ Court last week.

The council said it launched an investigation after it received a complaint from an informant in May this year.

A spokesperson at the GDC said, “On May 23 2018, Ashleigh Sadler, who is not a registered dentist or dental care professional, did unlawfully hold herself out as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984.

“Under the Dentists Act 1984 and following a High Court ruling, 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.”

On September 7, Ashleigh Sadler was found guilty in her absence at Hastings Magistrates’ Court. She was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge. She was also ordered to pay costs to the GDC of £2,976.77.

Katie Spears, head of illegal practice at the GDC, 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 Sadler, we will, where appropriate, prosecute in the criminal courts.”

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