As many of you know, until May this year we offered a very popular teeth whitening treatment and we are regularly asked if Teeth Whitening is coming back to Glow.
We now know for sure that, sadly, we cannot offer Teeth Whitening and Lisa would like to explain the full reasons why we stopped offering the in-house treatment.
Lisa’s Story – the facts of Teeth Whitening at Glow
Back in 1st November 2011 I was trained and certified in Teeth Whitening by Hollywood Whites Training Academy. I immediately took out an insurance policy to cover this service and for several years many very happy customers benefited from great results from Teeth Whitening here at Glow.
In 2013 I was contacted by a Teeth Whitening product advisor who recommended that I should attend a legal refresher course, to bring me up-to-date concerning Teeth Whitening and the Law. I was put in touch with a representative from Smile Like the Stars and I attended a course in Bristol on 8 November 2013 at a significant cost to Glow. During this course I was given 1 on 1 training and assurances in that the Teeth Whitening services offered by Glow at that time were completely lawful and I was reassured that Teeth Whitening is a cosmetic procedure and not an act of dentistry.
Towards the end of 2013 I received a letter from the General Dentist Council alleging that the Teeth Whitening services offered at Glow were unlawful under the provisions of the Dentists’ Act in that, only qualified and registered dental practitioners could lawfully provide the service of Teeth Whitening . I have never pretended to be a dentist and had been assured that the Teeth Whitening offered at Glow was a cosmetic treatment and did not constitute dentistry.
I visited the General Dentist Council website and noted that site’s recommendation to consult with a local Trading Standards Office in matters of doubt. The site stated:
”Queries about prosecution policy should be directed to the Local Trading Standards Office”. Source: General Dentist Council website.
I then contacted Trading Standards who advised that Glow cease offering Teeth Whitening services whilst they investigated the matter and a dedicated case officer was assigned to my case. Glow therefore ceased offering Teeth Whitening services and waited for Trading Standards to get back me to clarify the issue.
On 27 January 2014 I was contacted by Trading Standards in Cornwall whose written advice it was Glow could lawfully re-commence and continue to offer Teeth Whitening services. I was also advised that Glow could use Teeth Whitening gel containing a maximum of 0.1% Hydrogen Peroxide.
Upon this advice I re-commenced Teeth Whitening at Glow, believing that I was safe in the knowledge that the services offered were lawful and not in breach of any legislation.
Later in 2014 I was visited by two investigators for The General Dentist Council. I explained to them that I had been assured by Trading Standards Cornwall that I was acting within the law in offering Teeth Whitening Services and showed them the written evidence of my correspondence Trading Standards Cornwall. Shortly after their visit I received notification from the General Dentist Council that they were considering a prosecution for a breach of the provisions of the Dentists Act. On the advice of my solicitors, Glow immediately ceased offering Teeth Whitening Services.
On 31st October 2014 I attended court where I had the opportunity to put my case to the Magistrates. I contended that I had been grossly misinformed by certain Teeth Whitening service and equipment providers as well as Cornwall Trading Standards. Whilst the Magistrates understood and were sympathetic to the fact that I had been misled into providing an unlawful service at Glow, they confirmed that, under the Dentists Act, Teeth Whitening services can only be provided by a registered dental practitioner registered with the General Dental Council. I was therefore ordered to pay a fine, a victim surcharge (which is obligatory in all matters where the court imposes a fine) and to pay the GDC’s costs of the prosecution.
There was a similar prosecution of another Saltash salon owner for offering unlawful Teeth Whitening Services on the same day at court.
I would like to make it clear that neither I nor Glow have ever received complaints in respect of Teeth Whitening that had been offered at Glow.
I feel aggrieved that the misinformation provided to me led to my being prosecuted. I believe that I did everything that I thought reasonably necessary to act lawfully concerning the provision of Teeth Whitening services. I had assumed that Trading Standards’ advice was correct and that the advice of other large commercial Teeth Whitening services enterprises was equally correct. I had also taken the trouble to secure all the proper qualifications and insurances for all treatments provided at Glow.
I would like to also warn any person who is considering undergoing training in Teeth Whitening procedures or is considering offering those services that, to offer Teeth Whitening services without being a duly qualified and registered dental practitioner is illegal and that, if you do so without being duly qualified and registered, you will be prosecuted by the GDC.
I would also like to thank all of our loyal clients for their support. Every cloud has a silver lining. After talks with the General Dentist Council I can confirm that we are able to reintroduce the home teeth whitening kits, which are now in stock here at the Salon and provide the same level of 0.1% Hydrogen Peroxide that was previously used in our in-house service. We cannot however allow self-administration at our premises and we cannot give advice on the use of the home teeth whitening kits.