Dentists hit by Botox advert ban

Dentists will be banned from advertising Botox treatments at their practices, the General Dental Council (GDC) has confirmed.

The Council has ruled that botulinum toxin, fillers and other non-surgical cosmetic procedures are not part of dentistry and cannot be included in promotional material for dental surgeries.

It is preparing new guidance, outlining its position.

The issue of non-surgical cosmetic procedures was included in the work of the GDC’s Scope of Practice working group.

This featured a public consultation in which stakeholder organisations were asked for their views on a range of issues relating to the roles of dental team members.

The consultation included a question on whether dermal fillers and Botox ought to be considered legitimate additions to conventional dentistry.

The GDC’s Standards Committee and the Scope of Practice working group recommended to the Council that non-surgical procedures carried out away from the face are not dentistry and should not be considered as legitimate additions to dentistry.

This means that in providing these treatments, registrants should not rely on their professional standing or title and patients should be informed that the treatment is not being provided by the registrant in their capacity as a dental professional.

Also, the provision of such procedures should be advertised or otherwise publicised separately from the practice of dentistry.

Alternative therapies

The GDC felt that some alternative therapies can have a legitimate use in dental treatment, such as hypnosis used to help an anxious patient.

However, in a statement it said: ‘The Council is concerned that registrants should not use their standing as a dental professional to offer alternative therapies such as acupuncture or pain relief which are not provided to a patient as part of their dental treatment, for example hypnosis for smoking cessation or acupuncture for the relief of non-dental pain. This is the case even if a registrant is trained and registered as an alternative therapist.’
Again, the practice of alternative therapies must be advertised or otherwise publicised separately to a registrant’s practice of dentistry.  
The GDC stressed that before carrying out such treatments, registrants must check they have appropriate indemnity cover to carry out non-surgical cosmetic treatments and alternative therapies not linked to a patient’s dental treatment.   

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