‘Cosmetologist’ fined for illegal tooth whitening

A Devon-based, ‘cosmetologist’ has been successfully prosecuted for offering tooth whitening treatment and ordered to pay a total of £1,872.

Last month, Carl Espano, from Torquay, Devon, pleaded guilty at West London Magistrates’ Court to practising dentistry when not registered with the GDC, contrary to section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists’ Act 1984.

He has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge. He has also been ordered to pay full costs to the GDC of £857.

Mr Espano, in mitigation for his actions, raised the House of Lords judgement in the case of ‘Optident and Another v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Another (2001) UKHL 32.

However, the magistrates’ appeared to give this argument little or no weight when determining his sentence.

The Magistrates told Mr Espano: ‘This is a serious offence, particularly for potential victims as you didn’t have any indemnity in place for any damage you might have done to any teeth.

‘In addition, should you have damaged the adult teeth, a patient only has one set. Accordingly we view this as a serious offence.’

Chief executive and registrar of the GDC, Evlynne Gilvarry, said: ‘We are committed to taking action against people who offer tooth whitening unlawfully.  They are a risk to the people they treat and it is our duty act to ensure public safety.’

Tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and only those registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) may lawfully offer it as a treatment.


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