Dentists renew pledge to battle whitening cowboys

The British Dental Association (BDA) has issued a fresh call for illegal tooth whitening by non-dental professionals to be stamped out, and urged dental professionals to play their part in forcing the demise of the whitening cowboys.

Speaking at the 2013 British Dental Conference and Exhibition, Dr Stuart Johnston, a member of the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee, renewed his call for dental professionals to assist the General Dental Council and Trading Standards organisations by reporting illegal whitening treatments where they know them to be taking place.

Dental professionals can also play a full part in ensuring patients are aware of the risks involved in illegal whitening, he said, by displaying one of the BDA-produced seven things you didn’t know about tooth whitening posters in the waiting areas of practices.

Dr Johnston said: 'The BDA has long campaigned for the menace of illegal tooth whitening to be stamped out, lobbying in Europe and encouraging the GDC to take strong action in the UK.

'The amendment to the UK cosmetic regulations in October 2012 was a major step forward because it made a new era of patient safety possible, but there is more to be done if the cowboys are to be shut down and we are to make that possibility a reality.

“I encourage dental professionals to play a full part in achieving that, both by reporting illegal whitening to the GDC and Trading Standards, and by displaying the poster produced by the BDA in their practices.”

Dr Johnston’s original call for a new era of patient safety, made in response to the legal change in October 2012, and a joint statement issued by the BDA and other representative organisations from the dental family, are available on the BDA website.


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