Groupon bans ‘cowboy’ bleachers

The General Dental Council (GDC) and Groupon, the ‘daily deals’ company, are working together to guard against promotion of illegal tooth whitening.

As the leading UK provider of ‘daily deals’, Groupon has already taken action not to offer tooth whitening deals from individuals who are not regulated by the GDC.

Sections 37 and 38 of the Dentists Act 1984 state that dentistry can only legally be undertaken by individuals who are regulated by the GDC; specifically dentists, or hygienists or therapists working to a dentist’s prescription.

This was confirmed by the High Court when in May 2013 it overturned a Magistrates’ Court’s decision to acquit Ms Lorna Jamous of the offences of practising dentistry and unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry when not regulated by the GDC.

Ms Jamous was convicted of these two offences and the case has been remitted to Westminster Magistrates' Court for sentencing.

The GDC is now seeking similar assurances from other ‘daily deals’ companies.

Dental professionals who are regulated by the GDC are also reminded that if they sign up to offer deals relating to dental treatment through Groupon or other such services,  they must assess the patient, obtain appropriate consent, obtain a medical history and explain all the options before carrying out any work.

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