Beautician pleads guilty in tooth whitening case

A beautician has appeared in court in Preston to plead guilty to unlawfully practising dentistry.

Elaine Taylor-Valles is the first person to be successfully prosecuted by the UK’s dental regulator, the General Dental Council (GDC), since the High Court upheld the view that tooth whitening is the practise of dentistry and should only be carried out by dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists, working on the prescription of a dentist.

Ms Taylor-Valles has been given a nine-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 towards the GDC's costs.

On 30 September 2013, she pleaded guilty to the offence of unlawfully practising dentistry, namely tooth whitening contrary to sections 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984 and unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry contrary to sections 41(1) and (1B) of the Dentists Act 1984.

During sentencing at Preston Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Goodwin said: 'I accept that Ms Taylor-Valles had done a teeth-whitening course, however she did not ring the General Dental Council to confirm whether she was allowed to do tooth whitening.'

The charges relate to incidents carried out between January and March 2012 at Lord Street, Westminster Chambers, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1LF.

The GDC investigated this matter after receiving a complaint from a member of the public about the manner in which her teeth had been whitened.

During correspondence with the GDC, Ms Taylor-Valles admitted to being a ‘fully qualified beautician’, a title not recognised by the GDC.

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