Illegal teeth whitening earns fine for woman

An undercover operation exposed an illegal teeth-whitening venture
An undercover operation exposed an illegal teeth-whitening venture

A borough woman has been fined after she was caught practising illegal teeth-whitening during an undercover sting.

Ashley Lloyd, from Ennerdale Road in Leigh, admitted to offering the risky procedure to inspectors from the General Dentist Council, believing them to be genuine customers.

The 29-year-old was targeted at Ava Jacobs hairdressing salon by the undercover officers following a complaint made to the GDC by a previous customer.

Magistrates heard how the authority received a complaint of "patient harm" regarding Lloyd’s procedure but the customer was not willing to continue with proceedings.

Lloyd, who pleaded guilty to the charge at Wigan Magistrates’ Court, was told she could face an "unlimited fine" for administering the treatment without being a qualified dentist or dental care professional.

The court heard how two letters had been sent to previous employees at the Twist Lane salon in 2014, warning them about carrying out tooth whitening procedures without the relevant qualifications.

But it was not until November 2017, when Lloyd was working from the salon, that the two inspectors attended for an "appointment" priced at £50 for the two treatments.

The GDC prosecution case laid out how she had explained the procedure to "Mr White", who was posing as a client, before demonstrating how the laser would work.

Lloyd had then been asked questions about the bleaching gel, to which she responded she "got it from the United States" but that it contained no bleach or peroxide.

The dentist authority states that in order to conduct teeth-whitening procedures, the individual must be a "fully qualified dental professional", which means they must be either a registered dentist or a dental hygiene nurse.

Nick Lloyd, defending, explained that his client was unaware that the practice she was undertaking was illegal.

"It’s perhaps unfortunate that the young lady didn’t receive a letter," he said.

"Had she been written to and the wrongs explained she would have simply desisted. I have been told that she has undertaken a qualification. They provided her with training and the equipment.

"She paid a fairly substantial amount of money not knowing she was doing anything wrong that the GDC would take umbrage with.

"At no point did she hold herself out as a dentist."

The GDC has strict regulations in place to prevent people receiving treatments from unqualified individuals which could cause permanent damage to their teeth.

Ms Harrison, who was prosecuting on behalf of the GDC, said: "If people don’t know the products that are being used they cannot ascertain the level of risk."

Some of the dangers include the lack of knowledge regarding any existing dental problems which would make the customer incompatible for treatment, as well as not having the correct number of staff trained in case of an emergency during the procedure.

Lloyd was fined £160 and ordered to pay £500 towards the costs of the GDC prosecution as well as a £30 victim surcharge.