The Dentist Magazine.

Man fined thousands after falsely claiming to be a dentist

Published: 08/05/2017

A man was fined £5,000 for falsely claiming to be a dentist and for offering illegal tooth whitening to members of the public.

Thomas Wilson, from Sheffield, was found guilty at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court of unlawfully using the title ‘dentist’ and holding himself out as being prepared to practise dentistry – in the form of tooth whitening – at Wow Teeth Whitening, 416B Sharrowvale Road in Sheffield. Thomas Wilson is not a qualified dental professional and is not registered with the General Dental Council, meaning that he cannot legally call himself a dentist or perform the act of dentistry in the United Kingdom.

He was fined £2,500 for falsely claiming to be a dentist and £2,500 for illegal tooth whitening. He was also ordered to pay a £250 victim surcharge and pay the full costs of the General Dental Council’s legal process equalling £2,071.85.

The General Dental Council initiated an investigation into Wow Teeth Whitening, Sheffield, after a series of complaints were received about an unregistered individual offering illegal tooth whitening.

Victoria Sheppard-Jones, interim head of the illegal practice team, said, “The GDC’s role is to protect patients and work to maintain public confidence in the dental profession. Part of the way we achieve this is by regulating dental professionals and investigating and, where appropriate, prosecuting cases of illegal practice.

“To ensure patient safety, tooth whitening can only be carried out by dentists and dental care professionals who are registered with the GDC. The GDC investigates and, where appropriate, prosecutes those who carry out illegal dentistry to ensure that members of the public are protected and not put at risk.”

The district judge at the hearing said that the offence was “particularly serious” as Mr Wilson called himself a dentist and that the people seeking tooth whitening treatment from him were at “serious risk”. The district judge added, “People who choose to have their teeth whitened need to be assured individuals are qualified and registered to do so.”