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Legal position on teeth whitening clarified

23 July 2014

The Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) is aware of a number of beauty salons in Jersey offering tooth whitening to Islanders wishing to improve the appearance of their teeth.
Concerns have been expressed by dentists because tooth whitening is not a beauty or cosmetic treatment. If done without proper clinical assessment, or performed incorrectly, it can present a risk to an individual’s health.
Legal advice has been sought from the Law Officers Department, which has confirmed that tooth whitening is a form of dentistry and that in Jersey it must only be performed by a registered dental practitioner. This is a similar position to the UK, where the General Dental Council (GDC), the body that regulates dentists, successfully pursued two cases through the criminal courts involving individuals who were not GDC-registered dentists and therefore were not entitled to undertake tooth whitening procedures.
HSSD has recently written to businesses and individuals who are not registered dentists to alert them to the legal position in Jersey. Local dentists have also been advised about the legal position and action taken.
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