Magistrate Rules Against Tooth Whitening

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30th September 2009, 07:27pm - Views: 696
Media Release

Magistrate Rules Against Tooth Whitening

A Magistrate, sitting at the Magistrates' Court in Heidelberg, today found a beauty therapist guilty of a charge under the Health Professions Registration Act 2005 (Vic) of practising dentistry while not being registered as a dental care provider, in performing tooth whitening.

The Dental Practice Board of Victoria brought the charge against the beauty therapist after receiving a complaint from a customer who had undergone tooth whitening in August 2007. After the tooth whitening procedure, the customer suffered severe mottling of her teeth, marbled teeth, ulcerations to her gums and chemical burns. The Magistrate recorded a convinction and fined the beauty therapist the sum of $2000.

The trial held in March 2009 was the first occasion that the legality of teeth whitening was considered by an Australian Court. The Court heard evidence from Professor Laurence Walsh of the University of Queensland, that the use of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in tooth whitening poses a risk of "tissue injury if applied without protective measures and safe working procedures" that people with dental training can provide.

The Magistrate, Ms Crowe, ruled that tooth whitening constitutes an "invasive and irreversible procedure" and that as such, tooth whitening may only be performed by people registered as dental care providers.

A spokesman for the Board said that the ruling set a precedent and will better protect the public by ensuring that tooth whitening is performed only by people who have dental training to accurately diagnose the causes of dental discolouration, to diagnose oral health problems and who comply with infection control and hygiene standards.

Dental Practice Board of Victoria
PO Box 7050
St Kilda Rd, VIC 8004
Tel: +61 3 9694 9900
Fax: +61 3 9699 4711
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE: Dental Practice Board of Victoria

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