Beauty therapist fined for whitening teeth

A Melbourne magistrate has effectively ruled that teeth whitening procedures must only be carried out by registered dentists, after a beauty therapist was fined $2,000 for carrying out the treatment.

The trial of the beauty therapist, held in March, was the first time the legality of teeth whitening by an unregistered practitioner was tested in Australia.

The therapist was convicted and fined last week at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court for practising dentistry while not being registered as a dental care provider.

Magistrate Jill Crowe said tooth whitening was an "invasive and irreversible procedure" and should only be performed by registered dental care providers.

The Dental Practice Board of Victoria brought the charge against the beauty therapist after a customer complained following a tooth whitening procedure in August 2007.

The customer suffered severe mottling and marbled teeth, gum ulcerations and chemical burns, the board said.
A board spokesman said the ruling set a precedent and would ensure that tooth whitening was only performed by people with dental training.

Source AAP October 1, 2009.

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