A beautician told to pay out nearly £3,500 after she was prosecuted for illegally whitening teeth is to have her case reopened.
Hayley Wilding, 25, of Field House Lane, Pilling, near Preston, failed to attend a hearing at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court.
She was proved guilty in her absence of unlawfully practising dentistry and carrying on the business of dentistry during her time working at Vanity Salon in Ullswater Road, Lancaster, last year.
However, she said she had been unaware of the General Dental Council (GDC) prosecution, as she had moved home in November and not received any letters from the court.
The beautician said she completed what she was led to believe was a legally certified tooth whitening training course, and had only found out about the court case and fines in the press.
She said: “I’ve been in to sign a document at the court saying I didn’t know anything about it and they have put it on hold. It’s now in the hands of the courts.
“I’ve been doing teeth whitening since last February, after I did a three-day course with a company down in Cardiff. It cost £400.
“When this came out they reassured me as long as I use non-peroxide products it’s perfectly legal.
“It’s so confusing. I just feel stupid and embarrassed and I feel like a criminal. If it’s the case that it’s illegal then they have just taken my money.”
The GDC said attending a tooth whitening training course does not in itself allow an individual to provide tooth whitening legally and that the type of peroxide used is irrelevant.
A GDC spokesman said: “If you want to carry out tooth whitening, either by yourself or as a business, you must qualify as dentist, dental therapist or a dental hygienist.”
She confirmed Miss Wilding had signed a statutory declaration at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court and the case would now be reopened.
The outcome of the first hearing will now be suspended until a second hearing can take place.