The GDC has reported that a former dental technician has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 after being convicted of offering tooth whitening illegally.
Jeffrey Lehmann has also been given a Criminal Behaviour Order, which - if breached - could result in imprisonment, a fine, or both, following a prosecution by the General Dental Council (GDC).
This is the first time that the GDC has sought – and had granted – a Criminal Behaviour Order. The order imposed prevents Mr Lehmann from advertising and offering dentistry.
Mr Lehmann, a former Dental Technician, was removed from the GDC’s dental register by the Professional Conduct Committee in May 2012 for acting outside the scope of his profession, causing harm to patients, failing to accept professional accountability for his actions and for acting without integrity.
However, the General Dental Council received a complaint claiming that Mr Lehmann was still practising dentistry, by offering tooth whitening services at Whitening Smile, in Pinner, London. Following an investigation, he was charged with offering dental services whilst not being on the register of dental care professionals. He was subsequently found guilty of the offence following a trial at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court. The judge presiding over the case, requested Mr Lehmann’s business accounts for the past three years, prior to making a decision on sentencing.
These documents were provided at the sentencing hearing at Ealing Magistrates’ Court.
The judge, at Ealing Magistrates’ Court, said: “The accounts produced are not complete and they don’t seem to relate to your business, I believe this selective submission of accounts is subterfuge in order to disguise the true extent of your earnings.
“You do not have the qualifications or registration with the GDC [to carry out tooth whitening] and I’m quite certain that places members of the public are at risk.”
Mr Lehmann was then fined £4,500 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and full costs to the GDC totalling £5,703.39.
Shaun Round, Interim Head of the Illegal Practice team, said: “This outcome shows how seriously both the GDC and the magistrates’ courts take the illegal practice of dentistry. 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.
“This is the first time that the GDC has sought – and been granted – a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which aims to stop people reoffending and further endangerment of the public.
“We hope this outcome will encourage patients to ensure that when they seek dental treatment – such as teeth whitening – they check whether the practitioner is registered with the GDC.”