London “charlatan” ordered to pay over £15,000 after failed Illegal Whitening appeal
A man from London was described as a “charlatan” by the judge who quashed his appeal relating to a 2017 conviction for practising dentistry illegally, which led to the first-ever dentistry related Criminal Behaviour Order imposed in the UK threatening further criminal case.
Jeffery Lehman, a former dental technician, was providing teeth whitening services at the company Whitening Smile in Pinner. This was despite the fact that in May 2012, Mr Lehmann had been struck off the General Dental Council register for causing harm to patients, acting outside of his scope of practice, failing to accept accountability for his actions and acting without integrity.
After this, the GDC would receive a complaint that despite being not being legally allowed to do so Mr Lehmann was continuing to practice dentistry at Whitening Smile, a private practice in Pinner, North London. Undercover investigators then went to investigate, which found Lehmann was willing to practice tooth whitening which is a crime.
Lehmann was convicted last August and charged to pay over £10,000 between a £4,500 fine, victim surcharge and the legal costs of the GDC. The subsequent appeal was refused, with Mr Recorder Bellamy-James QC saying in his closing remarks that Mr Lehmann flouted the law intentionally and flagrantly, showing “arrogant disregard” for the law, legal policy and public safety, for a law intended to protect the public.
The costs have now risen to over £15,000, with a ten year criminal behaviour order preventing Lehmann from practicing or offering to practice dentistry, advertise any treatment, advice or attendance to any member of the public, not offer any tooth whitening or denture fitting treatment, not own any tooth whitening kit that can’t be bought in a shop unless prescribed by an actual dentist, not advertise any services, or premises owned as a dental clinic, nor make any dentures other than copies made and obtained from a registered dental practitioner. Breaking any of these would lead to a five-year prison sentence.
Teeth whitening is a dental treatment, which can only be legally carried out by a dentist, dental therapist, hygienist or clinical dental technician working to a dentist’s prescribed treatment. Tooth whitening practised illegally can open patients up to potential dangers and damage to teeth.
The GDC recommends that anyone considering whitening treatment check their register of qualified professionals to make sure they legally can provide dental treatment.