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Groupon has begun to work with the GDC and will not be including offers for teeth whitening deals from non GDC registered dental professionals anymore. This comes after last months High Court ruling that tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and should only be undertaken by regulated dental professsionals. This ruling came when the High Court overturned a Magistrates’ Court decision to acquit Ms Lorna Jamous of the offences of practicing dentistry and unlawfully carrying on the business of dentistry when not regulated by the GDC. Ms Jamous was convicted of both offences by judges at the High Court on the 10th May 2013.
This ruling has set precedent that only dentists, dental hygenists and dental therapists can carry out tooth whitening and has prompted Groupon to collaborate with the GDC and not include offers for teeth whitening or bleaching from non GDC regulated dental professionals. The GDC has announced that it is working with the ‘daily deals’ company through its website on the 20th June 2013 and that Groupon will no longer offer teeth whitening deals from non GDC regulated individuals. The GDC is now seeking similiar assurances from other ‘daily deals ‘ websites.
In 2012, the GDC issued a reminder to dentists and dental care professionals to keep their repsonsibilities to patients in mind when advertsing on Groupon and other daily deal websites. The GDC was worried about the dentists aggresively competing for patients through Groupon and similiar sites and forgetting about their responsibilities to patients. The GDC requires dental professionals to assess the patient, obtain valid consent, obtain a medical history and assess all options before carrying out any work.