Lancaster woman tells of tooth whitening nightmare

Kellie Taylor.
Kellie Taylor.

A mum lost her two front teeth when cosmetic dental treatment went wrong.

Kellie Taylor now has to wear false teeth after an illegal course of tooth whitening weakened her gums.

Her dentist tried to save her front teeth but she was eventually forced to have them removed.

Now Kellie, 43, is planning legal action against the beautician who carried out the treatment.

She spoke to the Guardian about her ordeal after Natalie Kowalczyk was prosecuted by the UK dental regulator for carrying out illegal tooth whitening at a Lancaster salon.

Kowalczyk admitted unlawfully practising dentistry during a hearing at Lancaster Magistrates Court.

She was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 compensation to Kellie for the pain and suffering she went through.

Kowalczyk also had to pay £65 to reimburse the cost of the treatment which took place at Jo & Cass on Great John Street.

Kellie said: “It’s really annoyed me. I’m glad she was guilty but it doesn’t do anything for me short-term.

“£315 doesn’t cover the pain and suffering I’ve had.

“I thought everything was legal and above board. Halfway through the treatment I told her it was hurting. She told me this was normal.

“Afterwards my teeth were sore and sensitive. This carried on for two weeks.

“I was constantly in agony and on painkillers.

“I then went to my dentist and he said something definitely wasn’t right. The stuff she’d used had penetrated my gums and made my teeth really weak. The dentist tried to save them but it didn’t work. I had to have them taken out.

“He suggested I contact the General Dental Council (GDC).”

The GDC took Kowalczyk to court because she was not a registered dental practitioner.

By law, tooth whitening must only be carried out by registered dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist. This was confirmed by the High Court when in May 2013 it overturned a magistrates court’s decision to acquit a qualified beautician, Lorna Jamous, of practising dentistry after she carried our tooth bleaching procedures in her salon.

Kowalczyk also had to pay costs to the GDC of £1468.63 and a £15 victim surcharge.