A YOUNG clinic owner put clients at risk by carrying out potentially “dangerous” tooth whitening procedures without proper qualifications, a court heard.

Laura Little offered specialist treatment using hydrogen peroxide gel as part of a series of beauty regimes at her Southampton clinic.

The beauty therapist even offered to fix an undercover inspector's cracked tooth when they visited the clinic following fears for patient safety.

Now the 20-year-old, of Portsmouth Road, Woolston, has been handed a conditional discharge by magistrates after admitting unlawfully practising dentistry.

Magistrates hearing her case in Southampton have also criticised a training company called All White 3000 where it emerged Little had taken a course and claimed she was led to believe it gave her sufficient enough expertise to offer the procedure.

The court heard how Little offered the teeth whitening treatments at Fadeaway Laser Clinic in Woolston as part of a host of procedures including hair and tattoo removal.

Katie Spears, prosecuting on behalf of the General Dental Council (GDC), said investigators were called to the practice after a patient claimed they had been harmed.

But that patient did not want to make a formal complaint and an external investigation was launched, it was heard.

A male and female inspector visited the clinic on July 14 of this year enquiring about the treatment which being offered for £45 – discounted from the normal cost of £60. It was then that Little offered to fix one of their cracked teeth, the court was told.

Ms Spears told how hydrogen peroxide should only be used by a properly qualified dentist as it could cause “irreversible change” to teeth, describing how there was “a public risk of harm” in what she was doing.

She also said Little’s website was “misleading” because it claimed the service was “professional” and “safe”.

Mitigating, Julie Macey, said Little was trained to provide laser tattoo and hair removal and had paid to go on a one-day teeth whitening training course with All White 3000, adding: “She had a certificate to confirm she had completed the course and qualified to operate the equipment.”

Mc Macey said: “She’s learned a lesson. If she considers other forms of treatment in the future she would research thoroughly to make sure she has the right qualifications.”

Magistrate Bryan Nanson handed Little a conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £2,252 costs.

After the case, Francesca Keen, from the GDC, said: “The case is shocking as you have someone who is masquerading as a professional and making money by carrying out procedures when she is not qualified or registered to do so. Offering illegal treatments like this not when properly registered or qualified has the potential to cause harm to the public. "

The verdict sends a message that if you carry out illegal teeth whitening you will be punished as tooth whitening must only be carried out by registered dental professionals.

“The General Dental Council is here to protect patients, and we will always investigate and where applicable, prosecute using the full extent of the law”.