Northern Ireland

Convicted fake dentist continues to run Belfast clinic

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Media captionSamuel Irvine-Madine refused to speak to BBC reporter Colletta Smith outside the clinic on Belfast's Shankill Road

A man convicted of illegal teeth whitening is still running a clinic in Belfast, the BBC has learned.

Samuel Irvine-Madine was convicted in April of illegally impersonating a dental practitioner and carrying out teeth whitening.

He was taken to court by the General Dental Council and fined £500.

The BBC has discovered he has continued to treat hundreds of people since then at the HD Smile Clinic on the Shankill Road.

The clinic advertises itself as professionally run and specialises in teeth-whitening.

Mr Irvine-Madine is not a registered dental practitioner and so there is no regulation over the chemicals and treatments he uses.

The BBC was told by Mr Irvine-Madine that he has treated thousands of people since setting up his business and he was more than happy to talk us through the teeth-whitening treatments he offers.

The BBC asked Mr Irvine-Madine to respond to the allegation that he is still illegally practising teeth-whitening, but he did not respond to our requests.

Image caption Francesca Keen from the General Dental Council said the level of fines imposed by the magistrate's courts are disappointing.

The General Dental Council (GDC) regulates dental professionals working in the UK.

It states that: "By law, only dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians (working to the prescription of a dentist) can carry out tooth whitening."

Since 2001, the GDC has prosecuted four cases of illegal tooth whitening in Northern Ireland, including Mr Irvine-Madine's.

Francesca Keen from the GDC said the prosecutions are a deterrent, but the level of fines imposed by the magistrate's courts are disappointing.

"The harm that we have seen is damage to the face, burns to the lips and gums, and irreparable damage to the teeth," she said.

"In some severe cases we've seen some patients who've been hospitalised as a result of consuming the products that have been applied to their teeth."

The HD Smile Clinic was closed on Tuesday after the BBC confronted Mr Irvine-Madine as he opened the shop.

He told his Facebook followers it was closed because of "a flood" and would open the clinic again as soon as possible.

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