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Is it OK for dentists to do injectable fillers?

By Alice Hart-Davis
3rd August 2022

People often say to me, appalled, that they’ve seen that a dentist is offering fillers. They’re even more appalled when I say, ‘Ooh, are they any good, tell me!’

Dentists, nurses, former GPs… I’m happy for all of them to be injecting as long as they have completed plenty of specialised aesthetic training and have bags of experience – and I’ll talk more about the detail of this below. Why am I happy for them to inject? Because the tweakments world needs all the specialised, medical, properly trained practitioners it can get.

Who can inject your face?

The awful truth is that in the UK, right now, it’s perfectly legal for anyone to inject anyone else with fillers. You and I could order ourselves some fillers and needles online, and get going. There’s no legal requirement to have any training, let alone show any competence or safety skills, before you set up in business. Yes, that’s shocking. Fillers are not low-risk beauty procedures like a facial or a manicure, they are cosmetic medical procedures and should be done not just by anyone who fancies having a go with a needle.

When will the law be changed to make aesthetics safer for the patient?

There ARE moves in place to change all of this properly, in law, but it will take a year or two before tweakments practitioners are properly licensed. Yesterday (3rd August), the Health and Social Care Select Committee published a report on ‘The impact of body image on mental and physical health’. Their key recommendations to the Government included:

  • A new licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures should be introduced by July 2023
  • Dermal fillers should be made prescription-only substances, in line with wrinkle-relaxing toxins
  • Minimum standards should be established in education and training for administering practitioners, to ensure patient safety

That would be good.

Here’s my wish-list – what you should look for in a practitioner

While we wait for that to come to pass, here’s MY wishlist for injectors. They should have:

  • Medical training – that’s for starters. Because then they’re accountable to a professional body, such as the GMC.
  • A lot of specific aesthetic training – to teach them exactly how to do it
  • Plenty of experience putting that training into practice – to hone their skills
  • Training in recognising and handling complications – because things can and do go wrong. And when they go wrong and your injector doesn’t have the knowledge or the skill to recognise the problem, let alone to fix it, then you’re in trouble.
  • I’d prefer that medical aesthetics is your injector’s main job. I know everyone has to start somewhere but I’d rather you weren’t the guinea pigs that they were experimenting on while they honed their skills.
  • On top of all that, you really want your injector to have an eye for beauty, a touch of artistry, so that they know how to create loveliness and enhance any face, without their work being obvious.

So if dentists, nurses and former GPs have all the above under their belt, then yes, I’m delighted to see them injecting.

The Tweakments Guide Takeaway

The tweakments world needs all the specialised, medical, properly trained practitioners it can get. So yes, dentists, nurses, former GPs… I’m happy for all of them to be injecting as long as they have completed plenty of specialised aesthetic training and have bags of experience.

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