Illegal whitening continues to remain a serious problem for the dental profession and uneducated public.
Many home whitening kits or those offered by beauty salons do not contain enough whitening product to be effective, or if they do, the mouth guard provided is typically a bad fit, therefore some of the bleaching gel is likely to leak out onto the gums and mouth causing blistering and sensitivity.
Not only can teeth whitening carried out by non-dental professionals carry oral health risks for patients, it is also highly illegal. The General Dental Council (GDC) is continually bringing forward new cases for prosecution, including company directors, beauticians and other non-registered people unlawfully practicing dentistry in the form of tooth whitening. The charges related to illegal tooth whitening are increasing; in a recent case the offender was fined fifteen thousand pounds for breaking the law.
But is enough being done? A company scandal has highlighted loopholes in the law that make it possible for companies to sell teeth whitening training courses and products to non-dentists.
Regardless of the laws and regulations, certain companies continue to misinterpret the system and maintain that since the products used for tooth whitening are covered by the European Council Directive on Cosmetic Products 2011/84 EU, their agents are carrying out a cosmetic procedure and not practicing dentistry.
The EU regulations clearly state that products containing or releasing between 0.1%-6% HP should not be made directly available to the consumer, other than through treatment by a registered dentist, or a dental hygienist, dental therapist or clinical dental technician working to a dentist’s prescription. It is also illegal for anyone who is not a dentist to give “treatment, advice or attendance” that would usually be given by a dentist.
Educating patients on how to achieve safe and effective tooth whitening by dental professionals remains essential. Offering top quality whitening products in your practice can also help to reduce illegal tooth whitening and keep patients protected. Sparkle Dental Labs now offers Professional Tooth Whitening Kits that are safe, reliable and affordable. The custom-made whitening trays are made directly by Sparkle Dental Labs so there is no need for you to keep excess stock, and with UK manufacturing, every product is traceable and of an outstanding quality.
Only time will tell if the GDC will start taking firmer action on those continuing to commit criminal offences, however in the meantime educating the public remains crucial. Working with a top quality dental lab to offer effective treatment in your practice can also reduce illegal tooth whitening and keep patients safe.