Tooth Whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure. On the National and Regional news recently tooth whitening has been a hot topic for discussion. Thousands of people have their teeth whitened every year in High Streets and shopping centres, by staff with no formal dental training. The General Dental Council are calling for tougher controls on who is allowed to carry out tooth whitening in the UK.
The General Dental Council is an organisation that regulates Dental Professionals in the UK. Their purpose is to protect the public, and they do this by registering qualified professionals, setting standards of dental practice and conduct, assuring the quality of dental education, ensuring professionals keep up-to-date, helping patients with complaints and working to strengthen patient protection.
After complaints about poor treatment, the council says teeth whitening is a dental procedure so only dental professionals should administer it.
However, teeth-whitening companies say it is a cosmetic not dental process.
A non- dental professional has no knowledge of dental disease and cannot diagnose any problems in patients that could potentially have a detrimental effect to their teeth if they carry out the whitening. Common complaints are stripping of the enamel, whitening of the gums, extreme sensitivity and in some cases teeth becoming yellow instead of white! At Creative Smiles we have seen some of the these complaints from patients who have had their teeth whitened on the High Street.
The General Dental Council successfully prosecuted the director of a national chain of tooth-whitening salons in March this year – and is warning it will bring similar proceedings in the future. Its view is supported by the Department of Health, which says tooth whitening should be performed by a suitably trained and competent dentist or dental-care professional.
At Creative Smiles we appreciate that tooth whitening is a very beneficial treatment. We will gladly discuss individual needs and expectations. We can only advise our patients of the safest options for tooth whitening. It is a very simple and effective treatment when carried out by qualified registered dental professionals.