Increase In Illegal Teeth Whitening Outlets
Advising our Greenwich patients to be aware of the dangers of illegal teeth whitening.
Some of you may have recently seen a BBC report that claimed that there has been a rise of 26% in the number of companies that are offering teeth whitening illegally.
Many of these are in the London area and therefore are of special concern to us for the protection of our patients.
At the Confidental Clinic, we take patient safety very seriously but unfortunately the same cannot be said about many of these outlets.
For a number of years now, it has been law that only a clinical professional registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) is able to perform this popular cosmetic procedure. Whilst most patients seeking whiter teeth will take this approach, there are some who either willingly or perhaps unknowingly, go down the illegal route.
What are the dangers?
Carried out correctly and by trained and experienced staff, teeth whitening is a very safe and non invasive treatment. This doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong though and there have been a number of cases where people have suffered at the hands of those who simply shouldn’t be carrying out this procedure. There are two key risks if not done correctly. Firstly, if the solution used is too high in strength, real damage can be caused to the teeth, and especially the nerves. This can lead to severe tooth sensitivity and potentially leave the patient in very bad pain for a long period of time. In some cases, the damage caused may even lead to tooth loss as well.
Another key danger is that of burning to the soft tissues of the mouth including the gums, lips and tongue. Whitening agents are a form of bleach and can burn. Our Greenwich dentists make sure that patients have their gums and lips fully protected when performing this treatment, minimising the risk of any irritation. Where the staff are not fully trained, this is not likely to be done as effectively and there have been many cases of patients receiving disfiguring burns to the lips and gums.
Why risk it?
It is difficult to know the motivation of people who attend these places. It is quite likely that because some also offer other beauty treatments legitimately, they are seen as having some authority in this area and if the patient is unaware of the law then they may receive the treatment unwittingly. There may be others who try to save a few pounds by opting for this route. As a teeth whitening treatment at the Confidental Clinic is one of the most affordable cosmetic treatments, it doesn’t make sense to risk the health of your mouth in order to save just a few pounds.
Whilst the law may be vague in some areas; for those who are unsure about where it is illegal to have this done, the easy answer is to ask your dentist. In nearly all cases, a teeth whitening procedure will be carried out at an established dental practice, so if you use one of these, you are almost certain to receive your treatment safely.
With greater awareness, we hope to see the demise of these illegal outlets, and the sooner the better. There is no reason why this procedure should be dangerous for patients when done correctly. If you have been considering a teeth whitening procedure but are worried by any aspect of it, we are only too happy to answer any questions that you might have.
For more information on cosmetic dentistry or to book an initial appointment with one of our Greenwich dental team, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8858 1422.