Tooth Loss, Permanent Scars Among Risks of Illegal Tooth Whitening



Kid with missing front teethA survey showed that thousands of single adult Britons have sought teeth whitening services from illegal providers. There are risks involved in doing so, which is why it is important to be careful when choosing a practice.

If you are planning to undergo tooth whitening in Paddington, the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) advises you to seek treatment only from certified dentists. Otherwise, the risks can be severe if the procedure is done incorrectly.

Whitening Risks

OHF CEO Nigel Carter said that treatments done by unlicensed individuals can cause severe burns from chemicals, tooth loss and permanent scars. In worst-case scenarios, a person may even find it difficult to eat and breathe, according to Carter.

The organisation’s survey indicated that single adults in the UK are causing the illegal tooth whitening industry to remain afloat. It showed that 24 per cent, or one in four patients, has paid for teeth-whitening services and almost half of them chose an illegal provider.

Carter said that tooth whitening is a practice of dentistry; therefore, only professionals should perform it. The Federation of European Dental Competent Authorities and Regulators agreed in saying that only licenced dental practitioners should conduct the procedure.

Outlawed Practice

The UK prohibited anyone in 2011 other than a certified dental professional to conduct tooth whitening procedures. However, this has not stopped salons and beauty spas from offering the service, although prosecutions of cases brought to the General Dental Council have been successful at curbing the activity.

Helen Minnery, British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy president, said that many businesses think that a short ‘training period’ already qualifies them to carry out the treatment. Others are simply unaware that what they do is against the law. Still, ignorance of the law excuses nobody, especially if the unlawful act endangers consumer health, according to Minnery.

It can be tempting to seek an illegal provider for teeth whitening, yet the money you save would be nothing compared to the serious risks to your appearance and health.