The general Dental Council is calling for tougher controls on who can administer and provide teeth whitening services within the UK.
In a similar way to botox being offered by general salons and hair studios or spas, teeth whitening can currently be advertised and offered by any individual without the need for dental experience or training.
Evlynne Gilvarry of the general dental council said that they have received many complaints about the results and effects patients have had as a results of teeth whitening treatments performed by those who are not registered with the dental council.
All too often dentists will have to rectify the problems caused by those without proper qualifications however unfortunately, sometimes the damage caused can be permanent. Such damages can be burned lips and gums as well as sensitive or discoloured teeth.
Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast spoke to Paula, a woman who had the treatment after it was advertised cheaply at a beauty salon.
She said: “My teeth lost their shine, they were almost opaque. My gums went white, and my teeth were so sensitive after the treatment that even just the fresh air hurt them.”
The dentist who rectified Paula’s teeth said
He said: “The enamel on Paula’s teeth had been stripped away, so I had to put an alkaline substance on her teeth to heal it.
“Her gums were also damaged by the bleach, which had not been properly applied.”
There are an increasing number of patients who go to dentists after having a bad experience of teeth whitening.
“If you go to a non-dental professional, any dental problems would be missed. And they really have no idea about what they’re doing,” he said.
The 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.
Their view is matched by the Department of Health, which says tooth whitening should be performed by a suitably trained and competent dentist or dental-care professional.
More than 80% of the 1,021 adults polled thought teeth whitening should be carried out only by a registered, trained and qualified dental professional.