30 Aug

Are you sure your whitening treatment is legal?

Tooth whitening is an increasingly popular cosmetic dental treatment, but dentists in the UK are worried about the prevalence of illegal whitening products and suppliers. If you surveyed a group of people who were thinking about undergoing whitening treatments, it is likely that some would not be aware of the legal restrictions in place across the EU. Legislation states that dental services must only be provided by fully trained dental professionals who are registered with the General Dental Council.
The trouble is that it is not just dentists who are offering whitening treatment. Across the UK, many individuals and companies have already been prosecuted by the GDC for offering illegal whitening treatments and products. If you see services on sale at beauty salons or whitening booths in shopping centres, you may not think twice about booking an appointment, but how would you feel if you knew those providers were operating illegally?
The advice from dentists is to seek professional advice if you’re thinking about undergoing whitening treatment. Whitening is a dental service, and as such, it should only be provided by trained, qualified dental professionals. Although whitening is a very safe treatment when administered by professional dentists, it can pose risks if whitening products fall into the wrong hands or hazardous products are used. When you have whitening treatment, a dentist will check your teeth and gums first to make sure that you’re a suitable match for treatment. They will also be able to respond quickly in the very unlikely event that anything goes wrong. Without suitable knowledge and training, patients may be putting their health at risk.
If you do come across anyone who is offering whitening treatment without the relevant qualifications or expertise, the best thing to do is consult your dentist or contact the General Dental Council directly.