The Consequences Of Illegal Tooth Whitening
Earlier this year, the BBC went undercover in London-based beauty salons and found that many were performing illegal tooth whitening, using illegal and unsafe levels of hydrogen peroxide at a strength of 25%. The maximum legal strength usable by a registered dentist in the UK is 6%. The GDC (General Dental Council) reported that they have seen illegal treatments rise over the past year.
Chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation Nigel Carter OBE, said that ‘many beauty professionals will undergo a brief ‘training period’ with an unscrupulous company and are then led to believe that they are qualified to carry out tooth whitening’.
It’s important to remember that the dentists and doctors offering tooth whitening treatment have studied for a minimum of 5 years at higher education, whilst unqualified individuals offering this treatment may have taken part in a single day course.
With this in mind, you should only ever have this treatment performed by a qualified professional.
The differences between legal and illegal treatment:
- Dental examination performed beforehand to assess your suitability – tooth whitening is not suitable if you are pregnant or have unhealthy teeth and gums.
- Treatment should be performed in a state-of-the-art clinical environment.
- Prescription-only gel containing up to 6% hydrogen peroxide is used. By contrast, legal over-the-counter products only contains 0.1%.
- Bespoke whitening trays are used – these are created by taking impressions (moulds) of your teeth in order to create perfectly fitting trays for your tooth structure, eliminating the risk of the whitening agent coming into contact with your gums.
- Ongoing aftercare from your dentist.
- No dental examination if performed beforehand, everything is at the patient’s own risk.
- Treatment is performed by someone with little or no training at all, nor will this training be in a medical context.
- Illegal products can contain up to 300 times the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide which can cause severe blistering, burning, damage to gums, and permanent tooth pain.
- No aftercare.
Philips Zoom! Whitening at Smile Up
We offer patients the option of Philips Zoom! Whitening. This treatment uses a powerful LED light, rendering your teeth up to 6 times whiter and can be completed in just over an hour. You can read more about teeth whitening at Smile Up here.
We are open 7 days a week to accommodate our patients’ busy schedules. Our website is translatable into Irish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish and Greek.
If you would like to book an appointment with us, click here to fill out our easy-to-use online booking form. Alternatively, please give us a call and our team will be happy to find an appointment slot to suit you. We’re easy to find and close to the Deptford DLR station and Greenwich and St Johns train stations as well as several bus services.