Growing alarm over whitening protocols
 

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Growing alarm over whitening protocols

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Growing alarm over whitening protocols

 

Growing alarm over whitening protocols

The dental industry has reiterated its warnings to the public over the use of teeth-whitening products after an industrial bleaching agent was used on a young woman at a beauty salon.

Stephanie Ramezan, 23, had her teeth treated with chlorine dioxide and two days later found they were browner than before.

Miss Ramezan, who works in the City, had last month found a clinic advertising whitening at a tempting price on its website. ‘It was £200 and I was concerned that it was so cheap but when I asked why they told me it was a special January offer,’ she said. ‘I suppose I was naive in not thinking of going to a dentist.’

After the treatment she was warned that the effect might fade slightly the following day, but the day after that she believed her teeth looked darker. She had taken photographs and could see the difference in colour. She visited the clinic for days afterwards in an effort to get her money back, and in the meantime saw a dentist to undergo restoration work.

‘I was shocked at how unprofessional they were,’ she added. ‘Even the beauticians recognised that my teeth looked darker but no one seemed to know what to do about it.’

Her dentist, Oliver Harman, said: ‘What immediately worried me is that they seem to have used strong chemicals that include orthophosphoric acid, which is what dentists use to dissolve enamel when bonding fillings.

‘They hadn't even bothered to scrape the plaque of Stephanie's teeth before bleaching which is common practice for an even finish.’

The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) said it was concerned at the growing number of beauty salons offering teeth whitening by people not trained in dentistry. BACD president Dr Christopher Orr said: ‘We are seeing many cases of people who, driven either by convenience or cheap pricing, choose to have their teeth whitened at local salons or spas.

‘Not only are the treatments performed by non-dentists, but some of these chemicals aren't accepted material for this cosmetic use and could cause considerable harm.’

Stuart Johnston of the British Dental Association said he had searched for evidence supporting the use of chlorine dioxide as a whitening agent. ‘I found nothing. It is extremely acidic,’ he said.

‘Whitening is part of a full process. A dentist will look at the whole mouth and produce a treatment plan. We are fully responsible for the care we provide and should there be a problem we have proper indemnity.’

General Dental Council president Hew Mathewson said: ‘Tooth whitening can be dangerous, particularly in the hands of unregistered professionals.’

 Posted on : Fri 9th - Feb - 2007

 

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