Recent research has shown an increase in illegal teeth whitening in the UK, as thousands of people put themselves at risk by having the procedure performed by unlicensed, untrained and dangerous providers.
Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, believes that most people are unaware of the dangers associated with teeth whitening as they look for cheap, unlicensed treatment.
In 2011 it became illegal for anybody other than a dental professional to carry out teeth whitening in the UK. Under a European Council directive, teeth whitening products containing or releasing above 0.1% hydrogen peroxide can only be sold to a registered dental professional offering the treatment in their practice. The teeth whitening gel can only be given to a patient after a dentist has first examined them to make sure they are suitable for whitening and to prescribe the appropriate strength of gel and treatment time for each person.
However, there are many companies offering cheap treatment, which if done incorrectly can lead to severe chemical burns, the possibility of permanent scarring, tooth loss and even affect the ability to eat and breathe!
Many of the unlicensed providers have undergone only brief training and then believe they are qualified to carry out the treatment. Not only is this hugely dangerous to patients, but they are breaking the law and liable for prosecution. Many dentists are now seeing patients whose illegal teeth whitening has damaged their teeth enamel and gums and caused a lot of pain.
There are a number of reasons why people get their teeth whitened, as teeth become discoloured as we get older and can become stained with food and drink. Our dentists at Elmsleigh House use carbamide peroxide gel applied to mouth trays that are made to fit your teeth precisely, and monitor treatment to ensure safe results.