Teeth Whitening – Is It Safe?

Lauren Hartley Advice, Industry News

Cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular and can include treatments to fit crowns, bridges, implants and veneers; all treatments which aim to improve the physical appearance of the teeth. One of the most basic and inexpensive forms of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening.

Nearly half of the population are unhappy with their teeth, the main reason for which is discolouration.[1]

Teeth whitening is an easy and effective solution to this problem, but much like other forms of cosmetic dentistry, if performed incorrectly or inadequately the consequences can be rather uncomfortable.

There has been a recent surge in popularity of home teeth whitening kits. This could be due to the ease of access of such remedies, or because of people’s reluctance to pay seemingly ever-increasing dental fees. However, these are often unsafe and/or ineffective. Some products may not declare all the precise chemicals present and this means that it is difficult to assess their safety, as a result burned gums, blistered lips or even more serious consequences may occur.[2]

Not only can home treatments be considered unsafe, but they may also be ineffective. Home teeth whitening kits must contain less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide to be considered legal, however, Dental practitioners can legally use a 6% concentration of hydrogen peroxide, making it much more effective.[3]

The safest and most effective way to have teeth whitened is undoubtedly by having it done by a trained dental professional. It is illegal for anyone other than dentists or their teams to carry out teeth whitening.[4] If the dentist administers treatment incorrectly or inadequately and this ends up in personal injury occurring then dental malpractice may have occurred and you may be able to make a personal injury claim.

Smith Jones specialise in all types of dental negligence, from misdiagnosis to cosmetic dentistry claims. Our expert dental negligence team are very much aware of the impact that inadequate treatment can have on a patient’s life and as such are fully equipped to take on a claim involving dental negligence.

For more information on the types of dental negligence and to see how we could potentially help you, you can visit our Dental Negligence claims page, take a look through our handy Dental Negligence FAQ’s   or call our friendly team on 0800 195 95 90.

 

[1] Figures taken from http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/
[2] British Dental Association, ‘Teeth whitening: top tips for your patients’ <https://www.bda.org/whitening>
[3] British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, ‘How dangerous is tooth whitening?’ <http://www.bsdht.org.uk/dh-contact-magazine-dev/how-dangerous-is-tooth-whitening?A=SearchResult&SearchID=744518&ObjectID=5783741&ObjectType=35>
[4] British Dental Association, ‘7 Things you didn’t know about Teeth Whitening’ (Published 12 May 2012) <https://bda.org/dentists/policy-campaigns/public-health-science/public-health/PublishingImages/teeth-whitening/teeth%20whitening%20poster%20colour.pdf>