Teeth whitening, an industry worth £ billions globally, shows no sign of waning in popularity, and in the beauty industry, the treatment comes second only to make-up. However, ensuring that treatments are given legally is key to patient safety.
What fuels this growth?
The modern lifestyle. We consume foods and drinks which stain the teeth, we have become more aware of our smile as an asset, social media has helped to encourage people to improve their appearance, and celebrities have endorsed the trend – and the products.
The impact is significant: 24% of those who are single are opting for whitening treatments, as opposed to 11% of those with partners or spouses. Whilst 50% more single people are planning to have teeth whitening treatment than those who are in relationships, 45% of those singles who have already done so have received the treatment from an unregistered person. (Oral Health Foundation.) The message about illegal teeth whitening is spreading, but there are still unqualified and unregistered people offering whitening, some of whom have been genuinely misled into thinking they are operating legally. Those who receive their treatments are likewise unaware that it is not legal.
In 2018, an article published in Aesthetic Dentistry Today considered a survey by Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors of 665 people, 85% of who had already had restorative dentistry, 66% of which were fillings. 42% of those who had used home teeth whitening treatments were happy with them, but this rose to 69% of those who had received treatment from a dentist or dental hygienist.
Patients are looking for a speedy solution at the right price. Given the risks associated with over the counter and online products, coupled with a potential misguided trust in non-professionals to deliver the treatment, there is no better time to offer the treatment. We know it’s important to keep patients informed, in this case that there is a safe, effective and affordable way to achieve their dream smile. Those three criteria are achieved confidently and legally only with the help of dental professionals.