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The great teeth whitening scandal

Sunday newspaper exposes dangers of illegal teeth whitening clinic

In a special investigation, a Sunday newspaper reporter revealed how an illegal teeth whitening clinic was charging clients to undergo what was unlawful, dangerous and ineffective teeth whitening treatment by advertising on social media.

Although, when questioned, the teeth whitening clinic denied that they provided treatments and sold only products for home use (which they are allowed to do) the reporter posed as a customer and visited one of their ‘clinics’, where she witnessed the treatment taking place and agreed to undergo treatment herself.

In her report the journalist told the teeth whitening clinic that she had a fear of dentists. “Don’t worry,” was their reply, “We’re not dentists.”

What the reporter didn’t mention was that the law is quite clear that only qualified and registered dental professionals are legally allowed to provide teeth whitening treatment.

Having agreed to have the treatment at the so-called teeth whitening clinic, the journalist was shown into an upstairs room where she was told to sit in a high-backed chair. Without even a glance at her teeth or mouth, the therapist handed her a plastic mouthguard dripping with a clear gel and told her how to position her teeth in the mouthguard. She then positioned a UV lamp in front of her mouth and informed her that she would turn the lamp on for 30-minutes while she went downstairs.  After half an hour she said that she would return and repeat the process for a further 30-minutes.

After enduring the treatment for a few minutes, during which time she experienced an uncomfortable feeling in her teeth and lips from the intense heat, the reporter claimed an attack of nerves and left.

The point is, and it is something we have stressed many times in the past, an illegal teeth whitening clinic such as the one described in the report is putting people’s health at risk. These so called therapists are neither qualified to assess a patient’s suitability for the treatment, nor are they able to intervene should an emergency arise.

Crucially, highly trained dental professionals may also detect gum disease or other oral health issues that may worsen when in contact with teeth whitening products. Studies have shown that UV and laser-activated teeth whitening treatments can, if not effectively supervised, increase sensitivity in the teeth and gums. There is also some evidence of ‘demineralisation’ of teeth increasing the risk of tooth decay.

The General Dental Council (GDC) have already successfully prosecuted and closed down a number of illegal teeth whitening clinic organisations, many of which are attached to beauticians, hairdressers, nail bars and tanning salons.

We cannot stress enough that teeth whitening is perfectly safe… but only if it is performed by a qualified dental professional. Please do not risk your own health by being tempted by the fake smiles of an illegal teeth whitening clinic!

If you would like to talk to us about our range of teeth whitening treatments please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 0161 951 7295 or alternatively you can contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.

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Carisbrook Dental Care
6 Knowsley Rd, Whitefield,
Manchester. M54 6BF
Opening Times
Monday: 9am – 5pm
Tuesday: 8:30am – 6pm
Wednesday: 8:30am – 6pm
Thursday: 9am – 5pm
Friday: 8am – 3pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm (every second weekend)
Sunday: Closed