The General Dental Council (GDC) have said that Dental Hygienists/Therapists can now carry out tooth whitening procedures `on the prescription of a dentist if they have the necessary additional skills`. Tooth whitening can only by carried out by dental professionals and is illegal to do so by any non dental professional.
Sunita Verma from Sparkle Dental Boutique, Hounslow says, “Tooth whitening is a safe, effective and very fast way of having brighter, whiter teeth when administered by a dentist. With the growth in demand for Hollywood white teeth, clinics across the country have been cashing in on this trend, but many of these clinics whether it be hairdressers, beauticians, gymnasiums or beauty spa’s have been employing beauty therapists who, after a few days of training, have been applying harmful chemicals that can damage patients gums and teeth.”
A Which? Investigation earlier on in the year revealed that beauty salons were allowing unqualified staff to carry out teeth-whitening treatments and inflicting permanent damage to patients teeth. In the survey, the reporter posed as a potential client at six London beauty salons. At all six salons, the procedure wasn’t performed by a dentist and half were using dangerous chemicals, including chlorine dioxide. This chemical is a bleaching agent more commonly used to purify water and is very acidic thereby damaging tooth enamel. Others use hydrogen peroxide in strengths above the legal limit.
Sunita says, “At Sparkle, I see all my patients for a dental examination before we carry out any teeth whitening procedures. My dental hygienist Hardip Dhillon, who is also a dental therapist is already able to carry out dental procedures such as fillings, taking x-rays and placing temporary crowns. With the new guidance from the GDC and planned training course, she will be able to carry out teeth whitening treatments by September 2008.’