Recent press articles may have been suggesting that tooth whitening is to be banned in the UK. Fortunately this is not currently the case but their is serious cause for concern that the department of trade and industry may be about to stick it’s oar into the debate by instructing leading dental suppliers to stop supplying it. The whitening industry in the UK is a multi million pound business and to close it down would lead to major job losses in the dental supply industry and would deny patients a safe and easy treatment that can boost their sense of well being and happiness.
This current lunacy stems from a case involving the mistaken prescription of a higher dose in surgery gel for use at home by a patient. The dentist in question made a mistake and no one is denying this; the problem has however been leapt upon by the DTI who have gone after the dental supplier rather than the dentist to try and shut down the use of whitening products in the UK. This “battle” has been going on for many years and stems from a disagreement over whether whitening gels are part of a cosmetic process (which cannot contain >0.1% hydrogen peroxide) or a medical product which can. Clearly the dental profession feels that it is a medical device and exempt from these restrictions but for reasons unknown to any but a few in the higher levels of power the UK government feels it is a cosmetic product. (My oversuspicious mind has always felt that the government has a vested interest in it being a cosmetic product so it will not have to supply it on the NHS but that is purely my opinion).
The stance at StoneRock remains the same. Whitening teeth using 10% -15%carbemide peroxide gel in specially fitted trays (so called vital night guard bleaching) is the quickest safest cheapest and least invasive way of enhancing your smile. To deny patients this option is unethical. All aesthetic procedures need to be viewed as purely elective (ie done at the patients request only). A thorough pre-whitening examination is required and full written warnings regarding sensitivity etc should always be given prior to treatment commencing.
Hopefully common sense will prevail but you never can tell when it comes to governments and health issues.