GDC calls for stricter regulation on Tooth whitening

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The General Dental Council is calling for stricter regulation for tooth whitening procedures.

At the moment, whitening treatments are available at a variety of different outlets, including beauty salons and high street stores and the people who are providing the treatments have no formal dental training. The GDC believes that tooth whitening is a dental treatment and therefore should only be provided by practitioners with dental training and expertise.

Chief executive of the General Dental Council, Evlynne Gilvarry, said that the council has received hundreds of complaints from members of the public about botched whitening treatments over the course of the last three years. Many dentists have also seen patients who have had whitening treatments and require corrective treatment.

Tooth whitening is a grey area; dentists believe that it is a dental procedure and should therefore only be carried out by dental professionals according to the 1984 Dentists Act, while others believe that it is a cosmetic procedure and can therefore be provided by people without formal dental training.

Tooth whitening has become extremely popular in recent years; whitening treatments are a quick, simple way of improving the aesthetic of the smile and they are a lot more affordable than many other cosmetic dental treatments.

The Department of Health is supporting the GDC and a poll carried out by BBC Radio 5 Live showed that more than 80 percent of the 1,021 adults who rang into the show supported the notion that whitening treatments should only be carried out by trained dental professionals.

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