Monday, 12 August 2013
Tariq Drabu Dentist Talks Illegal Teeth Whitening
Here is another piece I feel my followers may well be interested in as it directly involves topics I have spoken out on before.
Where as many see teeth whitening as a simple procedure designed to boost people’s self-esteem and provide them with pearly white teeth, there is a lot more to it than that.
In recent years the desire to have whiter teeth has increased, which has sparked interest amongst non dental professionals such as beauticians and hairdressers who are experienced in working on people’s appearance. For them it is seen as an additional revenue stream in difficult economic times. However, although they may have experience carrying out procedures that enhance a person’s look, The General Dental Council, the organisation that regulates dental professionals in the UK, has concluded, with the backing of the law, that teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and therefore should only be carried out by a registered dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist.
Teeth whitening includes the use of different agents, such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, that need to be closely monitored to ensure a person is not put at risk during the procedure. Dental professionals, such as Tariq Drabu Dentist, have the necessary skills, training and knowledge to ensure they do not put at risk their patient’s oral health and well being. However, with beauticians not being specifically trained in dentistry there is a danger that they may use chemicals such as chlorine dioxide, which have been proven to dissolve enamel. There is also a danger that any mouth guard provided by non dental professionals may not fit properly, which can cause the whitening solution to leak out and blister the gums and cause sensitivity.
Although there was previously some possible ambiguity in place regarding who could carry out whitening procedures, in a recent ruling by the High Court it was said that tooth-whitening is a treatment performed by dentists and therefore constituted the practice of dentistry under the Dentists Act 1984. Summarising that a person not qualified as a dentist should be prohibited from providing the treatment.
The ruling came after Lorna Jamous, a beautician who previously carried out teeth whitening procedures, was prosecuted for practising dentistry, as she was neither a qualified dentist or registered with the GDC (The General Dental Council).
The High Court held that:
1. Teeth whitening constituted the practice of dentistry and therefore a non-dentist was prohibited from providing it by section 38 and section 41 of the Dentists Act 1984; and
2. The general public had to be protected from receiving treatment from those not qualified to give it. It was not relevant whether it could also be performed in a domestic context. When a parent brushed a child’s teeth, he or she was not providing treatment to the child and was not practicing a profession.
Dr Tariq Drabu commented on the matter, stating “I am very much against non dental professionals such as hairdressers and beauticians offering teeth whitening as I do not feel it is safe or an ethical practice. I also feel that the beauticians and hairdressers misrepresent us by saying that dentists charge a fortune, which is untrue. Here at Langley Dental Practice we are charging just £199 for upper & lower arch teeth whitening.”
Following the ruling, the High Court stated that now only dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists (working to the prescription of a dentist) are allowed to carry out tooth whitening.
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