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01/27/2010

Guidance Issued on Teeth Whitening

The New York State Board for Dentistry has finally approved a guidance on teeth whitening.  It is outlined below.  NYSDA will be developing materials about this topic for members and patients making it public that the application of teeth whitening products by or with the assistance of someone who is not a licensed dentist or dental hygienist may constitute the illegal practice of the profession of dentistry, which is a crime.

GUIDANCE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD FOR DENTISTRY

TEETH WHITENIING

Date: November 2009

Recently, consumers in New York State have been exposed to a significant number of products involving teeth whitening. While certain over-the-counter products may be safe, other products available for self application or through retail outlets have the potential to cause harm.

  • Underlying dental health conditions may make a patient a poor candidate for certain teeth whitening processes. These processes may not be effective, and may actually do harm to a patient’s teeth and gums.
  • The application of teeth whitening products in a retail outlet, not subject to the infection control requirements of a dental office, creates a risk of disease transmission for the consumer and individuals working in such an establishment.
  • The application of teeth whitening products by or with the assistance of someone who is not a licensed dentist or dental hygienist may constitute the illegal practice of the profession of dentistry, which is a crime.

The State Board for Dentistry office will refer any allegations of the illegal practice of dentistry to the Office of Professional Discipline for investigation. Individuals should consult with a licensed dental health professional and have their overall dental health evaluated before making decisions regarding teeth whitening products and services.