Teeth Whitening Firmly in the Hands of Dentists
EPA Legislation puts Teeth Whitening Firmly in the Hands of Dentists
Lumino The Dentists strongly supports the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit access to tooth whitening products by non-dental providers.
The new rules come into effect on 30 June 2013 and place restrictions on the use of whitening gels containing more than 7% hydrogen peroxide to a registered oral health practitioner, or a non-registered practitioner working under the supervision of a dentist. This puts tooth whitening squarely back in the dental office.
Lumino strongly backed NZ Dental Association concerns about the use of a strong oxidative substance by unqualified tooth whitening consultants. Among those concerns were the risk of chemical burns to soft tissues with inappropriate use, the lack of dental knowledge in case selection and issues around transmission of infection with poor infection control practices.
Dr Andrea Shepperson, chairman of Lumino The Dentists Clinical Advisory Board, says: "At Lumino, we provide whitening solutions to our patients as part of an overall solution to enhance health and well being. It is not a commodity that drives the core of our business or on which the profits of our business rely.
“Whitening centres, however, driven by untrained consultants, exist for one reason only - to drive whitening revenue and make money.”
Andrea continued: “We have a solid commitment to best practice in every regard, and have the patient's best interest in mind. In some instances, whitening would be the wrong treatment and place the patient at risk of extreme sensitivity. We encourage anyone considering teeth whitening to visit their dental professional.”
The ERA’s recommendations were:
• New labeling requirements and safety warnings for all tooth whitening products sold over the counter
• Products that contain between 7 and 12 percent hydrogen peroxide will only be able to be sold or applied by a dentist, a registered oral health practitioner or a tooth-whitening practitioner
• Products that contain more than 12 percent hydrogen peroxide will be more tightly controlled. Users will only be able to buy them from a dentist or an oral health practitioner who is under the supervisor of a dentist. They may only be applied by a dentist; or by a registered oral health practitioner who is under the supervision of a dentist; or a non-registered tooth-whitening practitioner who is under the supervision of a dentist.