HARRISBURG, Pa., May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Everyone wants a whiter, brighter smile. These days, there are many ways people seek to achieve this goal, from a whitening procedure in the dental office to strips sold over-the-counter to whitening toothpaste. Recently, tooth whitening kiosks have been popping up in places such as local malls. This trend raises the question, is it safe?
The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) encourages the public to consult with and have a thorough examination performed by a licensed and registered dentist prior to having any tooth whitening procedure.
PDA reminds the public that tooth whitening procedures, outside of those readily available for over-the-counter purchase by the consumer for self-use, should be performed only by a licensed dentist within a registered dental office or branch thereof. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry also is developing a policy statement that will help provide more guidance by clearly defining tooth whitening as the practice of dentistry. This approach will ensure that the patient's specific dental needs are being properly addressed by an individual who is trained and licensed to diagnose and identify possible complications that could occur due to inadequately performed procedures.
Since not all tooth discoloration is the same, patients should first be examined by a licensed dentist to see what type of bleaching is best. After an examination and cleaning to remove simple stains, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatment options:
Keep in mind that bonded teeth, tooth-colored fillings, crowns and veneers cannot be whitened. Discolored teeth that have a brown, yellow or grayish hue may not yield a full whitening effect.
"Since patients should be cautious when seeking tooth whitening procedures, the first stop should be with their licensed family dentist," said Dr. Joseph Ross, a PDA member and general dentist from New Castle. "Their dentist can inform them of the appropriate options available. Tooth whitening kiosks in malls and shopping centers may not be operated by licensed dentists. Although tooth whitening is cosmetic in nature, there are biological effects. Only a trained licensed dentist can properly diagnose and treat tooth discolorations."
For more information on other oral health topics, visit PDA's Web site at www.padental.org.
|SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association|
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