Thinking that teeth whitening would be a pleasant addition to her lineup of eyelash extensions, temporary tattoos and custom makeup, this salon owner started offering teeth whitening in her upscale salon.
But she fell into trouble with an Alabama Board of Dental Examiners , inspector accused her of practicing illegal dentistry and this stopped her operations then. Her current lawsuit with the state has manage to wade towards the vast, dark area of regulating teeth whitening products that are increasingly offered today in places such as salons and mall kiosks all outside a dentist's abode.
On the point of view of most dental professionals, this is indeed a threat to health and safety but then people from the beauty industry accuse dentists of just brushing them off a moneyspinning break. This woman stated that as a business proprietor all she wanted was to give more services and bring in more people to her shop.
She recently let it out on how frustrated she got when she was threatened to be shut down before she actually got into the practice she was being banned for as she dried the freshly cut hair of a patron using a blow drier. The lady adamantly states that they are on the right side of the law and this is very much a cosmetic procedure.
It's very hard to know whether those bleaching trays or ultraviolet lights are hygienic or safe, shares a man who has been a dentist for 43 years and now consumer adviser and spokesman for the American Dental Association.
In some salons, the whitening is sometimes facilitated by people wearing white coats who hand the trays to customers to put into their own mouths or adjust the lights over their teeth.
But the ADA is worried customers might wrongly think salon employees are health care professionals. The level of disinfection and sterilization is something we are not privy about. Understand that you are dealing with something so unregulated.
It is now so common to see many of the whitening products now made available in stores for customers to apply on their own at home too.
At the end of it all, such boils down to a consumer rights affair as consumers should have the right to whiten their teeth any way they want to just as long as the procedure is safe for them.
Usually, when you have whitening at a salon or mall shop, you will have to cough up a hundred to two hundred dollars for the methods that entail ultraviolet light or bleaching trays. In a dentist's office you will have to pay at least four hundred dollars.
One judge from Montgomery decided in favor of Alabama's dental board in a lawsuit brought by a corporation supplying many mall kiosks and salons with whitening products stating that the whitening of teeth constitutes the practice of dentistry and such should only be done under a license.
This Birmingham attorney, the same one who represented the Alabama board in the case, revealed that this same matter is being dealt with in states like Louisiana, North Carolina, Minnesota, Wyoming and New Mexico, and that many have reached the same finale as this judge from Alabama.
The Tennessee board of dentistry in the last month, after a salvo of complaints about mall stalls, changed its rules to explain that whitening can only be executed by duly licensed dental professionals or hygienists and dental assistants under their direct supervision of these professionals only.
I just find it so amazing how we are thought of practicing dentistry when we never touch the customer's mouth and never even touch the customers, period, states this visibly uptight owner of a known salon.
This group known as the Ohio dental board still agreed after they have found that there is a need to do something about unregulated use of such products, stating that it would be fine for an individual who is not a dentist to facilitate the whitening just as long as it is the consumers who do everything from positioning the light, applying the materials on their own teeth and never lets anyone touching their mouths.
The board agrees that by simply providing a person with the materials to make a tray and demonstrating to them how to apply materials to their teeth for bleaching purposes, you are still far from practicing dentistry.
In the past 4 or maybe 5 years that have passed, we have seen the rise of teeth whitening procedures but this ADA spokesperson recalls that 7 years ago when he was in a cruise vessel, he had witnessed such practices already.
The American Dental Association has a policy but that's not enforceable in any way, he said. Now all dental groups and state governments should know how to handle it the best way.