South Charlotte Dentistry Questions Mall Tooth Whitening Procedures

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Dr. James Wells of South Charlotte Dentistry states his concerns about the process of tooth whitening at local malls and kiosks. State government allows the services to be offered based on the legal argument of ‘open competition.’

There is a big difference between the typical in-office tooth whitening treatment that uses a higher amount of hydrogen peroxide and sits on teeth for about an hour versus the at-home variety that these mall vendors are using.

Dr. James Wells of South Charlotte Dentistry wants to go on record stating his concerns about untrained operators at local malls and kiosks that offer tooth whitening. The state government allows the services to be offered but leaves it to the consumer to decide whether or not it is professional treatment or safe.

"I believe these mall-type businesses may be misleading the public by providing dental services without a licensed dentist on site," says Dr. James Wells, of South Charlotte Dentistry. "Basically what they’re doing is offering a chair, a L.E.D light and an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit and asking the consumer to apply the less than professional grade whitening themselves."

Because these store employees are not trained technicians, they cannot touch the customer, apply the material or even position the light. Dr. Wells believes that these mall kiosks and storefronts are offering these services are misleading the consumer to believe they are receiving a higher quality of care than is actually occurring. In his experience, he has not found the operators or store employees of these services to be trained dentists, hygienist or dental assistants.

"There is a big difference between the typical in-office tooth whitening treatment that uses a higher amount of hydrogen peroxide and sits on teeth for about an hour versus the at-home variety that these mall vendors are using. The public is paying for professional grade service, but getting a much lower quality product and service," he adds.

As reported in the Triangle Business Journal, the N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners was recently denied a petition to prevent these services from being offered arguing that for the sake of the consumer that these services should be classified as dentistry. The ruling stated that the State Board of Dental Examiners violates antitrust law as by trying to stifle open competition. (FTC’s December 2, 2011 Decision and Order.).

"I don’t have a problem with these businesses selling at-home bleaching kits to the consumer to take home and apply themselves," says Dr. Wells. "But to wear a white lab coats or scrubs, and talk the customer through the process I believe may be violating the public’s trust."

South Charlotte Dentistry offers a number of very effective professional grade methods for teeth whitening including the ZOOM process and the use of whitening trays. With the ZOOM process, patients have seen their teeth whiten an average 6 to 10 shades in a single visit.

Dr. Wells urges consumers to do their research on teeth whitening. Not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening. He also recommends that patients considering teeth whitening be examined by a licensed dentist before getting a treatment. For more information regarding the teeth whitening services at South Charlotte Dentistry call Dr. Wells at 704-759-0908 or visit the website at http://www.southcharlottedentistry.com.

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Libby Lucas
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