Teeth Whitening Product Strength Heavily Regulated in Europe

Teeth Whitening Product Strength Heavily Regulated in EuropeTooth whitening products that could harm teeth are a little harder to buy online, thanks to the efforts of Which?, a British consumer watchdog group.

The group discovered teeth whiteners available on major websites such as eBay, Amazon and Google that contain dangerously high levels of hydrogen peroxide – up to 350 times what is now permitted in the European Union.

It’s not just remarkable how much peroxide is in these products – it’s also remarkable how little peroxide is now permitted in whiteners sold in Europe. The European Union has recently banned sales of teeth whitening products with over 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. Here’s a brief history:

  • March 2005: European Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) recommends that >0.1 to 6.0% hydrogen peroxide (or equivalent for hydrogen peroxide-releasing substances) be considered safe “after consultation with and approval of the consumer’s dentist.”
  • January 2008: SCCP again recommends that up to 6% hydrogen peroxide is a safe limit to use for at-home tooth bleaching.
  • March 2010: The European Commission classifies over-the-counter tooth whitening products as cosmetics, not medical devices. As such, they are limited to containing or releasing a maximum of 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. (Read more)

By contrast, the home bleaching products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide (a bleaching agent that is roughly three times weaker than hydrogen peroxide).

We did a search in Google’s Shopping section for the term “carbamide peroxide,” and the very first result was a 44% carbamide peroxide solution available through Amazon. “There is no stronger or more effective gel available on the market,” reads the product description.

Other products that showed up in Google include:

  • Four Patient 35% Hydrogen Peroxide Kit: 8-Arch
  • 14% Hydrogen Peroxide Take Home Whitening Kit
  •  Prefilled Whitening Tray 12% Peroxide
  • Zoom Whitening Z Mint 6%
  • 15 Syringes of 30% Carbamide Peroxide Gel
  • 12 Syringes of 30% Hi-Intensity Carbamide Peroxide Gel
  • Teeth Whitening Pens 44% Carbamide Peroxide (1000 Units)

Now, it seems unlikely that a consumer would drop $2,659 on 1,000 whitening pens, but that’s not the point. The point is that extremely powerful teeth whitening agents – the kind that should only be used by a licensed dentist – are easily available to the general public.

The products in question aren’t being sold directly by Amazon or Google, but by individual sellers who list their items on these sites. Policing the items available for sale on their sites is a real challenge for online marketplaces, but it’s also an important duty.

This was made dramatically clear in 1999 when a human kidney popped up on eBay. Though the site already had a policy that banned the sale of human organs, the kidney listing somehow made it past eBay’s security systems. Bidding reached over $5 million before eBay discovered it and ended the auction.

So what do you think?

On the one hand, consumers shouldn’t be using high-concentration bleaching products all by themselves. But on the other hand, the EU limit of 0.1% is incredibly low. Where is the happy medium?

Teeth Whitening Makes List for Back-to-School Shopping

Teeth whitening for back to schoolA new report indicates that 18% of parents say that they plan to get tooth whitening for their teen as part of going back to school.

The survey, by American Express, also apparently found that 9% of parents would be willing to pay for their kids' tattoos (yes, really!).

Teens tend to have naturally white teeth, so their passion for teeth bleaching might seem unusual… until, of course, you remember that they're teenagers. (And tooth whitening is certainly cheaper than braces…)

Read more: Back-to-school checklist: Whiter teeth & tattoos

Cosmetic Dentistry Still Tops the List of Services Dentists Offer

Cosmetic Dentistry Still Tops the List of Services Dentists OfferWhen asked what services their dental practice offers, the dentists who responded with cosmetic dentistry were the clear majority in this survey.

More aging baby boomers are turning to cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of their teeth, which may explain the increase in demand for cosmetic dentistry services.

Dental implants are the most popular dental treatment among this demographic for the replacement of damaged or missing teeth.

A California dentist shared, “More than half of our practice is dental implants now!”

Here at The Wealthy Dentist, we were curious what services dentists are currently offering. The top services offered by dentists who responded to this survey are cosmetic, tooth whitening, dental implants, dentures, and children’s dentistry.

Here’s a breakdown of the services dentists are offering —

List of Services Dentists Offer

Dentists were disappointed that other services were not included in this survey, like Botox, oral cancer screenings, or offering custom mouthguards for patient athletes.

One prosthodontist noted, “Oral cancer screening and testing was not on the survey list. Also, it would be interesting to know how many offices provide Botox.”

A general dentist responded that he now offers same day service for CEREC restorations as part of his dental practice services.

Another dentist answered tongue-in-cheek, “I don’t offer gum disease, I treat it.”

What dental services does your dental practice offer? Has the demand for cosmetic dentistry increased?

Where is your dental marketing focused?

Dental Survey: Do Dentists Recommend Teeth Whitening At-Home?

Dentists prescribe in home teeth whiteningDentists are still the trusted source for patients who want whiter teeth, even though whitening toothpaste and rinses, and over-the-counter teeth bleaching kits are easily available to consumers.

Of course, some tooth stains don’t respond to these methods, and every case is different.

The Wealthy Dentist wanted to know what dentists tell their patients when asked about the best way to whiten their teeth.

Here’s what our survey asked:

What method of teeth whitening do you most recommend for your patients?

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of dentist-prescribed in-home tooth whitening.

Only 4% of dentists recommend over-the-counter whitening products; and only 9% recommend in-office tooth whitening from a dentist.

Teeth whitening dentist survey

“We actually recommend all of the above. The best results are found in patients between 18 and 40 years of age and using a combination of in-office and tray whitening.” Nevada dentist

Here’s what dentists had to say about in-home, dentist-prescribed teeth whitening:

“This method has the quickest results, years of proven safety and a resource for any questions or problems.” Texas Dentist

“Severe cases, KöR Whitening,” recommends a general dentist.

“We have tried and done them all even on ourselves. I still like the trays and gel the best.” Wisconsin dentist

What method of teeth whitening do you recommend for your dental patients?

Has Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Demand Gone Up or Down? (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet videoTeeth whitening has gone mainstream, with lots of different tooth whiteners now available over the counter.

But tooth whitening from a dentist is still the quickest and most effective way to quickly get whiter teeth.

“A lot of patients have whitened their teeth. It seems that the ones who wanted whiter teeth have already done it,” said an Oklahoma dentist.

“With the cost of in-office whitening treatments going down, we have seen the demand for over-the-counter whiteners decrease,” said a Wisconsin dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists about the popularity of over-the-counter tooth whitening methods.

h3<>Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey report on whether demand for at-home whiteners gone up or down.

Dentists are pretty evenly split. In this survey, 43% said demand has increased, while 35% feel it’s decreased, and 22% say demand has held steady.

Some of these tooth whiteners can have far higher levels of peroxide than they’re supposed to. Do dentist have patients who have damaged their teeth with OTC whitening methods?

Most haven’t but, 18% have noted issues here and there.

At-home teeth bleaching can be a mixed bag for dentists. It raises the overall profile of tooth whitening, but it leaves patients with a lot of options outside of the dentist’s office.

“White Strips have had a significant impact on our office’s billings for cosmetic procedures. Revenues are down as patients use these instead of chair-side and tray whitening,” said a Georgia dentist.

“At-home whiteners are the best place for patients to start if they have had a dental exam to rule out contraindications to whitening,” said a New York dentist.

With over-the-counter products, patients can run the risk of over-whitening their teeth and making them susceptible to brittleness and sensitivity, which can lead to bigger issues down the road,” said a general dentist.

We have had many patients complain that over-the-counter whiteners did not whiten their teeth enough or did not whiten interproximally very well. Take-home professional whitening with trays is one of the best available because we can whiten the whole tooth on all surfaces to get the tooth the whitest in can be,” said an Ohio prosthodontist.

Patients in the US these days are very interested in having whiter teeth.

While they have plenty of options they can buy at the grocery store or pharmacy, none of these are as safe or effective as in-office whitening.

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