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a blog by Chris Barrow

BACD update: Positive Update on Whitening

As most of you will be aware, there have been some “interesting” happenings in relation to dental bleaching over the past couple of months. However, we are pleased to be able to inform our members that the most recent developments are more positive. The following is a summary of the main points in a statement issued by the British Dental Bleaching Society. a) Whitening products are back on sale from dental suppliers, following the Trading Standards (Essex) decision that “…this Service has no issue with peroxide-based whiteners > 0.1% supplied to GDC registered dentists for use in the course of a professional whitening service conducted by a registrant. It is the view of this Service that such treatments would be regulated by the GDC. Provided [dental supply companies take] reasonable steps to restrict supplies of such whiteners to registrants, making it clear that the product is only for use in surgery (i.e. not for supply as an over-the-counter take-home cosmetic product for consumers), then the view of this Service is that there is no need for any trading standards action. This Service is in agreement with the view of dental professionals and organisations such as the BDA that the safest place for cosmetic teeth whitening to take place is in the care of registered dental professionals, and it is not in the public interest for action to be taken to restrict the supply to dentists of the necessary raw materials and whitening kits to make this possible.” b) The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under whose auspices the Cosmetic Directive falls, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and have begun the internal procedures necessary to get a proposal on the issue of dental bleaching from the European Commission to go before the European Parliament within a matter of weeks. c) The GDC in its “Considering Tooth Whitening” advice for patients says: “We believe that tooth whitening is part of the practice of dentistry, and dentistry must only be carried out by dental professionals who are registered with us. Before you have tooth whitening, you should always visit a dentist so they can assess whether treatment would be right for you. Registered dental hygienists and dental therapists can also carry out tooth whitening on the prescription of a dentist.” Source: British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

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