In many US states and countries around the world, you needn't be a dentist to sell or perform teeth whitening procedures in an office/store setting. This category of teeth whitening is called "cosmetic" teeth whitening and is permissible chiefly because it's actually a self-administered routine, eliminating the need for a licensed dental professional to "touch" or "treat" you. Cosmetic teeth whitening can be quite effective for good candidates - and it's certainly more affordable than whitening from the dentist. While some states still consider this effort to be practicing dentistry without a license, many other states permit itâ€“whether in a spa, tanning salon, gym, cruise ship or home/mobile environment.
It's a profitable endeavor, so hundreds of eager business people - from whitening gel manufacturers to salon owners - have jumped onboard. But here's the rub - the people offering this service to spa owners are primarily business people-who may buy equipment and gel in bulk, give it a trendy brand name and sell it to the salon or spa owner as a "product". They're not dentists, they're not even health care professionals and the object of the game is to make money.
Now there's nothing wrong with making money, but you also have to remember that any teeth whitening product that can be sold to non-dentists can be manufactured anywhere, with any kind of quality control. While strict regulations exist to keep cosmetic teeth whitening companies away from the strongest gels and equipment (dental grade) - there is no guarantee that what they offer instead is safe or effective. Also, there is no guarantee that you will experience a dramatic shade change - or that - if you have underlying dental issues including severe gum disease or cavities or sensitivity, that you will not experience severe pain, or possibly damage.
But this isn't exactly the Wild West either, as you'll find when you check out reviews of the various systems. The steps they take to whiten teeth, are, in almost all cases, identical: the application of a carbamide or hydrogen peroxide gel in either custom, one-size or foam mouthpieces, followed by a 15-20 minute exposure to a cool blue LED light. Because cosmetic teeth whiteners are restricted to certain strengths of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide and may only use a blue LED light (all of which are FDA approved as a matter of law), there is little difference between routines. Some of the cosmetic whitening companies, however, do take pride in their work and offer thoughtful variations on the standard formulas, including ingredients for sensitivity protection, US manufacturing for gels and/or lights, after whitening care and more. In some instances, the manufacturers have simply created more cost-effective versions of the systems they already offer to dentists (these are your best bets).
So, if you decide to go with a cosmetic teeth procedure in a spa, salon or in the mall - do your homework and check them out first. Some of these are legitimate businesses with high rates of success and satisfaction - others are fly-by-night operators looking for a quick dollar.
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I am 70 years old. Would it work for my age group?
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