GUIDANCE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD FOR DENTISTRY: TEETH WHITENIING 

Date: November 2009
 
Recently, consumers in New York State have been exposed to a significant number of products involving teeth whitening. While certain over-the-counter products may be safe, other products available for self application or through retail outlets have the potential to cause harm.
  • Underlying dental health conditions may make a patient a poor candidate for certain teeth whitening processes. These processes may not be effective, and may actually do harm to a patient’s teeth and gums.
  • The application of teeth whitening products in a retail outlet, not subject to the infection control requirements of a dental office, creates a risk of disease transmission for the consumer and individuals working in such an establishment.
  • The application of teeth whitening products by or with the assistance of someone who is not a licensed dentist or dental hygienist may constitute the illegal practice of the profession of dentistry, which is a crime.
  • The State Board for Dentistry office will refer any allegations of the illegal practice of dentistry to the Office of Professional Discipline for investigation. Individuals should consult with a licensed dental health professional and have their overall dental health evaluated before making decisions regarding teeth whitening products and services.