Buyer Beware of Teeth Whitening in Mall Kiosks & Online

Have you seen those enticing mall kiosks where people in white lab coats tend to the teeth of customers relaxing in ergonomic dental chairs? They’ve been around for a few years now. Everything looks clean and official, and everyone involved looks happy. The price is dramatically lower than dentist-administered whitening.  Truth is, teeth whitening in mall kiosks is not regulated, though some states have banned it.

In 2008, an ABC News hidden camera investigation shed some bright light into what goes on in mall teeth whitening kiosks. In short, the reporters found inconsistencies in information provided by kiosk employees at Eastgate Mall in Cincinnati. To avoid practicing dentistry without a license, kiosk workers were to instruct customers on how to use the bleaching light. However, the kiosk employee did, indeed, use the bleaching light during the investigation. It’s pretty interesting reading. Bottom line is, do not trust professional teeth whitening to anyone but a licensed, practicing dentist who understands cosmetic dentistry procedures.

How about online advertisements for extremely potent teeth whitening systems? In 2009, the Better Business Bureau announced a warning to consumers regarding online ads for teeth whitening. Apparently, complaints poured in to the BBB when consumers were wrangled into a contract for ongoing whitening products when they thought they were getting a free trial. The advertisements were on respected news sites, including ABCNews, FOXNews, and CNN, so consumers probably considered them reputable. So, the lesson to learn here is: do not trust every company that advertises online. You could get snookered.

I’m Dr. James DeFinnis of Back Mountain Dental in Trucksville, PA. As a licensed general dentist trained in cosmetic dentistry, I want you to understand that any prescription-strength teeth whitening that’s not administered by a dentist could harm your teeth and oral health, costing you not only money, but also pain and suffering. Over-the-counter teeth bleaching systems are fine, though they aren’t as strong as dentist-administered products.

And as for online shopping, I’d rather see people spend their hard-earned money on proven, safe cosmetic teeth whitening provided by an ethical dentist – than they waste time and money hassling with unscrupulous online companies.

Your health, image, and money are precious assets that you should not allow anyone to compromise. If you need cosmetic dental care, whether teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, or a smile makeover, come in and see me for a consultation. We’ll discuss your unique case and talk about the best plan to deliver the smile of your dreams. Payment plans are available, and the results are enduring.

My dental practice, Back Mountain Dental in Trucksville, serves patients in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and surrounding communities. Call today to schedule your personal consultation, and let’s get you the smile you deserve.

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