Teeth Whitening Laws Differ from State to State
As most of us Dental Geeks know, laws regulating who can and cannot offer tooth whitening services differ from state to state. For instance, in North Carolina, personnel at salons, spas and mall kiosks can offer whitening services, however, in Alabama, the whitening process can only be administered by licensed dentists, hygienists or dental assistants.
(More info about recent lawsuits on the subject can be found here on DrBicuspid.com.)
There are different perceptions as to why some of these laws are in place, some believing dental professionals are aiming to capture a greater share of the whitening market by banning anyone else from offering these services. Others feeling strongly that limiting this service offering to licensed dental professionals eliminate potential issues that can occur when non-dental parties perform these procedures.
The purpose of this post is to start an open discussion regarding your thoughts on the subject – should teeth whitening services be provided by licensed dental professionals only? Should teeth whitening be considered a form of practicing dentistry and therefore be restricted to those with the proper oral health training? Or, should non-dental cosmetic business owners be able to use the same OTC whitening products on clients that consumers can buy and use freely without a dentist’s supervision anyway?
What do YOU think?