Who’s Allowed to Whiten Teeth



Recent rulings in the United Kingdom state that only dentists are allowed to whiten teeth. The reasoning is that the process is considered dentistry, meaning dental professionals can only legally perform the procedure.

There is now a campaign in the United Kingdom warning about the safety problems when having teeth whitened by someone other than a dentist. A person was even successfully prosecuted for performing a whitening procedure without being a licensed dentist.

In the United Kingdom, four of five people believe that any kind of tooth whitening procedure should only be done by a dental professional.

The laws regarding whitening are a mixed bag in the United States, however.

The Connecticut State Dental Commission ruled that whitening procedures are considered dentistry and cannot be performed at spas, salons, mall, etc. unless a licensed dentist supervises the procedure. On the other hand, the New Jersey Dental Association lost its legal battle with a chain of tanning salons that offer teeth whitening without any supervision or licensed dentist conducting the whitening.

The North Carolina dental board is fighting the same battle. The problem is that the US Federal Trade Commission stated that prohibiting whitening services is an illegal anticompetitive conspiracy.

The American Dental Association believes licensed dentists should perform all teeth whitening services because it’s a dental procedure. The problem is the laws regarding whitening vary by state.

The possible consequences of having unlicensed dentists whiten teeth are to be determined. But at this point, you don’t necessarily have to be a licensed dentist to perform the procedure in the United States.