BDA concerns over patient safety in teeth whitening

  • Date: 03 June 2011

PATIENT safety could be put at risk by a trading standards clampdown on teeth whitening products, the British Dental Association has warned.

The BDA has expressed “significant concerns” over the current investigation by Essex County Council’s trading standards that is said to be having a major impact on the availability of hydrogen peroxide-based whitening products to dentists. The BDA fears this supply problem could mean that patients “instead seek whitening treatments from non-dental professionals, which is illegal and dangerous.”

The regulator is seeking an urgent meeting with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to resolve concerns about the trading standards officers’ tough approach. The BDA believes officers should revert back to the low-key approach they previously took to the supply of whitening products.

The BDA is also seeking progress in the ongoing European Union review of the EU Cosmetics Directive, which it hopes will provide “a sensible legal framework for the provision of tooth whitening products in the UK.”

Stuart Johnston, Chair of the BDA’s Representative Body, said: “The recently-changed approach to the supply of whitening products, and particularly the impact the investigation being undertaken in Essex is having, is a significant concern for patient safety.

“This must be addressed as a matter of urgency and the previously adopted low-key approach to supply to dental professionals reinstated. A significant body of evidence demonstrates the safety of whitening products when used by trained dental professionals. We urge trading standards officers to adopt a pragmatic approach that recognises this and puts patient safety first.”

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