The Dentist Magazine.

Don’t pay for a whiter smile with your dental health

Published: 12/6/2018 12:00:00 AM

A leading North East dentist has warned that quick fix tooth whitening is not the answer for those aiming for a brighter smile.

Ken Harris, who runs Sunderland’s Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry, has witnessed a rise in the trend for whiter teeth but warns that patients going anywhere other than a trained dentist could be causing their teeth more harm than good.

With some beauticians and hairdressing salons adding whitening to their services and products like charcoal tooth paste and laser lights claiming big results, Ken wants to make sure people aren’t taken in by false promises that could damage their teeth.

“The only way to whiten teeth is to use a whitening agent called carbamide peroxide, preferably in an extremely well-fitting bespoke dental tray,” said Ken, whose practice was voted the best in the country earlier this year.

“The use of laser lights is nothing more than a gimmick, and even whitening toothpastes over promise and under deliver.”

Whitening carried out by anybody other than a dentist is against the law, so Ken instructs that those craving a brighter smile should book a consultation with their dentist.

“Consultations allow us to ensure that a patient’s dental health is up to date and also gives them a chance to ask their dentist about the procedure and what sort of results to expect,” he said.

“You wouldn’t trust a hairdresser to fix your filling so there’s no reason to do the same with tooth whitening, it is a dental procedure like any other and should be taken as seriously.”

Dr Ken Harris is one of the UK’s foremost cosmetic dentists and a multi-award winner. With more than 35 years of experience, he has an MSc in restorative and aesthetic dentistry and is a Fellow of both the Royal College of General Dental Practice and the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is a member of the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) and acts as UK clinical director for the California Center for Advanced Dental Studies in San Francisco alongside lecturing around the globe.