Current Rule Governing Techniques For Teeth Whitening

Many teeth whitening systems are available, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, and trays, and whitening agents obtained from a dentist.
Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored teeth (no fillings) and gums. Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best. But this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone.
Find out if teeth whitening is right for you.
Whitening Toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stains because they contain mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that helps lighten the color deep in the tooth. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.
Last week, the Tennessee Board of Dentistry unanimously approved a policy to clarify the current rule governing clinical techniques for teeth whitening. The Board's interpretation of the statutes and rules limits the prescribing and dispensing of teeth whitening gels or pastes to licensed dentists, or licensed dental hygienists and registered dental assistants under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. 
The ruling, which became effective January 8, 2009, came at the recommendation of a board committee tasked with research of the procedure as performed by non-dental professionals. The board began to closely examine the issue following numerous inquiries related to kiosks that began opening throughout the state, particularly in shopping malls. The policy has no impact on over-the-counter teeth whitening products available to consumers in retail locations for take-home use. 
"The board determined based on its research and legal opinion that prescribing and dispensing teeth whitening formulations is the practice of dentistry," said Libby Miller, director of health related boards for the state Department of Health. "To ensure the safety of the public, the board ruled that only licensed dental professionals should be authorized to apply teeth whitening formulations to patients." 
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