Keeping an eye on the tooth whitening trend

Cosmetic Treatments
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The demand for tooth whitening has increased substantially over the last several years and yet many practitioners still do not actively recommend this option to their patients.

Many consider doing so as ‘selling’ since whitening is not an ‘essential’ or medical procedure.

Yet this is ignoring the fact that patients want whiter teeth. Indeed, tooth whitening is one of the fastest growing sectors in UK dentistry. People are now very conscious about the appearance of their teeth – and it’s well known that a whiter smile is contiguous with greater self-esteem, confidence and perceptions of health and hygiene.

Unfortunately, this increased demand has also caused an increase in the number of illegal providers who are willing to take advantage of the public’s desire to have a whiter smile – regardless of the risks. This is the first of several reasons why dental professionals should be prepared to start a dialogue with their patients about whitening treatments. Not only will dentists be able to educate their patients about the legality of tooth whitening, they will be able to show that, for the best and safest results, professional treatments should be chosen over those offered by beauticians and other unlicensed providers.

There are many ways that whitening options can be introduced into day-to-day practice, such as providing a shade monitoring service to patients during regular check ups. By simply recording the shade of a patient’s teeth in their notes or showing them on a chart where they are, patients will begin to be more aware of the appearance of their teeth. Those that are already interested in whitening will then have an opportunity to ask more; those that aren’t will simply ignore the information.

Professionals who can see shade monitoring as a ‘value added service’ rather than simple sales ploy will undoubtedly see better results, whilst still being able to maintain a strong relationship with their patients. By subtly adapting the way whitening is discussed in the surgery, without being judgemental or forceful, patients will understand they are being offered something worthwhile.

Of course, it is always important to remain ethical here. Shade monitoring should be entirely impartial. It should not be used in a way that convinces the patient that they need whitening. It should simply be used to open the door to an informed conversation about the benefits of a whiter smile – and the important issues of professional treatment. Just like other cosmetic treatments, whitening procedures can be suggested to patients in an ethical and responsible manner. This is the underlying idea behind shade monitoring. Instead of seeing whitening as a purely profit driven option, practitioners who offer their patients shade monitoring will be providing an in-demand service – a service that many patients care about and would undoubtedly be interested in receiving.

This is the perspective Enlighten has on whitening treatment – and as Enlighten products are able to guarantee results, they are the perfect complement to the shade monitoring service that practitioners will be offering their patients.