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It's now possible to get whiter teeth in a matter of minutes, and we're not just talking about toothpaste and gum. Teeth whitening professionals say by skipping drug store products, you can get faster and better results.
Most of us want the brightest and whitest smile possible. "Okay, now you can close down on that," says Dr. D.J. Dailey at his Little Rock dentist office as he starts a Zoom whitening treatment on a patient.
With protective paper and gel in place, Zoom whitening claims it's the best cosmetic teeth whitening out there, but you have to go to the dentist.
Using a combination of whitening gel and light, Zoom could make Ashley's teeth an average of eight shades whiter in 45 minutes. Dr. Dailey says the side effects are minimal. "You could have some gum or lip irritation that can come about from the whitening agent. And then the other thing is tooth sensitivity," says Dailey.
You're probably wondering how much professional teeth whitening costs. Well, in Arkansas, it can cost anywhere from $450 to $800.
But the C.E.O. of White Science of Central Arkansas, who is not a dentist, says his system is safer, faster and cheaper. "There's no sensitivity involved in what we do," says Justin Fiser.
Fiser has sold the White Science system to 15 spas, salons and rejuvination clinics around central Arkansas.
Whitening businesses are popping up all over the country. You can find them everywhere from malls, to spas and big box stores.
Customers pay $130 for a single 15 minute treatment and $249 for a double session. But is it safe? "There is risk because we are considered cosmetic, not dental, but there isn't a risk because it's a self-administered cosmetic procedure. I'm never inside anyone's mouth. I give them the product, have them put the tray in their mouth, and I walk them through the process," says Fiser.
You have to sign a waiver, too.
But our dentist, Dr. Dailey, is troubled by what he calls the latest whitening fad. "To me, it's about like going to get a root canal from somebody that doesn't really know what a root canal is," says Dailey. "In 99 out of 100 cases, they may not have a problem, but that one person that they do have in that they have a problem with, they won't really know how to handle that situation," continued Dailey.
Nine states currently regulate teeth whitening done by non-dentists. Arkansas is not one of them. Some have even shut teeth whitening companies down for practicing dentistry without a license.
Fiser encourages all White Science customers to talk to their dentists before using his product and says the proof is in his results. "I am really satisfied. They went four shades lighter in 15 minutes. Simple. Easy. I like them a lot," says White Science customer Megan Knight.
"Typically we'll see, as I said, two to six shades in the 15 minute process," says Fiser.
And after just one Zoom whitening treatment, Ashley's already seeing results. "Well, you could already tell a difference. Your teeth look really good, Ashley," says Dr. Dailey.
The lawyer for the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners tells FOX16 that teeth whitening is not the same as practicing dentistry, or else all parents would have to be licensed dentists to brush their kids' teeth.
But he is keeping track of national safety data regarding teeth whitening companies.
Right now, the State Board of Dental Examiners has no plans to take legal action against cosmetic teeth whitening companies.
Insurance does not cover teeth whitening.
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