Post your comments about tooth whitening to our blog. Read the tooth whitening survey press release.
In this poll, we asked dentists: Are today’s consumers over-whitening their teeth?
Guess what? Most dentists fully support tooth-whitening, and don’t feel like consumers who overdo it are a significant problem. Five out of six dentists in our poll responded, “No; whether done at home or in the dental office, modern tooth-whitening technology is only improving people’s smiles.” The 16% minority replied, “Yes; home bleaching kits and too-eager dental
practitioners have left many people with ‘toilet bowl teeth.'”
Geographic differences were remarkable. One out of three rural dentists expressed serious concerns about over-bleaching. By contrast, only one out of thirty urban dentists voiced the same worry. (Suburban dentists fell in between the two groups at one out of four.)
There’s a certain stereotype of urban dentists as slick cosmetic shysters and rural dentists as old-fashioned country docs. Although that’s obviously an unfair assessment, it seems to be based on a kernel of truth: Urban dentists care more about cosmetic factors.
There was a dramatic difference between general dentists and specialists on this issue, with all (100%) of the specialists in our poll supporting tooth-whitening, while only 83% of general dentists did.
However, don’t jump to any conclusions! With a relatively small number of specialists voting in this survey, these results may reflect the passions of a few individuals and not an entire professional class.
Too Much of a Good Thing
- “I had one patient who became so addicted to bleaching that her teeth resembled bright white copy paper — and she still was not ready to quit! The worst offenders are people with more heavily pigmented skin as the whitened teeth unnaturally ‘pop’ out in contrast to skin tone giving them a ghoulish effect.” (California dentist)
- “Too many people have the Regis Philbin look: teeth that are too big and too white that look too fake!” (Missouri prosthodontist)
Can You Ever Have Too Much of a Good Thing?
- “If people want ‘toilet bowl teeth,’ so what? I don’t hear complaints about some physiologic problem. Too white? Isn’t that like being too rich?” (Georgia dentist)
- “I do feel that some are using it excessively, but overall, I like teeth whiter.” (Missouri dentist)
- “Whitening is a patient’s choice. If it makes them feel better and causes no problems, why not?” (Pennsylvania dentist)
Tooth Whitening is Safe and Effective
- “I still see 5-10 patients daily asking about bleaching who have never done any bleaching previously. In my practice, ‘Toilet Bowl Teeth’ are few and far between.” (North Carolina dentist)
- “Some people will overdo whitening no matter what, so I think the dentist has a role as professional counselor. But based on what I have seen in the literature to date, I believe whitening is both safe and efficacious.” (California dentist)
Some People Will Always Go to Excess
- “Like everything in this world, too much of anything is not good for you. Too much whitening on the same set of teeth will be too much and can cause problems, even darkening the same teeth we are trying to lighten.” (Florida dentist)
- “Some portion of the population will always overdo it whatever it is.” (Florida dentist)
- “Unrealistic expectations from bleaching by many patients.” (Georgia dentist)