In the following guest piece, Kay Gore explores the rise of cosmetic dentistry in Australia, fraudulent and misleading products, problems associated with teeth whitening and more.
Over recent years, cosmetic dentistry trends have been rising in Australia and other parts of the world, with people taking part in potentially dangerous practices like DIY tooth whitening, bleaching, and even going so far as to get unnecessary veneers.
Experts warn that many who take part in these dangerous trends are actually causing more harm than good, which may lead to further dental treatment in the future.
Teeth whitening has taken the world by storm, appealing to those who wish to remove stains and brighten their teeth to get a more attractive smile and whiter look.
Many may seek to lift stains caused by food and drink, or to lift any noticeable stains after getting braces removed.
However, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) performed research on the topic in Australia during 2018, which revealed cause for concern.
From the research, the ADA learned that 6% of those who partake in teeth whitening are going to non-dentist services to brighten their smiles, while 50% of consumers who whiten their teeth choose to do so with do-it-yourself kits, which can be bought either online or over the counter in stores.
The ADA also found the trend of teeth whitening using online kits to be popular among younger consumers, who may not know about all of the risks associated with teeth whitening.
It’s suggested that many of those who used such kits were doing so improperly — such as by leaving whitening strips on longer than recommended, or using the product more frequently than is necessary.
AT-HOME WHITENING: THE DANGERS
There are a number of potential risks associated with teeth whitening, specifically when it comes to DIY options.
With the strong influence of celebrities and other influencers on social media promoting various whitening products, it isn’t uncommon for fans to then purchase and use the same ones.
Dentists across Australia note that the number of people coming in with burns or ulcers associated with DIY whitening treatments is alarming.
In fact, one dentist by the name of Norah Ayad recounts an incident in which a patient had a severe gum burn, complete with ulcerations in the mouth due to bleach. This took several weeks to resolve.
Because many DIY teeth whitening products are misleading or use false advertising, they can cause an array of harmful effects to those who use them.
Charcoal whitening products are yet another way that young Australians may be attempting to whiten their teeth, and such products can also be harmful.
Claiming to be an all-natural alternative to other products, charcoal has been found to be abrasive, bringing the risk of wearing away the protective enamel.
For those who wish to enjoy proper teeth whitening, the ADA recommends doing so safely through professional in-chair whitening treatments, or by using professionally prescribed at-home whitening kits.
THE RISE OF PORCELAIN DENTAL VENEERS
Porcelain dental veneers have been a well-known option for helping those who have serious dental issues in terms of the size/shape of the teeth, and they have become a recent trend due to how dramatically they can change one’s smile.
Celebrities and online influencers who already have veneers leave many experts with the concern that younger people could be influenced to get them as well, leading many to make an uneducated and unnecessary decision that often has lasting effects.
The wide use of social media only enforces this concern, as porcelain veneers can easily be glorified as being a quick fix option in perfecting smiles.
Getting dental veneers often requires that the participant has their teeth filed in order for the veneers to fit over the existing teeth. Consequently, this makes the procedure irreversible for those who choose to take part.
Dental veneers will also likely need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years when the porcelain either cracks or weakens, according to a dentist and ethicist at The University of Sydney by the name of Alexander Holden.
Holden also mentions that with such veneers there may be the added risk of more extensive treatment down the line.
Furthermore, the financial cost of veneers often costs well over $1,000 per tooth, meaning that undergoing the procedure for purely cosmetic purposes early on can result in heavy costs down the road when the veneers do need to be replaced.
WORTH THE COST?
Many people don’t hesitate when it comes to partaking in the latest cosmetic dentistry trends out there, whether it be whitening the teeth or replacing their smile altogether with a set of porcelain veneers.
Dentists can also be a problem if not checked properly. They may only know one way to fix your teeth, which may not be the best solution for you or for your smile.
If it’s not preplanned properly, you may even end up losing a tooth, or the doctor or dentist might end up shaving too much away or they might end up killing a tooth as well.
That process is normally irreversible and permanent, so you can’t change things after that
Because of the damage that can be done, experts express concern for those unnecessarily taking part in such trends – which in some cases may lead to further treatment being needed in the future.
Make sure to avoid falling for potentially harmful consumer products.
View more published content from Kay here.
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