Something to Frown About

My apologies for taking a few weeks off as I was helping plan my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah and two dental meetings. I promise to catch up on my writing over the next few weeks.

While assisting my daughter with last minute details, I was shocked by a very common occurence while walking through three different Atlanta shopping malls -Dental Whitening Kiosks that look like mini-dental offices!

I’ve always been a believer and practitioner of whitening smiles since 1987.  Britesmile had always held a spot at one of our malls, but it was staffed by professionals who had some basic training and provided a reasonably good service.

What is very sad to see is the gross commercialism by opportunists who feel they can provide a “cheap service” to an unknowing consumer in order to make a quick buck. The potential for harm is great:

  • Lack of training in smile treatments and that existing fillings will appear dark after any whitening care
  • Poor sterilization techniques or cross contamination
  • Undiagnosed dental problems like cavities, cracks, or abscesses that are the reason for a discoloration in the first place
  • Possibility of a dental injury from a burn on the gums or oversensitivity ( who will actually treat it ?)

Basically, the “mall techs” are practicing dentistry with out a license which is outlawed in all 50 states.

Fortunately, the Georgia Board of Dentistry is cracking down to regulate this abuse of public trust and possible mistreatment.

Bottom line: Your smile and dental health are very precious. Having the advice of a properly trained dental professional ( especially if they have credentials from groups like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry ) can help you see the “big picture” and avoid a harmful experience. Be sure to take a “smile test” before having any cosmetic enhancement to your pearly whites. All it takes is one bad experience create a bad memory or expensive mistake.

Keep smiling right,


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Posted in: Dentistry


  1. Hello Hugh,

    Great article! I think you have tapped on a very important issue that should be brought up for serious consideration by the health department. In every industry there are offers of quick fix and low prices by not so knowledgeable ‘professionals’; however, when this problem starts to happen in the health section, it is a big concern.

    Comment by Carla on July 2, 2009 at 10:27 am

  2. It’s a shame when people are chasing the “quick buck” without thinking about consequences. The real people to fuss at are the consumers. Let the buyer beware.

    Keep smilin’ right


    Comment by Dr.Flax on July 3, 2009 at 6:37 am

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