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A call for multiproduct testing.

Within the past five years we have been bombarded with a variety of whitening products. We now have whitening floss, whitening gum, whitening rinses and whitening toothpastes. This list does not even cover the whitening treatments offered in the dental offices. I, like any other assistant, want the very best for my patients. My concerns, however, are arising from the very strong chemical compositions of these products, and I question whether or not there are any side effects in using a multitude of these products on a long-term basis. Each product has a minimal amount of a harsh chemical ingredient, but if a patient is using a combination of whitening ingredients, then he or she is compounding the minimal dose of each product.

In every practice, including mine, we have whitening Nazis. These are people who can't get white enough, who insist on constantly using the strips, the gum, the rinse, and the toothpastes on an ongoing basis. Some of these people are doing the in-office bleaching or the office dispensed at home bleaching in addition to using all of these products. We have to ask the product manufacturers for more long-term studies of patients using a multitude of products over a long period of time.

Now I don't mean to sound like a worrier, but I know I would feel more comfortable recommending these products after I have read these studies. In my practice, I am seeing more extra- and interoral allergic reactions that seem to be greatly improved if not eliminated by changing dental care products. I want my patients to choose the products that are right for them. We in the dental community must ask for these studies. The product manufacturers have always been more than willing to help us with every aspect of our patient care. I am sure this request will not be any different.

As dental patient caregivers, we are in a position to recommend quality products to our patients and feel good about doing so. We ask nothing in return and periodically, we hit the jackpot by having a patient come back to us and say, "Thank you, I can't tell you how happy I am with my smile. It never would have happened if it weren't for you."

By Diane Chandler, CDA

Diane Chandler has been practicing for 22 years in private practice in Washington, Michigan.
COPYRIGHT 2006 American Dental Assistants Association
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Title Annotation:Point of View
Author:Chandler, Diane
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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