UV Teeth Bleaching Linked to Skin and Eye Damage

teeth-whiteningTeeth whitening procedures have become one of the leading trends in cosmetic dentistry, allowing many of us to enjoy gleaming white teeth after just one session.

However, doctors are encouraging patients to exercise caution when considering UV teeth bleaching procedures. Some cosmetic dentists promote a highly dangerous variation of the standard teeth bleaching session by using high-powered UV rays for those pearly whites.

The Royal Society of Chemistry recently published a study that suggests these UV treatments are actually a health hazard, and may be particularly harmful to the eyes and the skin.  These procedures typically involve exposing the entire face to a high-energy UV rays, which are in fact, a supercharged version of the sun's rays.  These lamps typically deliver four times the level of natural sun exposure, which means any rays that reach the skin's surface or the sensitive eye area are highly vulnerable to irreversible damage.

But why is UV light used in the first place?

Experts claim that UV rays can help with the oxidation of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxoide and other compounds used to remove stains from teeth.  The effects are amplified by the UV energy waves, which makes the results of the teeth whitening much more pronounced.

However, the risk of extensive damage to the eyes and skin may negate the benefits of whiter teeth altogether.

Healthier options for teeth whitening include treatments such as the Zoom! whitening system that can change the shade of teeth in one sitting, and does not involve UV energy.  The Zoom! system has been proven to be a safe and effective teeth whitening treatment to turn  teeth up to eight shades whiter in under one hour.  A gel is applied to the teeth before the Zoom! lamp is placed only onto the teeth; this lamp does not have an effect on the surrounding skin.

Other teeth bleaching treatments involve the direct application of gels and whitening pastes that may be left on overnight for better results.

For now, patients are advised to steer clear of any UV-teeth whitening procedures and select from other proven treatments instead.

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