Many consumers are concerned about their smiles, the color of their teeth, and how they look in photographs and videos. Have you noticed yourself or others always smiling with their lips closed, hiding their teeth? They may be concerned about the color of their teeth. Coffee, tea, and red wine can cause teeth to show brown staining. There may be other health conditions and foods or liquids that lead to staining of their teeth. Consumers are turning more and more to teeth whitening products and services.
While everyone wants to have naturally white teeth and look their best when they smile and appear in photographs, not everyone will have the same experience utilizing teeth whitening products. There are risks associated with these products, and consumers may not follow the recommended guidelines for preparation and treatment aftercare. This post explores how practitioners can educate the customer and provide protection if results do not meet the client’s expectations.
What Is a Teeth Whitening Consent?
Teeth whitening consent requests the client to indicate they have had the tooth whitening procedure fully explained to them, have had an opportunity to ask all of their questions, and explained to their satisfaction. Consent may refer to an information sheet that they have read, and they understand all of the risks associated with the procedure. They are requested to accept these risks. In addition, the teeth whitening consent form may request the client to allow photographs to be taken to be used as documentation and illustration for the treatment.
What Is a Teeth Whitening Consent Form?
The teeth whitening consent form consists of an information section and a section specifically requesting the client to sign and date the form indicating their agreement to the procedure.
An example of a teeth whitening consent form is as follows:
Name: [Add Clients name]
Contact number: [Clients phone number]
[Client] has had the tooth whitening procedure fully explained to them and has had the opportunity to ask questions about the procedure, preparation, and aftercare. [Client] acknowledges they have read and understood the information disclosed on the information sheet.
[Client] agrees to treatment and assumes responsibility for all risks described in the information sheet and included on this consent form; if photographs are taken, the client consents to photographs that may be used to document progress and illustrate the teeth whitening treatment.
Signature: [Clients signature]
Printed name: [Client printed name]
Date: [Date of signature]
Essential Elements of a Teeth Whitening Consent Form
The objective of the teeth whitening consent form is to both educate the client and obtain their informed consent to the treatment. As with all treatments and procedures, there are risks to the client, which are important for the client to understand before proceeding with a teeth whitening treatment.
Everyone’s teeth and gums are different, and the efforts we place on tooth and gum hygiene vary a great deal. In addition, aftercare is also important to achieve maximum results. A consent form and/or information sheet should describe the risks, benefits, and aftercare needed to achieve the best results.
The teeth whitening consent form can be divided into four elements:
- Tooth whitening information
- Client responsibilities
- Client Consent
Tooth whitening information – there are risks and benefits with any treatment, and teeth whitening is no different. While teeth can be whitened simply and reasonably quickly, there are risks to your teeth and gums if the gel is used for several years. Long-term effects are being studied, and there are no specific risks identified as of yet. Many patients see changes to their teeth in two to five weeks. Some people may experience sensitivity after a few days. While it is slight and temporary for most people, clients should stop treatment for one or two days until the sensitivity subsides. Soothing gels can also be applied.
Client responsibilities – for the best results both in the short term as well as the long term, clients should avoid the use of tea, coffee, red wine, tobacco, and foods that can stain their teeth. Foods such as tomato paste, colorants, colored mouthwash, and toothpaste for a minimum of 30 minutes after teeth whitening products are used. Oral hygiene is also important. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and use floss at least once a day before going to bed. Maintain all of your appointments with your dentist. Long term impacts on pregnant mothers are unknown. Refrain from using teeth whitening products if you are pregnant. Follow the instructions that come with your teeth whitening products.
Guarantees – cannot be provided regarding the degree of whitening since the teeth whitening improvement depends on many variables, including the person and the cause of the discoloration. Enamel tends to whiten well, while dentine does not whiten nearly as much. Ongoing staining from products such as coffee or tea may require additional treatments in 12 to 24 months.
Client Consent – an example of a typical teeth whitening consent form was provided in the previous section
The following are some of the frequently asked questions many clients have regarding teeth whitening.
While everyone wants a beautiful smile with clean white teeth, some clients do not respond well to whitening products, and others should avoid using the products. Patients with the following issues may not respond well or should not use teeth whitening products:
ᐅ Pregnant or lactating women since long-term impacts are unknown
ᐅ Clients with implants, crowns, fillings, or dental bridges
ᐅ Adolescents under the age of 16
ᐅ Clients with exposed roots, tooth decay, cavities, or periodontal disease
ᐅ Anyone with an allergy to peroxide or bleaching agents
ᐅ Consumers with sensitive teeth
ᐅ Those looking for unrealistic results, such as blinding white results
Your natural teeth will respond to teeth whitening products depending on their health and your attention to detail, such as brushing, flossing, and avoiding products that will re-stain your teeth. Crowns, bridges, and any inorganic materials used by the dentist to restore your teeth do not respond well to teeth whitening products leaving uneven colors. For example, if one tooth has a crown, it may be a different color than the surrounding teeth after using teeth whitening products. Consult with your dentist to determine the best solution to obtain better, consistent results.
In general, teeth whitening expenses are not typically allowed as a business expense. There have been situations where taxpayers were successful in making a claim; however, they needed to demonstrate that their whitened teeth had a direct impact on their income. Actors and media personalities have been able to make this claim since their jobs required white teeth and were able to demonstrate a direct positive improvement in their income.
While the odds of successfully making a deduction for this expense are slim, your tax preparer may feel that there is a chance of the IRS accepting the claim. The claim may be split between business and personal in some cases since there is a benefit to your personal and business life.
Everyone loves a beautiful smile that shows healthy white teeth and not yellow coffee-stained teeth. Beautiful white teeth enhance patient self-esteem and improvise confidence in their looks and interactions with family, friends, and business associates. However, there are risks and concerns that consumers should be aware of.
Teeth whitening clients must be aware of the risks associated with using these products in addition to the obvious benefits. Some teeth may not respond well to the products, and clients who have had restorative work performed on their teeth may find an uneven color across their teeth. Patients with cavities or periodontal disease should not use teeth whitening products.
Teeth whitening consent forms are used by many dentists to help educate their clients about the risks and benefits, post whitening care, and manage expectations. Dentists will ask the client to sign the consent forms to acknowledge they have read the information provided, have had their questions addressed to their satisfaction, and understand that results may vary due to many personal reasons.
Pregnant and lactating women should avoid using these products. Long-term studies and impacts are not available at this time for pregnant and lactating women, although no medical effects have been identified at this time. Many other clients should also avoid using teeth whitening products if they have allergies to the products, existing cavities, bridges, etc.