Utilising the dental hygienist and therapist and teeth whitening treatments in practice

undergoing teeth whiteningMegan Fairhall explains why teeth whitening is a great practice booster when you reopen. Particularly since it is a non aerosol generating procedure. 

Five years ago when I first started using social media, tooth whitening was promoted by celebrities or influencers who endorsed products usually in return for payment. That was misleading and wrong. The products they talked about frequently did not work. There were many risks associated with promoting these gimmicky products directly to the public.

Whether you are a dental nurse, hygienist/therapist or dentist, we all have a role to play in the profession. However small our contribution is, it is important to speak up and try to make a difference. Social media is my way to reach out to the general public to spread a positive message, to correct and help these influencers to do the right thing when it came to whitening treatments. Thankfully, the profession is also talking loudly to raise awareness. So even though we still have these influencers out there, the general public is increasingly getting the right information from dental professionals.

Making business sense

Another exciting element of my role is training dental hygienists and therapists to treat with Philips’ Zoom Whitening system. In an upcoming webinar for the whole dental team on 7 July 2020, I will talk about this additional skill me peers can develop. I will take a step-by-step guide to the process of whitening. We’ll share information about what treatments are available, taking impressions, making home whitening trays, the whitening treatment itself, and following patients up. I will also look at marketing and social media activities and how to attract patients through the digital channels.

The business of tooth whitening makes most business sense when it involves every member of the team. The fact that tooth whitening treatment can be legally and safely provided to the prescription of a dentist does not mean that all necessary steps linked to tooth whitening are incumbent on them to carry out. Dental hygienists and therapists can carry out the whitening itself under the prescription from a dentist. Treatment coordinators, dental nurses, practice managers, receptionists, can actively contribute. This creates a collaborative sense of achievement. It helps maintain good teamwork spirit. It also helps the dentist, and ultimately creates all the right ingredients to deliver a flawless experience to the patient. All positive. Which is why I advocate for it so strongly.

Carrying out teeth whitening post lockdown

Hygienists and therapists have the right skillsets. They can carry out tooth whitening treatments provided they have had the right training in line with the GDC guidelines. Tooth whitening is sadly not a subject dental schools teach because it is a cosmetic procedure. I am not saying that whitening is a procedure we should take lightly, quite the opposite. But it is accessible and with adequate training, the whole team can benefit from this added value in the dental practice.

In addition, tooth whitening is a non aerosol generating procedure. When people get back to work after the lockdown, this treatment may be able to take off a lot quicker and let’s face it, many patients will probably want to pamper themselves and refresh their appearance after confinement.

Why am I passionate about tooth whitening? Well it is exciting. It creates positivity with patients who just love it and love us because of the results we achieve for them. The association with the dental practice is not about the drill, the pain, the traditional fear of the dentist – it is about making a difference to patients’ smiles and their confidence, and tooth whitening is exactly what every practice needs to deliver that message.

What does the webinar involve?

For the profession, whitening differs from one patient to the next. There is a lot behind training in the procedure; there are a wide range of different patient scenarios, different whitening gel percentages and of course, case selection is of paramount importance. One size definitely does not fit all. Added to which it’s such a thrill to challenge and strive to get the best long-lasting results for each individual. I hope convey that during my training and my webinar.

To sign up to my webinar, simply visit www.dentistrystudyclub.com.

I run live whitening courses www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/megan-fairhall-17168880738 and am also considering digital ones soon in collaboration with Philips. Check my social media regularly for more information.

Connect with Megan Fairhall on Instagram by following @meganfairhall_.

For more information please visit www.philips.co.uk/dentalprofessional.

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