Tooth whitening as an entry point to better oral health

Tooth whitening as an entry point to better oral health

Philips introduces it’s Zoom! tooth whitening range and how it can be used as a gateway to more comprehensive oral healthcare.

Patient demand for cosmetic dental treatments is showing no sign of abating. Tooth whitening is often the gateway treatment to entice new people into the practice or drive revenue from existing patients. According to the Oral Health Foundation, 48% of people want to have their teeth whitened within the next 12 months, and 32% of Brits would like whiter teeth. Two thirds (66%) have actively considered having a treatment (Oral Health Foundation, 2020).

‘In my practice, the majority of whitening is carried out as part of a wider cosmetic plan,’ outlines Dr Andy Wallace, lecturer, trainer and mentor for the IAS Academy for cosmetic orthodontics and ortho-restorative treatment.

‘Philips Zoom tooth whitening is part of the align, bleach, bond (ABB) protocol we advocate. However, we also offer whitening treatments as a stand-alone procedure. Interestingly, once patients come for this, they suddenly become more aware of and interested in their smile and teeth and often ask for further cosmetic procedures. It is an entry level into a more comprehensive treatment process. We often see improved oral hygiene when patients become more aware of their smile. The key to maximising the business potential offered by tooth whitening is patient identification and selection.’

A comprehensive approach to whitening

To capitalise on the demand for tooth whitening, Philips offers a comprehensive approach to achieving significant whitening results. Philips Zoom! chairside whitens teeth by up to seven shades in an hour for time-poor patients or those who want immediate results. Studies have shown that the LED technology in its WhiteSpeed lamp makes whitening 40% more effective than non-light activated systems. 

Philips’ award winning Zoom! DayWhite and NiteWhite products provide superior at-home whitening for visibly whiter teeth smile in one day and the whitest, healthiest smile seven to 14 days later. A dual treatment protocol is recognised as the gold standard. While chairside whitening is taking place, at-home trays can be produced, and patients can then continue the whitening for up to 6 days using daytime or night-time versions of its at-home kits.

The advanced formulas of Philips whitening products are clinically proven to whiten safely and effectively. The power of three that sets its in-practice and at-home whitening systems apart from the rest: formulated with amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP), potassium nitrate and 900 parts per million of fluoride.  

What motivates patients to choose whitening?

‘Patients normally seek dental care when they are motivated,’ says Dr Alif Moosajee, award-winning principal dentist at Oakdale Dental. ‘Essentially, they either come when they are in pain or something’s broken. Or when they want to improve some aspect of their teeth such as their ability to function – or their appearance.’

‘I have used many whitening systems and I am really happy with the Philips Zoom system, which has some unique advantages,’ Dr Moosajee continues. ‘We find that patients are very happy with the outcomes of this whitening regime and we have noted that their teeth are not only several shades lighter, but generally have a healthy lustre.’

‘Another benefit of the Zoom whitening system is that it is presented in a dual-barrel syringe. We advise patients that because the whitening gel is presented in a dual barrel, it is mixed as it is dispensed and therefore the patient simply needs to inject a tiny dot into each scallop of the whitening trays and the syringes do not need to be stored in a fridge.’

Patient education

Patient education is a key factor in increasing safety and compliance.

‘We have a moral duty to educate our patients when it comes to their oral choices and to alert them to the risks they take when they are misled by “miracle” products offered on consumer platforms. We also have a huge amount of expertise that we need to put forward to differentiate our offering,’ says Megan Fairhall, dental hygienist, dental therapist and tooth whitening expert.

‘I think it does not help that patients are often misinformed,’ Dr Wallace concurs. ‘They hear stories in the press and on social media that tooth whitening strips off enamel or causes pain and sensitivity, and patients believe whatever they read from sources that are not always reliable, to say the least.’

‘The first thing I have to do is reassure them that what they have heard is not necessarily true or has been skewed,’ continues Dr Wallace. ‘Then I advise them that I use and recommend Philips Zoom! DayWhite which contains amorphous calcium phosphate. So in actual fact, whitening when using the right product can build a degree of protection for patients’ teeth. So it is all about educating dentists to have the right answers when patients express their fears.’

Megan agrees: ‘There is also misinformation, or shall I say lack of information when it comes to crowns, bridges, implants and veneers which won’t whiten, but patients rarely know that when they purchase products themselves. Conversely, our standard protocol calls for a full dental assessment in order to provide the patient with a bespoke treatment plan, ensuring that their teeth get whitened prior to the restorations to avoid a colour mismatch.’

Training and support

The trusted brand provides training and support to clinicians keen to implement the treatment led by Megan Fairhall, who adds:

‘Where Zoom whitening offer stands out is definitely in the tailoring of treatment to each individual in order to ensure successful results. No over-the-counter products mention issues like white spots, discolouration of single non vital teeth, tetracycline, minocycline and doxycycline staining, brown spots and nicotine-stained teeth. The intention is to attract buyers and sell volumes, using influencers and attractive claims without being specific on the individual needs.’

Megan recommends discussing the difference between professionally administered and over the counter whitening products with your patients.

‘Reinforce the message about effectiveness, sensitivity, tailored treatment plans, long-lasting results with minimal top up maintenance as opposed to over-the-counter products that don’t work and could potentially cause damage. It is in their best interest and can also save them a lot of money and disappointment.’

For more information about Philips Zoom! to place an order or view Philips Oral Healthcare products, visit the Philips Dental Professional webshop.

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