Dental board opposes salon's teeth-whitening service

Dental board opposes salon's teeth-whitening service
2010-06-01T00:15:00Z Dental board opposes salon's teeth-whitening serviceBy TOM MORTON - Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

Bronze Bottom Tanning can darken your skin, feed you a smoothie, give you a shot of oxygen, and sell you a swimsuit.

But the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners says the salon in west Casper should not help you whiten your teeth.

The board, through the Wyoming attorney general's office, filed a complaint asking Natrona County District Court to issue an injunction against Bronze Bottom Tanning to stop it from offering a $49.95 whitening kit and two 15-minute sessions under a UV lamp for $149.

Randy Hollis and his wife, Kris, opened Bronze Bottom Tanning at 4070 Plaza Drive a year ago, and they call the self-administered procedure cosmetic.

They do glamour.

The Board of Dental Examiners, which enforces the Wyoming Dental Practice Act, calls it dentistry.

The salon's staff places the whitening agent in customers' mouths, and helps place an ultraviolet light in front of the mouth to accelerate the whitening process, according to the board's April 30 complaint that referred to a brochure from Bronze Bottom Tanning.

The board asserts the procedure falls under the state's definition of dentistry: "the healing art practiced by a dentist which is concerned with the examination, diagnosis, treatment, planning and care of conditions within the human oral cavity and its adjacent tissues and structures."

Wyoming Assistant Attorney General Sean Chambers said he could not comment on pending litigation and referred questions to the Board of Dental Examiners.

The board's executive director, Debra Bridges, said the number of complaints -- usually from dentists -- about teeth-whitening services has been rising in recent years, and her office has issued letters to salons demanding that they stop offering the procedures.

Because of the ongoing litigation, Bridges declined to comment on the case involving Bronze Bottom Tanning.

Hollis thinks the Board of Dental Examiners is flapping its mandibles.

The salon doesn't examine, diagnose, treat or do anything else with the mouth, he said. It just provides a place for customers to whiten their teeth.

They buy a kit with two syringes with the whitening gel, a device to open the mouth, a bib to catch the drool and some other items.

And the materials are no different from those sold at Wal-Mart, Kmart, grocery stores and online, Hollis said.

While he and employees tell customers how to use the materials and equipment, they do not touch the customers, he said.

They sit in the chair and apply petroleum jelly to the lips and to the alien-looking gizmo that keeps the mouth open.

They insert the device, which stretches lips beyond anything Mick Jagger could try, and exposes the teeth hideously enough to freak out Jack Nicholson's character in "The Shining."

Customers apply petroleum jelly to the gums, and squeeze a syringe of the gel on the teeth.

After donning UV-resistant sunglasses, customers lean back in the chair, point the UV lamp at the mouth, close their eyes and listen to pop singers on the radio for 15 minutes.

The light goes off, customers rinse and admire the results in the mirror.

A treatment will last up to three months depending on the customers' habits of smoking, chewing tobacco, and intake of caffeine and sugared beverages, Hollis said.

Bronze Bottom Tanning sells the treatment three or four times a month, but business has declined somewhat because of the Board of Dental Examiners' action, he said.

Hollis, through his attorney Mike Lansing, intends to file a response intended to poke holes in the board's arguments, he said.

"If it's self-administered, where does dentistry come into play?" Hollis asked.

Part of the controversy may have originated in malls, where some teeth-whitening businesses featured their staff wearing white coats to look like dentists, he said.

It also may boil down to money, Hollis said.

Bronze Bottom Tanning offers teeth-whitening for $150 to $200, compared to dentist offices that offer virtually the same procedure for $400 to $600, he said.

That represents a lot of lost income, Hollis said.

"Somebody out there is not getting a cut of the pie, and it has bothered them, whether it be a dentist office or a dental hygienist."

Reach Tom Morton at (307) 266-0592, or at tom.morton@trib.com.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. lisakiebler
    Report Abuse
    lisakiebler - December 30, 2013 7:14 am
    Dental board is doing absolutely right thing by opposing salon to perform teeth whitening. Teeth whitening should be strictly performed by dentist and not by any salon. Now, they have started teeth whitening procedure and sometimes afterward they will also start doing dental veneers and crowning. This is just absurd.
Untitled Document

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps...

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

  5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editors@trib.com, or call Editor Jason Adrians at 266-0545 or Content Director David Mayberry at 266-0633. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

  6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

  7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

  8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Activate subscription button gif

Featured Businesses

Latest Offers