Download a PDF of the Fact sheet: Guidance for registered dental practitioners using and supplying teeth whitening products (230 KB,PDF)
Why: The Dental Board of Australia (the Board) has developed this fact sheet as part of its role to protect the public. It will help you understand your obligations when you use teeth whitening products in your clinic, give them to patients for home use or advertise them.
How: When using teeth whitening products, you need to practise safely and lawfully.
What: The Board expects you to practise in line with:
Who: The Board and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) work together to regulate dental practitioners. The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and state and territory health departments regulate activities relevant to the use of teeth whitening products.
As part of its role to protect the public and regulate all registered dental practitioners, the Board publishes guidance, including FAQs and fact sheets such as this. This guidance explains practitioners’ professional obligations for a specific matter and helps them comply.
As a registered dental practitioner, you have a duty of care to your patients and you must practise safely and effectively. In this case, you have obligations when you use teeth whitening products in your clinic or when you give your patients the products to use at home.
Under the Poisons Standard, and state and territory medicines and poisons laws, only registered dental practitioners can use and supply high concentration teeth whitening products, which have either:
The Board expects you to use professional judgement when making clinical decisions about teeth whitening products, of all concentrations. You can do this by:
Justifying the treatment includes knowing the patient’s expectations of the products and explaining the risks. Before any treatment, you must ensure the patient has reasonable expectations and understands the risks. You must have their informed consent, including financial consent, and document it.
No current laws or regulations limit teeth whitening products to in-clinic use. However, before you give a patient teeth whitening products to use at home, you should determine if they are a suitable candidate by:
Any person or business that advertises teeth whitening products must understand and comply with regulators’ requirements. This means that the Board expects you to follow:
The Poisons Standard sets controls on high concentration teeth whitening products in Australia. This bans people who are not registered dental practitioners from using, supplying and selling these products.
The Poisons Standard sets requirements for product labelling, storage and disposal that might apply.
Most of the requirements under the Poisons Standard are incorporated into state and territory medicines and poisons laws. You must be aware of the medicines and poisons laws that apply in your state or territory.
When you give a patient teeth whitening products to use at home, you should consider your obligations as a supplier under the ACL and any relevant consumer issues. This may include any:
The Board’s codes, registration standards and guidelines set out professional practice requirements:
Explain that your advertising must not:
The Board works with Ahpra and the other National Boards to implement the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme under the National Law. Its core role is to protect the public by regulating registered dental practitioners in Australia.
The Board’s guidance may relate to a specific topic and refer to laws or other regulators where relevant, such as below. But the Board does not issue standards or guidelines about specific practice areas, so that practitioners can meet their patients’ needs in a range of clinical settings.
The TGA is the federal government’s medicine and therapeutic regulatory agency. It:
State and territory health departments enforce local medicines and poisons laws through their medicines and poisons regulation units.
The ACCC is the national competition regulator. As an independent statutory authority, it:
This fact sheet will be reviewed as needed, but generally every three years.