How safe and effective are cosmetic dental treatments like veneers at beauty salons in Singapore?
I have seen several cosmetic teeth treatments offered by beauty salons (eg. teeth whitening and composite veneers) popping up all over beauty influencers' feed. These treatments are cheap, starting at $180. Most of these treatments claim to be safe. For example, beauty influencer Naomi Neo did composite veneers at a beauty salon. She mentioned that no teeth are shaved, and the process is reversible. How effective are these treatments, and how safe is it to have it done at the beauty salon? Are there any regulations around these treatments, seeing that these therapists are not doctors?
I agree with you that there has been an increasing number of Non-Dentists performing dental treatment for patients.
Currently, the Ministry of Health of Singapore (MOH) only governs the practice of Dentistry amongst graduate Dental Surgeons, Division 2 dentists, Oral health therapists and lastly dental hygenists.
Dental treatment performed outside of a licensed dental clinic by a non-dentist, does not fall under the jurisdiction of MOH, so therefore, it is currently not regulated. Therefore, buyer beware!
It may be possible that influencers do not give an unbiased review about their treatment because they are sponsored.
It may also be possible that complications or adverse reactions occur many days, weeks or months after receiving these treatment from therapists, and these unhappy occurrences are not reported by social media.
Having said that, the law is changing and within the next 2 years, it is possible that we will see the law modified to limit the practice of dentistry to within licensed dental clinics, performed only by Dental Surgeons, Division 2 dentists, Oral Health Therapists and Dental Hygenists.
Therapists offering dental treatment in beauty salons such as teeth whitening, composite veneers and even simple braces are generally frowned upon in the professional dental fraternity.
Therapists are not formally trained in a dental faculty of any university to diagnose dental diseases, indicate or contraindicate for a particular treatment, or to manage unforeseen complications. They also do not have access to the full array of dental equipment, materials and tools as compared to a professional dental practice.
I hope my answer helps you to make a more informed decision about the dental treatment provider that you choose.
Dr Gerald Tan