The dark side of whitening from

November 11, 2009 |
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The dark side of whitening

A look inside the expensive scams that lure in many consumers looking online for whitening products.

by Noah Levine, Senior Editor

Numerous whitening products sold online have been determined to be a part of widespread whitening scams.
It’s not unusual for people to purchase everything from shoes to electronics to entertainment and even food online, but a rash of scam Web sites and products of dubious origins have turned online shopping for teeth whitening products into a classic case of buyer beware.

Ads on legitimate Web sites are leading customers to fake blogs and other Web sites touting the benefits of products with names like Ivory White or Dazzle Smile. When a visitor submits a credit card number to cover the cost of shipping for a free sample, he or she is unknowingly signed up for $70-$90 in monthly charges for future shipments, and often is hit with third-party charges for unwanted weight loss products or acai berry supplements.

The scams have been so pervasive that on Oct. 1 the Better Business Bureau issued a consumer warning about online whitening sellers. The BBB cautions people to beware of third party endorsements, always read the fine print, check out unknown companies with the BBB and file a complaint if you feel you’ve been the victim of a scam.

Exposing the scams

Of course to people deeply involved with teeth whitening products, the BBB warning was long overdue. Back in January Sasha Sienkiewicz published an article on his Web site exposing a wide range of dubious whitening brands.

Normally his site serves as a forum for consumers to share their reviews and comments on over-the-counter and dentists dispensed products, but when site users began to contact him about scam products, he put his Web development training to use and began tracking down the scam artists. It started with hundreds of complaints about a product called Celebrity Sexy Teeth Whitener, but the more he poked around the Web, the more fake sites and untrustworthy products he found to add to the list he compiled in his article. In total, he believes these scams involve “millions and millions” of dollars.

“It’s quite sophisticated how they set up these scams,” he said. “By using the Internet for this scam they’re able to reach a lot of people. I started to search around a little bit and I noticed they were everywhere in terms of advertising.”

Online sleuthing

Sienkiewicz said the scammers begin by reaching out to customers through ads on legitimate Web sites. These ads take advantage of services such as Google AdWords to pop up for users who have searched for whitening products through their browser. He soon found the ads lead users to phony blogs, news sites and even fraudulent review sites modeled after his own.

Once on a possible scam site, Sienkiewicz put his Web knowledge to use, checking out the source code for signs of fraud such as phony security Web site badges, “live chat help,” that is actually a “bot” set to deliver automated responses based on what a user types and supposedly independent blog sites housed on the same server as the product site.

“A lot of times these guys, technically they’re not so clever,” he said. Continued at The dark side of whitening

For more information on Teeth Whitening in a professional dental office visit us at


Center for Advanced Dentistry-Ushma Patel D.M.D.


Originally uploaded by Dr. Ushma Patel Dentist

Front Lobby

Atlanta, Johns Creek, Suwanee, Alpharetta, Cumming, Dentist Office Sedation, Implant, Cosmetic Family Dentistry

Interest Free Financing – Affordable Monthly Payments

Did you know that on approved credit you can finance 100% of your dental treatment in the Alpharetta, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Duluth, Cumming and Atlanta area of Georgia (GA) and make affordable monthly payments over time. This program allows you to begin your treatment today with affordable monthly payments that are INTEREST FREE for the contract term. This will allow you to pay for your Dental services over six or twelve months. It is especially ideal for co-payments, deductibles, and treatments not covered by insurance. Applying for financing offered through this CareCredit is quick and easy. For more info visit You will get a revolving line of credit that you can use at many participating healthcare providers including Center for Advanced Dentistry for you and your family including your pet.

Colgate WISP On The Scene

WISP On The Scene. Colgate® WISP™ is the first disposable mini-toothbrush with a breath freshening bead that allows you to have a clean, fresh mouth with no water or rinsing

The Jay Leno Show – The Dan Band: Dentist Disco

Very funny! You Got to see it.

The Dan Band: Dentist Disco on The Jay Leno Show

Sedation Dentistry

Hello, I’m Dr. Patel, keeping you informed about Dentistry Today.

I see it all the time. Apprehension. Dread. Nervousness. According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), nearly 1 in 3 people avoid dental visits due to fear. Without regular visits, oral health continues to deteriorate over a person’s lifetime. This can lead to health problems ranging from tooth sensitivity to gum disease, and social uneasiness about odorous breath or feeling embarrassed to smile. The good news is the dental industry has made tremendous advances in order to help reluctant patients receive the care they need. This Johns Creek Dentist does this through the comfort of sedation dentistry.

You may remember old methodologies such as “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide) or an injection to sedate patients. Don’t worry; those practices went out with cassette tapes and rotary phones. With today’s technology, we administer a tiny pill that will allow you to remain fully conscious while experiencing little to no discomfort or memory of your dental work.

And the good news about sedation dentistry is that it allows those who have been neglecting their oral care to make major advances in the health of their mouth and smile in just one visit. With sedation dentistry, I can perform complex dental treatments in one appointment where it would have taken multiple visits to achieve the same results in the past.

So how do you decide if sedation dentistry is right for you? If you feel anxious about coming to the dentist, have sensitive teeth, suffer complex dental problems, or have an easily triggered gag reflex, talk to us about sedation.  I’ve been fully trained by the American Dental Association (ADA) to provide you with the safest and most comfortable experience, and our staff goes the extra mile to put you at ease with amenities you might not expect from a dental office. With sedation dentistry, you can finally set your fears aside. You’ll soon be smiling from genuine relief and to show off your healthy mouth.

Now if they only had something to help dentists overcome our fear of patients who bite…

Until next time, live well, laugh often, and don’t forget to floss!