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

Healthy Atlantans Seek a Fresh Start in Dental Care

It seems like so many people try to hit the reset button on January first. It’s an age-old ritual of self-evaluation and goal setting, and then predictably forgetting about our intentions sometime along the line of mid-January.

I am here to do more than passively listen to my patients’ intentions. I play an integral role in their overall health through preventative care, education, reinforcing positive habits, and open accessibility. My dental practice is easy to reach from anywhere in the Johns Creek, Duluth, Cumming and Alpharetta area in Georgia and my team will work with you to set up convenient appointments and respect your time while you are here.

I want you to know it is never too late to take control of your dental hygiene, or even start over again if you’ve tried before and faltered. No matter how long it has been since you have seen a dentist, I am not here to scold. I am here to welcome you back and help you repair any outstanding dental issues. As a dentist, I regularly see the accumulated results of bad habits firsthand. The health of your mouth, teeth and gums is measurable, and I can give my patients the education, treatment, and tools necessary to arrest further damage.

Do you need a reason other than an occasional cavity, sore or bleeding gums, or bad breath to take oral hygiene seriously in your quest for self-improvement or recommitment to health in 2010?

I’d like to share something with you that many people are surprised to learn. Medical experts have discovered a link between periodontal (dental) disease and coronary (heart) disease. Many of my patients are amazed to learn about this correlation, but experts have actually found that the bacteria in a person’s mouth can travel into the bloodstream through the gums and clump in artery plaques.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have coronary disease. The health of a person’s mouth is becoming as much of a predictor of heart disease as the cholesterol levels we’ve relied on to warn us of coronary issues in the past.

With the start of the New Year and with the spirit of self-assessment we all feel comes with it, won’t you speak to your dentist about taking care of any outstanding dental issues you may be experiencing?

Please contact me or your regular dentist to take your daily habit of brushing one step further. You’re already halfway there when you pick up the toothbrush; you adopt the rest of a good dental strategy to keep your mouth—and potentially your life, strong and healthy?

My Philosophy as a Dentist in Johns Creek

Today I want to talk to you about yearly traditions. As you are gearing up for the holidays, you are likely embarking down a familiar path of rituals for you and your family. Maybe it’s making your favorite eggnog recipe or trimming the tree. Perhaps it’s arranging family games, planning a special holiday meal, or stashing presents in your ingenious hiding spots.

I notice a lot of people go through their own mini-makeovers this time of year as well. They perform updates on their homes, make hair appointments to spruce themselves up for their yearly holiday card photo, and come in for teeth whitening procedures to erase coffee, tea, and wine stains and brighten up their smile before the holiday parties.
Yes, that onset of cold weather paired with the festive retail displays and familiar trimmings that line the main streets of Cumming, Johns Creek, and Alpharetta trigger a lot of activity for all of us.

These reminders bring me to a question for you: What triggers your medical upkeep? Do you have certain times of the year that you plan your routine visits to your family doctor, gynecologist, and dentist? Are you reactive, only seeing a medical professional when you think something is wrong? Or do you keep a regular maintenance schedule for yourself and your family?

Hopefully, the latter. It is my philosophy that preventative care is absolutely the most essential way to take charge of your health. I focus on the overall well-being of my patients and, with the help of modern science, can actually foresee dental issues and circumvent most of them before they become a bigger and more costly problem.

Why is this important? Three reasons.

  • Your comfort.
  • Your time.
  • Your money.

That’s right. Preventative care is first and foremost, more comfortable for patients. Heading off problems before they begin saves patients from larger dental procedures such as crowns or root canals. While medical techniques allow me to perform these procedures with a higher level of comfort for my patients, most people would still prefer to avoid them altogether if possible. Crowns and root canals are more costly than preventative care, and they take more time in the office to address and fix.

With just two visits per year for a typical dental patient, I can keep you in preventative mode over the course of your lifetime. We can head off problems before they start and keep more money in your wallet, increase the overall health of your body (we’ll discuss your mouth’s link to heart disease and more in the next blog), and help you spend less time at the dentist.
My philosophy is simple: See me on a regular basis to avoid seeing me even more often than you’d like!

What system do you have in place for preventative care? Please remember to schedule those routine appointments for you and your family before your body triggers an issue for you that could have been entirely prevented!

Sealants for Children – Dentist in Johns Creek, GA

Today I’d like to talk to you about the advantages of preventative dentistry. Many of the difficulties older generations experience with their teeth are ones that can now be avoided through a lifetime of routine preventative dental care.

This care begins with regular visits to the dentist from an early age. By the time a child is old enough to develop molars and cooperate with a dentist’s requests, he is old enough to receive a crucial preventative treatment: Sealants.

Sealants are just as they sound. They seal back molar teeth to keep out harmful bacteria and therefore prevent the formation of decay. I generally apply sealants to children’s molars as the molars come in, between the ages of 6 and 13. I carefully clean and dry the tooth and “paint” on a clear, plastic, protective coating. It’s a little bit like a clear coat of nail polish, but for a tooth. The sealant protects the tooth’s surface and crevices from harmful bacteria and decay and is shown to last for years, and in many cases, long into adulthood. Sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association and have been shown to reduce tooth decay tremendously. We’re talking about 90% to 100%! The best part is that for a fraction of the cost of a filling you can prevent yourself or a loved one from ever needing a filling, root canal or crown.

This not only adds up to a smart choice for the health of your child’s mouth, but also for your pocketbook as the costs of repairing decay can add up to a lot more than the costs of preventing it. Many insurance carriers offer coverage for sealants and many times they cover them 100%. The one downside is that they only cover them until your child reaches age 12 or 14. So it pays to have them done while they are young and prevent countless unnecessary dental procedures in the future.

Sealants do not take long to apply and never require the patient to be numbed. So it is one of the most pain free procedures we offer. We generally see children to apply sealants and they can go back to school to resume their day right after their appointment. They are even able to eat on them immediately following their application. Our office is central to the Alpharetta, Suwanee, and Johns Creek area school districts to make routine visits easy and convenient.

Once your family is in the habit of visiting the dentist on a regular basis, it waylays fears and procrastination and helps the whole brood maintain clean, healthy, and fresh smiles. Sealants are just another measure that will help ensure your children’s long-term dental health.

Do your children have dental sealants? Why or why not?

Botox injected into the masseter muscles of the jaw to treat TMJ, an inflammation of the TMJ joint in the jaw

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Alex Rivkin shows Dr. Ordon and Dr. Stork how he injects Botox into the masseter muscles of Suzannes jaw to treat her TMJ, an inflammation of the temporal-mandibular joint in the jaw.

In Georgia, only Dentists certified by the Board of Dentsitry can inject Botox for the purposes of TMJ pain, Migraine and Tension Headaches. Dr. Ushma Patel recently received her certification.

Blazing Strides in the Dental Experience

You may remember the worn leather chairs, the hum of the drill, and the drab office interior that was synonymous with dentistry decades ago. You probably remember gigantic X-ray machines and dark fillings, and felt like your dentist’s office was more akin to an old corner of a hospital than a comfortable, friendly place to be.

We think your entire experience at the dental office should be a pleasant one. We offer clean, spacious surroundings filled with plenty of natural light. You’ll enjoy beverages and snacks in our reception area and find comfortable amenities in our private patient treatment suites. At Center For Advanced Dentistry we use technology such as patient education DVD’s and Intra-oral video cameras to teach you about your teeth and show you what we see inside of your mouth, bringing you into the process of learning about and caring for your oral hygiene.

Aside from a warm environment, accommodating and gentle staff, and patient education tools, we invest in our patients’ comfort and safety. Our low dose digital X-ray machines significantly decrease your exposure to any radiation. Instead of being awake and remembering everything that happened during your appointment, you can comfortably dose off into sleep with a small pill that we give you right before your treatment. What used to take days and weeks to rebuild in your mouth can be done in a fraction of the time in far fewer appointments. And the materials and options available today have allowed many dentists like myself to offer an alternative to orthodontics with options such as dental veneers which is also referred to as “instant orthodontics.”

Best of all, that common culprit, the cavity, can be treated with white materials to help you maintain a gorgeous white smile, absent of any mercury fillings.

Today’s progressive dentists also offer great financial terms, so your budget does not need to be a deterrent to seeking quality, professional, and comfortable care. There’s even a zero-interest CareCredit to help with dental and medical out of pocket expenses that our office has available for your consideration.

It all comes down to making it an easier, more pleasant experience for our patients. We see you in less time, providing patients with significantly reduced levels of discomfort and anxiety. By the way, if you are unsure about your dentist’s recommended course of treatment, we offer a second opinion at no charge.

Do you have any dental hang-ups? If so, do the new technologies reduce your apprehension about visiting your dentist?

Now Open Wide! Dentist in Alpharetta, GA

I’d like to share some exciting news about dental repair. Many patients who haven’t visited the dentist in awhile are surprised by the astounding advances in dentistry. Not only are appointments more comfortable, but your choices in how to treat dental decay or missing, cracked, or chipped teeth have grown exponentially.

Here is an overview of just a few of the popular choices you have today. Of course you should discuss your individual circumstances with your dentist so you can decide together which option best suits your needs.

Glass and Resin Ionomers
Ionomers offer many benefits to patients. The white color of glass and resin ionomers blend nicely with natural teeth. Using glass ionomers often achieves a smaller filling because your dentist may not have to remove as much of the tooth’s structure to prepare the tooth for the filling. Additionally, glass ionomers can release fluoride which is beneficial in fighting tooth decay. Ionomers are generally not placed where a great deal of chewing pressure will take place.

Porcelain or Ceramic Material
Ceramic is revered for the natural, translucent white appearance it gives teeth. This versatile material can be used for crowns, inlays, onlays, and full veneers. Porcelains are highly resistant to wear, but can also scratch the teeth it comes in contact with should its surface become rough. Porcelains tend to retain their white color so it is important to take care of your surrounding teeth so a discrepancy in color between natural teeth and veneers doesn’t become apparent.

Many dentists today favor these choices over amalgam fillings, including myself. While the jury is still out over the safety of amalgam fillings, there have been some convincing studies that lead me to believe the mercury in amalgam fillings can seep into a person’s body and cause adverse health effects. Additionally, amalgam fillings can lead to cracked teeth and they are not as aesthetically pleasing as their newer and safer alternatives.

I hope I’ve opened your mind to some possibilities. There are several more options such as porcelain fused to metal, indirect composites, and indirect restorative dental materials. This should give you a starting point to discuss the possibilities with your dentist. We’re thrilled to be able to offer you the custom choice that is right for you.

What kind of research do you do before choosing a course of treatment for your dental work? Do you rely solely on your dentist for advice or do you take to the internet? How about peer recommendation? I’d love to hear what is important to you when making decisions concerning your dental health.