Dr Paul Hooi is Practice Principal at Anne’s Lane Dental, Dublin city centre.
My journey to owning my own dental practice has been slightly unusual. I completed my training at Dublin Dental University Hospital, but before pursuing my dental career I qualified as a mechanical engineer and worked as a specialist CAD/CAM design engineer in the medical device research and development industry.
My interest in dentistry and continuing professional development eventually led me to complete a PhD in dental ceramics and resin-based composite materials. This technical and engineering background has had a profound influence on my approach to dentistry and the provision of patients’ crowns and bridges, veneers, implant crowns and removable orthodontic treatments.
I devote a lot of time researching and testing dental materials, including bulk fill restoratives, glass ionomers and tooth whitening products. Whitening is particularly interesting as it’s something in my experience that’s largely patient-driven. Rather than being led by dentists, it’s one of the few treatments that patients actively come in and ask for.
The key, however, is ensuring you offer evidence-based treatments, products that you absolutely believe in with supporting research – for me, this is SDI’s pola.
I find many of my patients know exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to whitening, asking specific questions about effectiveness, sensitivity and results. However, I think the whitening market has become somewhat blurred in places.
In particular, the lack of patient understanding around the difference between professional whitening treatment under the prescription of a dentist and over-the-counter whitening products that must not contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, and why the latter can prove to be so ineffective.
EU regulations permit hydrogen peroxide at a concentration over 60 times that of over-the-counter products, at much less than 60 times the cost!
Making the choice
Some whitening systems have products that must be kept refrigerated, but I prefer a system that comes in a hermetically sealed pouch without the need for refrigeration and is pH neutral. This not only helps to protect against the problem of sensitivity, but also works to stabilise the product and protect tooth enamel.
It’s also good to have a system that offers a choice of treatments in varied concentrations to suit different lifestyles. At my practice, we choose to predominately offer ‘at home’ poladay treatment which suits the majority of my patients, no matter their age or lifestyle.
This not only gives patients more control of their treatment, I know it’ll get the results they expect and with good follow-up care results can last for a considerable time. I take time to explain to patients why I prescribe pola products and how they can get their desired results – patient education is a value-added aspect of treatment.
The ideal opportunity
Whitening has become a really valuable business opportunity for my practice. With the right product and the right application it’s a straightforward treatment and the results are consistently great. At home whitening is truly minimally invasive, very safe and ultimately gives the real feel-good factor.
Now’s the ideal time to look at the benefits of this and help educate patients around the importance of having whitening treatments done professionally and legally only by a dentist using a safe and proven system – which for me is SDI’s pola.
A professional, long-standing, cost-effective whitening system that’s one step ahead of the rest.