Want a brighter smile? Well, all you need to do is to visit your nearest shopping centre, for teeth-whitening kiosks are opening in malls across South-East Queensland.
However, the launch of these kiosks has threatened dentists and consumer groups, as they fear that quick-fix whitening procedures might damage teeth and hip-pockets in the long run.
The new procedure uses a concentrated bleaching agent and a LED light, and ensures that the teeth become two to six shades lighter.
The 20-minute method is available for just 150 dollars, significantly less than the cost of whitening treatments by dentists.
Prowhitening director Tamar Ben-Hur, who started the company on the Gold Coast last year, said that teeth whitening was ''not a dental or medical procedure but a simple cosmetic procedure'' so she could not see why dentists should have a monopoly over the service.
''It's a great upgrade to any smile,'' Brisbanetimes.com quoted her as saying.
However, Australian Dental Association Queensland president Greg Moore said that the kiosks were not governed by the same regulations as dentists, but performed some similar services.
''What is their infection protocol? Are the bleaches safe? What training have they had? It's really a step into the unknown for a client,'' said Dr Moore.
He also said that inexperienced operators could also put themselves at risk.
''Are they sure they are working in a disease-free mouth?'' he said.
According to Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn, teeth-whitening operators without an industry code similar to those governing solariums, tattooists and piercers had no legal liability.
He claimed that although shopping centre whitening offered a cheaper alternative to a dentist treatment, "it may come back to bite you.".
''Any kind of procedure that's Leg 3 intrusive, you really want to be sure of the qualifications of the people doing it. You want to be sure it works and that it doesn't cause any issues,'' said Zinn.
Moore suggested that, before going for any whitening treatment, one should first visit to the dentist for a good check-up and clean.