Teeth-whitening booth shut down at Okla. state fair

2009 12 03 14 54 58 936 Smile 70

A nondentist vendor that was selling teeth-whitening services at the Tulsa State Fair in Oklahoma has been slapped with a restraining order.

The temporary restraining order, filed by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry against Euroshine USA, Ingo Van Styn, and Henry Johnson, was granted by the state yesterday.

According to court documents, the defendants' actions constitute the practice of dentistry by unlicensed individuals. Tulsa County District Judge Kurt Glassco granted the restraining order following an emergency injunction filed by the dental board.

“The practice of dentistry without a license is a felony in Oklahoma,” said Susan Rogers, executive director of the State Board of Dentistry. “There have been many instances of unauthorized dentistry in the state and the board is tired of it.”

According to the injunction, Van Styn and Johnson rented and operated a booth at the fair that offered teeth-whitening services to the public. However, neither individual is licensed to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in Oklahoma.

The board received a complaint on October 1, and investigators witnessed six individuals receiving medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment by an individual -- Johnson -- who appeared in medical scrubs and presented himself to the public as someone who is knowledgeable about the causes of teeth stains and discoloration and treatment.

According to the injunction, Johnson told customers that the 20-minute treatment was perfectly safe and minutes would make their teeth three shades lighter. The price of treatment was $39.99.

Johnson also told them that Crest Whitestrips were too harsh for his sensitive teeth but the treatment he was offering had caused him no problems, the injunction stated. The active ingredient in the Euroshine brand is 35% carbamide peroxide while Crest Whitestrips contain a 10% concentration, the safe amount recommended by the ADA, investigators noted.

No medical history

According to the injunction, Johnson did not take any medical history, ask about allergic reactions and periodontal disease, or inform customers of potential dangers of the treatment.

As described in the injunction, customers sat in a dental type chair and were given a pair of sunglasses to wear during the procedure, neither of which was sanitized before being reused. Johnson advised customers on the proper procedure and method to insert the dental tray, and investigators witnessed him adjust the patient, trays, and light.

After treatment, he had patients spit out the tray, saliva, extra whitening gel, and any other substance from their mouth into a plastic bag, which they would either keep or drop into a trash can.

“We saw health violations, OSHA violations and if we had not shut him down the health department would have,” said Rogers.

The dental board requested an emergency restraining order because it felt the general public was in danger and at risk of harm and injury if Euroshine continued this activity.

Euroshine, which has been a vendor at the fair before without any problems, has stopped selling the teeth-whiting product at that booth.

Although the Board of Dentistry investigators have the authority to arrest individuals, the booth operators at the Tulsa State Fair were not arrested, said Rogers.

"We could have had him arrested for a felony but I didn't believe he was doing it with malicious intent," she said. "He has now stopped providing teeth whitening and I don’t believe he plans to anymore. If he does we will have to arrest him."

The hearing for a permanent injunction is set for a week from Friday.

As of press time, Euroshine had not responded to a request for comment.

Page 1 of 107
Next Page