Teeth whitening booth at Tulsa State Fair shut down after dental board complaints
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
10/03/12 at 8:42 AM
A temporary restraining order and injunction was granted Tuesday by a judge to stop a vendor at the Tulsa State Fair from offering teeth whitening services.
Tulsa County District Court Judge Kurt Glassco granted the temporary restraining order to protect the "safety and welfare of citizens." The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry on Tuesday filed for a temporary restraining order and emergency injunction to stop the vendor. A ruling has not been made about a permanent injunction.
Euroshine USA, Ingo Van Styn and Henry Johnson are defendants in the restraining order. Neither Van Styn nor Johnson are licensed to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in Oklahoma, according to the state board.
"It's a felony to practice dentistry without a license in Oklahoma," said Susan Rogers, executive director of the State Board of Dentistry. "You think teeth whitening is not a big deal, but it is a big deal."
Calls to Euroshine, based in Florida, were unanswered and offices were closed.
Rogers said the dentistry board received a complaint Monday about the teeth whitening procedures being offered to the public at the fair in the Exchange Center building.
Undercover investigators spoke with the individuals running the booth and witnessed six people receive treatments. After being advised they were committing a felony, the vendor stopped operations Monday night, she said.
According to the injunction request, Johnson was wearing scrubs and presented himself as someone knowledgeable about the causes of teeth stains, discolorations and treatments to fix those issues. He also told customers the Euroshine USA brand teeth whitening gel contains 35 percent carbamide peroxide.
Most dental whitening procedures, and even home teeth whitening procedures such as Crest Whitestrips, contain only 10 percent carbamide peroxide, Rogers said.
According to the injunction, Johnson never asked customers whether they had allergic reactions to carbamide, peroxide or glycerin; if they were at least 18 years old and could have a medical procedure without a parent's consent; or if they had any kind of dental disease, sensitive gums or gingivitis.
"Those materials can cause great harm to people who are allergic to those products," Rogers said, including burning, tissue loss and tooth sensitivity, and they can hide underlying diseases.
The procedure, which cost $39.99, had customers sit in dental-type chairs with a dental tray of whitening gel in their mouths wearing sunglasses while a high-intensity ultraviolet light was placed over their mouths for 20 to 30 minutes.
The chairs and sunglasses weren't sanitized before being reused by another customer, according to the court document.
After the procedure, patients spit the tray, extra whitening gel and saliva into a plastic bag that customers could either take with them or throw away, Rogers said. Mouthwash was also given to the customers to use and they spit it into a tub. There was no running water and ability to sanitize at the booth location.
"There were health violations; improper disposal of bodily fluids. Spitting into a tub is unsanitary," she said.
Euroshine has stopped selling the teeth-whiting product at that booth, and has replaced it with another of its products, said Sarah Thompson, marketing and business development supervisor at Expo Square.
Euroshine has been a vendor at the fair in the past and this is the first time the fair has had a problem with this vendor, Thompson said.
State Board of Dentistry investigators are CLEET certified and have the authority to arrest individuals, but the booth operators at the Tulsa State Fair were not arrested, Rogers said.
"I didn't believe he was doing it with malicious intent," she said. "If I find someone who has been injured, we have some time if we decide to file charges. I hope the problem is solved. I think it is."
The state fair's vendor list also shows Euroshine USA operating five other booths selling cookware, exercise equipment, bedding, dessert cups, active wear and hair products.
Original Print Headline: Dental booth at fair shut down
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465