If you’ve ever dreamed of having a brilliant, sparkling smile, laser teeth whitening is just one of the many procedures available that can help remove the toughest of teeth stains — what’s great about it is that it’s a quick, painless process that can whiten your teeth in just one hour.
Before the application of a uniquely formulated whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide (used to break up the chemical bonds in stains), a covering will be placed onto your gums to ensure maximum protection. A special light is then shone onto the gel, quickening the process and improving the end result by about 40%.
Several factors contribute to the degree of teeth whiteness achieved, such as how severe or deep the stains are, whether you smoke, what you eat/drink, and how many treatments have been completed.
The main goal of laser teeth whitening is to turn your teeth several shades whiter, with the final result being dependent on the feasibility and length of the entire treatment.
$180 to $450
- Laser teeth whitening is a very quick and efficient way to get whiter teeth, with results being noticeable right after the initial session.
- The procedure usually takes less than an hour to complete.
- Compared to other whitening procedures, it is effective in removing tough teeth stains.
- Treatments can be localized to whiten only one or a few stained teeth.
- The results are long-lasting, depending on how well you take care of your teeth – in general, they can last between six months to two years.
- Teeth whitening in itself is a widely accessible procedure, and the majority of dentists are expected to be able to carry out this treatment.
- Compared to other teeth whitening procedures, laser teeth whitening is rather costly.
- Some irritation or tooth sensitivity may be experienced post-treatment, but will gradually ease over time with proper oral care.
- For long-lasting results, you will usually need to attend two or more sessions after the initial appointment, with the requirement of additional top-up sessions every one to two years.
Once seated in the dental chair, your dentist will carry out a routine cleaning prior to treatment, after which a rubber or plastic guard will be placed in your mouth to ensure it stays open during the procedure. Your dentist will then apply a protective gel to your gums (which hardens upon drying out) to prevent the whitening agent from coming into contact with them.
The whitening gel will finally be applied to the front of your teeth which will then be heat-activated with a handheld laser — this may result in the gel foaming up as it is being heated. After a few minutes, your dentist will remove the whitening gel using a suction tool, and the process may be repeated up to three times as necessary.
You will first undergo a screening conducted by your dentist to ensure you are free from any tooth or gum sensitivity which may flare up as a result of laser teeth whitening. Children, young adults, and pregnant women are advised against undergoing this treatment.
Whether or not you are a candidate for laser teeth whitening will be informed by your dentist during the screening.
Stain-causing drinks such as tea, coffee, or wine, should be avoided for at least two days post-treatment. To ensure your results are long-lasting, it is essential that you maintain proper oral care by brushing and flossing regularly.
While you may experience some tooth sensitivity for the first few days after treatment, you can still resume your normal activities with no need for recovery time for most cases.
We understand you may want to change your plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its health implications.
Sensitivity: Temporary temperature-, touch-, and pressure sensitivity, as well as sudden shooting pains down the front teeth, may be experienced with tooth bleaching. This can happen with in-office laser whitening if the whitening agent is used in high concentrations, and these side effects are especially exasperated in individuals who have cracks in their teeth or leakages due to faulty restorations, or those who suffer from gum recession.
While tooth sensitivity usually eases after a day or two, there are cases where they may last for a month. To counter this, it is recommended that you brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate.
Gum irritation: The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel or direct contact with the whitening trays may cause you to experience some gum irritation. This usually lasts for a couple of days and eases upon completion of the treatment or when the peroxide concentration has been reduced.
Multicolored teeth: The whitening gel does not affect restorations such as dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or bonding, and so they retain their original color while the rest of the teeth are a different shade of white. If many restorations have been placed, one may consider replacing them after laser teeth whitening.
What kinds of patients benefit from laser teeth whitening?
Nearly everyone will benefit from laser teeth whitening, especially those who would like to transform dull, yellowed teeth to dazzling bright pearly whites. However, it is important to note that this process is most effective on teeth that are moderately discolored and darker stains require more time for the desired results to be achieved.
How white your teeth will be depends on a case by case basis, as you would need to factor in the starting condition of your teeth and how long the treatment was carried out for. Also, the whitening gel has no effect on dental restorations which may result in differently colored teeth. Therefore, you may want to consider other options, such as porcelain veneers.
What is the difference between Laser and Non-Laser Teeth Whitening?
Laser – To increase the efficiency of the process, the wavelength output of the laser is synchronized with the whitening gel, reducing the amount of energy that is needed to deliver optimum results. The treatment time is therefore much shorter and eliminates any requirement for applying direct heat onto the teeth which may result in post-treatment sensitivity.
Non-Laser – Compared to laser whitening systems, longer treatment times are required for non-laser counterparts due to inefficiencies in the process, as the non-laser devices only make use of a small fraction of polychromatic light energy for teeth whitening. The remaining energy goes to waste as heat and light and is absorbed by the teeth and oral tissues, resulting in tooth sensitivity both during and after the procedure.
What causes teeth discoloration?
Teeth discoloration has many causes, the most common of which include aging and consuming stain-causing substances, such as tea, coffee, and red wine. Other causes include antibiotics, an excessive use of fluoride, and nerve degeneration.