Lasers are the wave of the future when it comes to the medical field, with procedures growing in popularity that use lasers for everything from acne treatment to dental procedures like teeth whitening.
A laser teeth whitening procedure begins with a regular teeth cleaning by a dentist. This allows the dentists to physically remove any plaque or other substances from the teeth to give a cleaner surface for the laser to work on. Once the teeth have been cleaned, the dentist applies a special gel to the surface of the teeth called carbamide peroxide, or another peroxide-based gel which acts as a whitening solution on the teeth.
The wavelengths of a teeth whitening laser is specifically designed to react with the gel to help break up any stains present on the teeth. The laser activates crystals inside the whitening solution, which absorb the wavelengths of laser energy, increasing the ability of the peroxide solution to penetrate into the enamel of the teeth. This provides a deeper whitening than traditional dentist whitening alone.
While laser teeth whitening is more expensive than other whitening methods, it provides the quickest results, making it worthwhile for many of those looking at cosmetic dentistry options. Not only is it fast, but it improves the shade of a patient’s smile by up to 10 times in the period of about an hour. The results of the procedure can last from six months to a year, with touch ups recommended every six months. To experience the longest lasting effects, it’s important to practice regular oral hygiene practices between visits.
Common questions include whether or not teeth whitening hurt, and whether it’s safe. Those who have sensitive teeth may experience some discomfort in the hours following a laser whitening treatment, but these effects reside after only a few hours. For those with strong teeth, limited or no discomfort is felt with the treatment. The procedure is also completely safe on the tooth enamel, when used with 10 percent or less of a bleaching solution.
There are some limitations to laser teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening should not be performed on children until all the baby teeth have been replaced with permanent teeth. Whitening lasers also have no effect on caps, veneers or crowns.