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Teeth whitening is the process of using bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth, remove stains and make them a few shades lighter.
While it is not possible to make teeth a brilliant shade of white, the shade can be made lighter by several degrees.
There are several ways to whiten teeth including home teeth whitening.
But in many cases, it is best to take get teeth to whiten professionally (by a dentist).
Laser teeth whitening one of the whitening process used by dentists.
What is Laser Teeth Whitening and its Benefits?
It is recommended that teeth whitening is done by a dentist. If any home whitening needs to be done, the dentist can advise you and also provide you with whitening kits which can be used at home.
Laser teeth whitening is one type of procedure that a dentist may use to whiten teeth. This is also called power whitening. During this procedure, the dentist will first apply a seal on the gums to protect them.
He or she will then apply a bleaching gel on your teeth and then pass a laser or light over the teeth. This activates whitening agents and bleached teeth. The entire procedure may take an hour to complete.
Laser teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic dental procedure and hence insurance may not cover the costs.
It may be required for medical reasons only if whitening of teeth needs to be done due to nerve death and consequent discoloration.
This procedure is the most expensive of all professional bleaching methods.
Your dentist will usually advise you if you are a fit candidate for laser teeth whitening. Usually those with gum disease, veneers or crowns may not be considered.
In-office whitening procedures – as laser teeth whitening is called – can even be used in combination with heat. For excellent results, you may need to schedule several sittings with your dentist.
Each sitting could take 30-60 minutes. Laser teeth whitening offers the best results – the brightest smile – in the shortest period of time.
The results also depend on the strength of the bleaching gel which is used.
Dentists may use bleaching agents with 15%-43% concentration of hydrogen peroxide which also helps to quicken the bleaching process and offers more dramatic results.
Laser teeth whitening is considered to be a safe and effective procedure when carried out by qualified professionals. The change in color of teeth can vary with each person.
If care is taken to maintain teeth and if you are careful about the food you eat, laser teeth whitening results can last up to a year or more.
This procedure is relatively painless and comfortable. In-office bleaching can cost from $500 – $1200 to whiten the entire mouth.
Another benefit of opting for the in-office procedure is that a dentist will protect the gums before bleaching.
This type of protection is not available for at-home treatments. Hence, there is more likelihood of developing gum inflammation when home teeth whitening kits are not used properly.
Hence to sum up the following are the benefits you can get from laser teeth whitening:
- Guaranteed results
- Long lasting
- Relatively painless procedure
How to Select a Professional for Laser Teeth Whitening
Unless you have a known dentist who offers laser teeth whitening, you may get confused about how to select a professional.
There are many professional dentists who offer various teeth whitening options and choosing the right one may be difficult.
It is best to start by making a note of your needs, costs and lifestyle.
Then narrow down your search, read up on the services provided and this could help you choose the right professional.
It is best to opt for a dentist because apart from cleaning your teeth, he or she can assess you for other dental problems like cavities, gum disease, dental damage like broken or damaged fillings and crowns or even oral cancer that can be cured completely if diagnosed early.
This is why it is usually recommended you visit a dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions with Laser Teeth Whitening
Side effects to laser teeth whitening and other forms of bleaching are usually temporary.
You might experience temporary sensitivity to cold or hot products, tender gums, sore throat or white patches may appear on the gums.
If these side effects do not disappear after a few days, you may consult your dentist. Risks of teeth whitening are minimal.
However, always consult your dentist before opting for any teeth whitening procedure.
The American Dental Association only gives their seal of approval for certain bleaching products. As of now, whitening agents used with lasers have not been approved.
However, getting the Seal of Acceptance is not mandatory and it does not imply that laser teeth whitening is an unsafe procedure.
Ensure you go to a dentist who is well versed in using laser teeth whitening procedures.
You can check online reviews or get the opinion of other patients of a particular dentist before using their services.