What Is Laser Teeth Whitening?

Published:December 8th, 2011

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Laser teeth whitening is a teeth bleaching treatment which is generally carried out in your dental surgery. The procedure uses a translucent peroxide-based bleaching gel which is carefully applied to the teeth before a laser light is used to activate the peroxide. Care is taken to ensure the gel doesn’t come into contact with the gum tissue or lips, as this method uses a solution containing quite a high level of peroxide. Using a laser to activate the gel allows the peroxide to more fully penetrate the teeth and increases the whitening effect, but the laser used is perfectly safe.

This treatment generally only takes one visit and can be highly effective, but is also more costly than using bleaching trays at home or using a home whitening kit. Before undergoing the treatment you’ll need to check with your dentist to make sure you are a suitable candidate for laser whitening, and they’ll need to ensure your mouth is in a healthy condition and is free from cavities and gum disease.

Advantages of Laser Teeth Whitening
One of the major advantages of having your teeth whitened by this system is its speed. It can literally be performed in your lunch hour and can lighten your teeth by several shades. The solution needs to be applied by a dental professional, and this will ensure your treatment is completely safe and it should carry a minimal risk of any side effects such as increased sensitivity. Once the treatment is completed the effects should last for quite some time, especially if you try to avoid any staining foods. You may need to have a touchup every six months or every year to maintain the full effect.

Disadvantages of Laser Teeth Whitening
While one of the major advantages of this system is its speed, it can also be considered to be one of its major disadvantages. There is far less control as to the degree of whitening that can be achieved, and because the solution is so strong it can cause the teeth to become dehydrated for a while afterwards. This makes them more susceptible to staining for the first 24 hours which is one of the reasons why you will be advised on which foods to avoid. Patients undergoing the system are frequently told to follow a ‘white’ diet for at least the first day or so.

Whitening Your Teeth at Home
In comparison using a home whitening kit or using custom-made bleaching trays from your dentist allows you far greater control over the whitening process. If you are whitening your teeth over two weeks then you’ll be able to judge on a daily basis as to how successful treatment is, and can adjust your whitening treatment accordingly. People around you are far less likely to notice you have had your teeth whitened if it is done over a period of days rather than in an hour. The bleaching solution is far less strong, so if you do suffer from any sensitivity the effects are likely to be far less unpleasant.

About the author

Alison, is a UK born and educated dental professional with over 25 years experience.

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