It’s quite normal for teeth to gradually become discolored over a lifetime, particularly if you smoke or drink a lot of coffee or tea. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with yellowed teeth for the rest of your life though! Laser whitening is a procedure that can restore your pearly whites to their former glory.
Originally a dental procedure that was reserved for the likes of movie stars and other wealthy people, this latest method of tooth whitening has become something that just about anyone can have done now. The main attraction is the speed with which teeth can be returned to a nice clean color and many people use it for special events, such as a wedding or graduation. The process usually takes less than an hour.
How It Works
This is a whitening procedure that needs to be done in the dentist’s office and there is no home version. The first step in the process is cleaning the teeth to remove any debris that might interfere with the bleaching procedure. This also involves getting rid of any plaque that might be hiding along the gum line, which can also interfere with the whitening.
Next, a very strong bleaching gel is applied to the teeth. This is stronger than what you would get with a home bleaching kit. The patient’s mouth is held open with a special device to allow for maximum exposure of the teeth for full whitening. The last step is to activate the bleaching gel, which has tiny crystals that draw out the discolorations in the teeth. This is done by using a special light, which is not actually a laser. The teeth are exposed to the light for varying times, depending on the severity of the stains and the type of stain. Discoloration from coffee is easier to whiten, for example, than those caused by antibiotics. For most people, one session is all that is required. In very extreme cases of discoloration, two appointments may be needed, but this is quite rare.
Who Needs Laser Whitening?
Anyone can use this method of brightening their smile. However, it is particularly well suited to those who find they have sensitivity to the chemicals used in bleaching kits. Using a tooth tray or home bleaching kit might not be a good option since the prolonged exposure to the bleach can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. By using the laser whitening, exposure is limited to a single time and while there may be some issues still, they won’t last and there are no ongoing effects.
People who have never tried bleaching are also good candidates for this type of brightening. It really is an excellent method for just about anyone, particularly because it is so quick and can be done with no extra preparation. Whether the teeth are discolored by common items such as coffee or cigarettes or something a little more penetrating like certain types of medication, this technique is very effective. Laser whitening is rapidly becoming one of the most common dental cosmetic procedures and thanks to its effectiveness, it can only become more popular.