A popular cosmetic dentistry procedure, teeth whitening is designed to help patients who feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth because of staining or discoloration. Even though most of these patients have perfectly healthy teeth, they are unhappy with their less than perfect smiles. Laser teeth whitening is an effective, quick and safe solution to stained teeth.
Naturally, teeth should have a bright appearance. However, years of consuming certain foods, drinks like wine and coffee, some medications, smoking and exposure to fluoride contribute to the discoloration of teeth. This may appear as a yellowish shade to brownish spots or streaks. Depending on the type and degree of staining, the teeth can be whitened a few or several shades lighter. Your dentist will advise you on the possible results you can achieve with laser teeth whitening during consultation.
How the procedure is performed
Once you are booked for a laser whitening procedure, the dentist begins by cleaning the teeth and gums to remove tartar and plaque that may have built up. The dentist then places a rubber cap on the gums to protect them from the effects of the laser. A whitening product in the form of a gel is then applied on the teeth after which the laser is applied. The laser light enables the gel crystals to penetrate the teeth’s enamel and dissolve the stain. Because the gel crystals also have a buffing effect, the result is brighter and whiter teeth (up to 12 shades lighter).
An in-office procedure, laser teeth whitening is painless and lasts about an hour. You will notice immediate results after the procedure and these can last up to five years. A single procedure is enough to whiten the teeth with remarkable results, though your dentist will advise you if another session is necessary especially if the problem is severe. Laser teeth whitening should always be carried out by a qualified specialist
Laser whitening is safe and gentle on the teeth. Regular bleaching with some commonly used products may result in weakening of the teeth because of their harsh active ingredients. Laser whitening uses a neutralizing agent and the gums are protected during the procedure, therefore preventing gum sensitivity. Since the results can often be achieved with one treatment session, the damage to the teeth associated with frequent whitening is minimized.
Whitening the teeth with laser is also highly effective in correcting tooth discoloration because of its active ingredients which are made for professional use. Other products may have lower strength ingredients which only work on the outer surface of the teeth. These may not be strong enough to remove the stains that have penetrated the enamel. Additionally, the results may not last as long as the laser treatment.
How much does it cost?
The prices of laser teeth whitening vary with different dentists and other factors like geographical location. However, the whole procedure normally costs around $1000. This may not be that expensive when you consider the results can last up to five years. Note that insurance providers do not normally cover cosmetic procedures. You can ask your dentist if the clinic offers any financing options.