If your teeth are discolored, it can cause you to lack self-confidence. One of the first things that most people notice before meeting someone is their smile, so you want your teeth to be as white as possible, which can be accomplished with professional teeth whitening.
Before the use of laser teeth whitening, the most common way individuals whitened their teeth was through a hydrogen peroxide solution. This method typically takes several weeks to take effect, but the use of laser light will speed up the reaction of the whitening solution. Laser teeth whitening yields faster results with fewer treatment sessions.
The solutions that are used to whiten teeth all work the same. They release oxygen ions that subtly remove stains from teeth. When the solution is used in conjunction with a laser, is helps the chemical reaction act faster.
What is the Procedure for Laser Teeth Whitening?
If you want to whiten your teeth with laser treatments, you will need to follow a few steps. The first step is to get a screening to see if you are a suitable candidate for the treatment. Those who are pregnant and teenagers are not advised to have the treatment. However, there are times when exceptions are made with teenagers who have excessive staining, but the treatment should only be administered by a cosmetic dentist who has experience administering the treatment.
During your screening, your cosmetic dentist will examine your gums to see if they have receded. If the tooth root is exposed, then the teeth may be bleached unevenly. This is due to the roots being resistant to the bleach. In these circumstances, an alternate treatment may be a better option.
After your screening, you will have your teeth cleaned. This will ensure that any cavities are properly filled because untreated cavities can cause the bleach to seep through the tooth and penetrate the root. Because laser teeth whitening can cause slight sensitivity, you may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication to take before your initial treatment.
When it is time to have your teeth whitened, your mouth will be held open with a plastic guard and a barrier will be applied to the gums for protection. The barrier is typically a solution that will harden to a rubber-like consistency. After the solution hardens, a whitening solution will be applied to your teeth, which will then be activated with a laser. The device that omits the laser typically looks like a writing pen. After the process is complete, the solution will be removed and the process could be repeated numerous times. When the treatment is finished, the protective layer will be removed and your mouth will be rinsed of the remaining solution.
Because the results of the treatment may vary, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare professional to see if another treatment is needed. Additionally, your teeth can become stained again, which is especially true if you smoke or consume dark drinks in excess. You can also switch to a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth and drink through a straw for the first few days following treatment. If you properly take care of your teeth, the results of laser teeth whitening can last several years after your last treatment.
One common side effect following the treatment is tooth pain and sensitivity. To combat these symptoms, your healthcare professional may suggest that you take an over the counter pain pill. In most cases, most of the sensitivity will reside a few days following the treatment.
Who are Ideal Candidates for Laser Teeth Whitening?
Although laser teeth whitening is a low-risk procedure and is ideal for most individuals, there are some factors that preclude individuals from being suitable candidates for the treatment. Ideal candidates for the procedure will have mild to moderate discoloration with yellow undertones. Here are a few factors that may prevent individuals from having laser teeth whitening:
Those who have teeth restorations on the front teeth, which may include dental crowns, dental bonding, or porcelain veneers, may not respond well to the treatment. This is because restorative composites do not respond to the bleaching process. However, those who still want to undergo laser teeth whitening may consider having their restorations replaced to better match the results of the treatment.
Intrinsic stains, or stains that have a grayish undertone, will not respond well to laser teeth whitening because the stain comes from beneath the surface of the tooth.
Tooth Sensitivity and Other Conditions
Those who have extreme tooth sensitivity or enamel that is worn may not be suitable candidates for the procedure because the treatment can make these conditions worse. In addition, those with bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) should also avoid having the treatment.
If you feel that are an ideal candidate for laser teeth whitening and want to know more, contact Dr. Marc Lazare DDS. Dr. Lazare is a top cosmetic dentist specializing in teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental implant restoration, biomimetic dentistry in the New York area.