Teeth whitening is a simple and less stressful way to brighten your smile, get rid of tooth discolouration, and improve your appearance. For most people, brighter teeth boost their self-confidence. A brighter smile and teeth shade give you a more youthful appearance and make you more attractive.
Teeth whitening options are numerous, but laser teeth whitening is a common and effective professional teeth whitening option.
Laser teeth whitening is a common cosmetic dental procedure that involves an in-office teeth whitening session accelerated by laser. Only a dental professional can carry out this whitening treatment as it involves using a concentrated whitening gel and laser to speed up the teeth whitening process.
What causes tooth discolouration?
Tooth discolouration is a common dental problem even for people who have a good oral hygiene routine. Tooth discolouration includesthe following;
- Extrinsic tooth discolouration
This affects the outer part of the tooth. It occurs due to consuming certain beverages and foods such as soda, red wine, coffee, dark berries, and tea. These stains can easily come off the teeth, and you can remove them with at-home teeth whitening products.
- Intrinsic tooth discolouration
Intrinsic discolouration affects the inner part of the teeth. It usually results from some medical treatments like chemotherapy and diseases. Genetics, ageing and trauma are also causes of intrinsic tooth discolouration. Intrinsic tooth stains are difficult to remove and usually need professional teeth whitening treatment.
Laser teeth whitening vs other in-office teeth whitening treatments
There are several in-office teeth whitening treatments, including laser teeth whitening, but many people confuse other whitening procedures for laser teeth whitening. Most in-office teeth whitening treatments like Zoom use light to accelerate the whitening process, not a laser. Although the teeth whitening steps are similar to laser teeth whitening, they work differently.
In laser teeth whitening, the laser activates the chemical in the whitening gel, which gives a faster and more effective teeth whitening result but in other in-office and home whitening treatments using light, the light only produces heat. When teeth whitening products contain peroxide-based chemicals, the heat produced by the light makes them work faster.
Steps involved in laser teeth whitening procedure
A laser teeth whitening procedure takes place in a dental office, and it involves the following steps;
- The dental professional will place a rubber guard or plastic in your mouth to keep it open during the procedure
- The dentist will apply a protective layer over your gums to protect them from the bleaching gel. The protective layer will harden, creating a rubber-like layer on the gums, which prevents gum irritation
- When the protective layer forms, the dentist will apply the whitening gel to the teeth, then use a pen-like laser to activate the teeth whitening gel. As the gel foams, it will work to remove teeth stains
- The dentist will leave the whitening gel on your teeth for a few seconds, then remove it with a small vacuum. The dentist will repeat these steps 3 – 4 times until you get your desired teeth shade.
- After the last whitening shade, your dentist will rinse your mouth and remove the protective layer on your gums.
Side effects of laser teeth whitening
Laser teeth whitening is an effective and safe dental procedure. The procedure may cause temporary discomfort but is unlikely to have serious side effects. The most common side effects are minor gum irritation and tooth sensitivity, but they are usually mild and last for a short while. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to the whitening gel occurs.
To prevent side and adverse effects of laser teeth whitening, avoid cold and hot substances for a few days after the procedure. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised against undergoing laser teeth whitening and other whitening treatments.
Laser teeth whitening aftercare
Drink only clear liquids for about two hours following your teeth whitening session. Subsequently, eat foods and drinks that will not stain your teeth. Try avoiding dark-pigmented beverages and foods such as tea, coffee, and tomato sauce for at least 24 hours after whitening your teeth.
Pros of laser teeth whitening
When you undergo laser teeth whitening from a certified dentist, you will enjoy the following benefits;
- Noticeable results after one laser teeth whitening session
- Whiter teeth without using any whitening product at home
- Faster teeth whitening results than using at-home whitening products
- Complication-free whitening procedure, so you won’t experience damage to your soft tissues and nerves in your teeth
Cons of laser teeth whitening
Compared to other teeth whitening options, laser teeth whitening has the following disadvantages;
- Laser teeth whitening costs more than other whitening options
- It requires visiting the dentist and being at the dental practice for an hour or more
- The result does not last forever – you will need another whitening procedure after a while. If you drink red wine, tea, coffee or smoke, you will experience a relapse faster
- Laser teeth whitening does not offer a guaranteed result
Laser teeth whitening vs at-home teeth whitening
Laser teeth whitening is different from other teeth whitening treatments that involve using professional or over-the-counter whitening products at home in several ways.
Only a dental professional is certified to carryout laser teeth whitening because it requires a higher concentration of the whitening gel. Teeth whitening gels with a high concentration of the active ingredient can burn the soft tissues in the mouth, so professional supervision is mandatory.
The laser teeth whitening procedure takes a shorter time. In most cases, an appointment that lasts for about an hour is sufficient to whiten the teeth, and the dentist will monitor the procedure.
Many dental treatments involve lasers, and your laser teeth whitening may include using different types of lasers such as a diode, KTP, Nd:YAG, and argon lasers. Since different lasers are available, the settings used for each type and concentration of whitening gels differ, making thedetermination of the general effectiveness of laser teeth whitening difficult.
Due to the lack of sufficient studies and research on laser teeth whitening, and standardisation, it is difficult to say whether laser produces a better result than other in-office teeth whitening treatments.
Cost of laser teeth whitening
The cost of laser teeth whitening varies widely since it is a cosmetic dental procedure which dental insurance companies do not cover. However, your laser teeth whitening can cost between £250 - £1000, depending on your location.
In some rural areas with less competition among dentists, the cost of laser teeth whitening is higher. You would have to factor in your dentist’s hourly rate and the cost of supplies. To get the cost of laser teeth whitening, you may have to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Alternatives to laser teeth whitening
If laser teeth whitening seems expensive, you can try out other less-expensive at-home teeth whitening solutions such as;
- Whitening strips
- LED teeth whitening kits
- Whitening mouthwash and toothpaste
- Whitening pens
- Natural teeth whitening products
- Teeth whitening gels
Several teeth whitening options are available, but laser teeth whitening in London is faster than other teeth whitening procedures. If you want to whiten your teeth and improve your smile quickly, opt for laser teeth whitening.
You can call 020 7043 4315 to schedule an appointment with the experienced cosmetic dentist for your laser teeth whitening.