An Overview of Laser Teeth Whitening � How Does it Work

  Sep 28, 2018

One of the most ungainly looks a person can possess is yellow and stained teeth. Not only is it a matter of aesthetics but it also plays havoc on his/her confidence levels. For those with stubborn and deeply ingrained stains, a visit to the dentist is mandatory. For people with lighter stains, there are many treatments that can be tried at home which are very useful. However, results of any whitening treatments are not immediate, and it might take several days or weeks, depending on the condition, for the teeth to be brought back to its original pearly state.

The most common DIY teeth whitening procedures are using charcoal powder, teeth whitening strips and good morning snore solution. In the gels, hydrogen peroxide is a vital ingredient but before trying out any product at home, ensure that the peroxide levels are within safe limits. The maximum safe concentration is about 10% but that should only be used under a dentist’s supervision. Usually, DIY products have peroxide levels that are more dilute in the 3 to 5 percentage.

With the increase in demand for teeth whitening, dentists started using lasers or similar lights to speed up the teeth whitening process. The process cleans up teeth faster, and less number of sessions is required for the full course of treatments. 

Any form of teeth whitening works by releasing oxygen ions from teeth whitening gels, and these gently lifts stains from the teeth. The laser merely helps to remove the stains faster. An advantage with a laser is that it can be used to treat and bleach one tooth at a time. This is useful when one tooth is more discoloured than another, and the process should focus more on that specific tooth.

Before coming to the steps taken for laser teeth whitening by dentists, an almost similar DIY process may be mentioned here even though it is less potent than what is followed at the dentists. It is the teeth whitening gel where a complete kit consisting of gel syringes, a mouth whitening tray and LED teeth whitening light has to be purchased. From the gel syringe, a layer of the gel is applied to the mouth whitening tray. This tray is put in the mouth, and the LED light is turned on. After about ten minutes, a beeper will go off signalling that one round has been completed. For positive results, four such sessions can be taken up one after another if necessary. The gel contains carbamide peroxide which is considered to be one of the most effective teeth whitening agents.

However, products with high peroxide levels can damage your teeth and gums. Read the label carefully before buying any teeth whitening items. Try Active Smile Teeth Whitening Products; they are among the best in this line.

If you decide to opt for teeth whitening with lasers at a dentist, here are a few necessary steps that will be followed.

  •     Screening – Generally, teenagers and pregnant women should postpone the teeth whitening process as much as possible, but if teenagers have to go through it, close supervision by the dentist is necessary. One of the aspects that a dentist will closely check is whether the gums have receded and a significant portion of the tooth root has been exposed. If that is the case, the teeth will be resistant to bleaching, and the dentist will offer alternative treatments.   
  •     Pre-treatment – The dentist or hygienist will clean the teeth and make sure that all cavities are filled. If it is not so, the whitening gel will flow through the cavity into the interior of the tooth.  
  •   Medication – Tooth whitening usually causes temporarily enhanced sensitivity, more so in those already suffering from the problem. In these cases, the dentist might prescribe some anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medication before the whitening sessions.
  • Treatment – First, the dentist will apply a barrier over the gums to avoid any damage from the teeth whitening gel. It is usually a solution that hardens on the gums to form a protective rubber-like layer. When the dentist sees that the gums are well-protected, a whitening compound or gel will be applied to the front of the teeth with a syringe. A device like a pen that emits laser beams will then be used to activate the compound which will somewhat foam as the stains are lifted away. The compound will be allowed to sit on the teeth for a few minutes before it is removed with a small vacuum tool.

    Depending on the results, the process can be repeated as many as three times. When the dentist is fully satisfied with the results, you will be asked to rinse your mouth after which the protective layer over your gums will be gently lifted away.
  •     Post-treatment – Teeth are stained for a variety of reasons, the most important being lifestyles and dietary habits. Smoking, high intake of beverages, coffee or tea and some foods can adversely affect teeth color. Hence, whitening of teeth is not permanent. Generally, the effects of a teeth whitening session last from six months to several years if you take care of your teeth. You should also schedule follow-up sessions at periodic intervals. 

    There are a few after-effects of the treatment. There is an increase in sensitivity over the first few days. This too varies between patients. Some report mild sensitivity and some complain of stronger sensations. All these wear off in a few days, but in the meantime, the dentist will prescribe some medication for you to reduce sensitivity. You should also consult your dentist if you find that your gums are white or sore.

Your dentist will also decide if you are a right candidate for teeth whitening. There may be other reasons for discoloration of teeth like an underlying dental problem that might have to be addressed first. Further, if you have crowns and veneers on your teeth, whitening will not be suitable as the peroxide cannot go below the surface to lift the stains.

All these factors have to be taken into account before you opt for a teeth whitening procedure.

An Overview of Laser Teeth Whitening � How Does it Work


Sierra has done teeth whitening certificate training course and has flair of writing. She is working with Active Smile for the past 2 years and provides people the details of teeth whitening, oral and dental care, what treatments to take, their efficacy and everything related to teeth whitening.

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