What is Laser Whitening?
Teeth become stained for various reasons, from smoking and drinking coffee to the natural aging process. Teeth whitening treatments work by eliminating these stains to reveal a brighter smile. While at-home whitening kits and bleaching trays can often remove surface stains, they can’t reach stains beneath the enamel. This is where laser whitening comes in.
Laser teeth whitening combines a topical gel with targeted laser application for effective removal of deeper stains, and the procedure takes just 60 minutes to complete in our dental office.
Downfalls of At-Home Whitening Kits
At-home whitening treatments range from strips that are applied directly to the teeth to bleaching trays filled with whitening gel that is worn in a similar fashion to mouth guards. While some of these treatments do produce results, they can also lead to gum irritation and tooth sensitivity due to the high concentration of peroxide and other bleaching agents.
Laser whitening treatments also utilize hydrogen peroxide; however, the entire procedure is monitored and performed by a dental professional, which can greatly reduce the chance of the bleaching agents coming into direct contact with the gums. Laser whitening is FDA-approved and considered a safer and more gentle alternative, as the process is quick and precise, and there’s generally a minimal risk of damaging the gums or tooth enamel.
Laser Whitening Process
If you’re considering a laser whitening treatment, the first thing to do is consult with our dental office. The procedure isn’t recommended for patients with highly sensitive teeth, receding gums, and other dental issues, so it’s important to determine if you are a candidate before moving forward.
The laser whitening process takes place on an outpatient basis, and the procedure lasts approximately 60 minutes. During the procedure, our team generally follows these steps:
- A shade indicator is held up to the teeth to determine the best shade, and photos are taken of the teeth to compare before and after results.
- An SPF lotion is applied to the lips for protection, and cheek retractors are placed inside the mouth.
- The gums are treated with a protective coating to prevent irritation from the hydrogen peroxide gel.
- Bleaching gel is applied to the front surfaces of the affected teeth.
- A laser is shined onto the teeth, which activates the peroxide bleaching gel.
While specific treatments may vary, the laser teeth whitening procedure typically consists of three separate 15-minute sessions during a single dental appointment. Following each short session, the dentist or dental assistant monitors the gums and soft tissues for added safety.
Immediately following treatment, patients can usually resume normal activities. However, the teeth may be sensitive and more susceptible to picking up stains for the first couple of days following the procedure, so it’s important to avoid certain foods and beverages such as coffee, wine, and ice cream. Patients should also follow any and all aftercare instructions provided by our dentist.
Benefits of Laser Whitening
While whitening of the teeth can often be achieved with at-home methods such as mouthwashes and whitening kits, in-office treatments at Dakota Ridge Dental are carefully monitored and performed by our dental professionals here in Littleton. Laser whitening is a safer alternative to at-home teeth bleaching. It produces better results while greatly reducing the risk of damage and side effects.
Ready to Learn More about Laser Whitening?
Contact our office today for more information about our Laser Whitening Treatments and how much brighter your smile will look.