What is laser teeth whitening?
Tooth discolouration is a common problem – but laser teeth whitening is a popular and effective solution. Laser teeth whitening can dramatically whiten teeth that have become discoloured over time. The treatment is carried out in the dental chair, where a dentist applies a whitening solution to your teeth that is activated under a laser light. It’s a quick and effective treatment and can usually be carried out in a single visit.
How effective is laser teeth whitening?
Laser teeth whitening is THE most effective whitening treatment, and allows you to instantly change and improve the colour of your teeth. This type of treatment can improve the colour of a tooth by several shades (although treatment results do vary). The new, white colour of your teeth can last up to two years.
How safe is laser teeth whitening?
Being a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t involve surgery, laser teeth whitening is extremely safe for everybody. When carried out by a dentist, laser teeth whitening will not damage your teeth.
There is a very small risk of chemical burns if the bleaching chemicals in your take-home whitening kit come into contact with your gums or other soft tissues in your mouth. Just be careful when touching up your colour at home, and you should be fine.
The only exception is pregnant women and new mothers, as there is a risk that the bleaching chemicals can affect the unborn baby and enter breast milk. It’s best to avoid whitening your teeth until you’ve stopped breastfeeding.
Are there any side effects of laser teeth whitening?
There are very few side effects of laser teeth whitening carried out by a dentist. The teeth can become dehydrated during the whitening process, which can lead to sensitivity. Some people find that their teeth and gums feel more sensitive for a few days – although this will usually disappear 12 – 36 hours after the treatment. Consult your dentist if you have any problems.
How white will my teeth get?
Laser teeth whitening will generally improve a tooth’s colour by several shades. Keep in mind that not everyone’s teeth will whiten to the same degree, however. Stained or discoloured teeth will not whiten as much as whiter teeth. Grey-coloured teeth will not whiten as well as yellow-coloured teeth.
What do I need to do before getting my teeth whitened?
Before starting whitening treatment, it’s best to have a full dental health check. Using whitening products on active decay can cause severe pain or damage the teeth. The whitening chemicals can aggravate some soft tissue conditions. It’s better to identify and solve these problems before treatment.
Can everyone have laser teeth whitening?
Laser teeth whitening doesn’t work for everyone. It isn’t suitable for people with:
- A great deal of active decay or gum disease
- Untreated dental problems
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Exposed root surfaces
Who is teeth whitening suitable for?
Teeth whitening is likely to be a suitable treatment for people who:
- Have stained or discoloured teeth
- Are over 16 years of age
- Are mature enough to understand the procedure
- Are realistic in their expectations
- Will carry out the proper aftercare
As always, it’s best to consult a qualified dentist such as Lentini Dental to determine whether laser teeth whitening is a suitable treatment for you.
What is the procedure for laser teeth whitening?
The procedure to undergo a laser teeth whitening treatment is as follows:
- Consult a dentist to determine if laser teeth whitening is a suitable option for you
- After a check-up with the dentist, any dental problems such as cavities and tooth decay will need to be treated before whitening can take place
- Your dentist will photograph your teeth so you can compare the results
- Your dentist will give your teeth a professional clean and polish
- To commence the whitening process, your dentist will apply a substance that covers and protects the gums
- The whitening agent is then applied to the teeth
- The whitening agent will be activated by a Laserbrite light, with three applications of eight minutes each
- Your dentist will provide you with customised trays and take-home whitening gel that you can use to maintain your colour over time
How should I look after my teeth after laser teeth whitening?
To achieve the best results, don’t drink coloured drinks such as tea, coffee, softdrinks or sports drinks for at least 48 hours after undergoing whitening treatment. Avoid very hot and very cold foods and don’t smoke in the couple of days following treatment.
How often do I need to undergo laser teeth whitening?
Laser teeth whitening treatments don’t last forever, as eventually the colour will fade. Depending on the person, laser teeth whitening can provide great results for up to two years. The length of time your teeth stay white will depend on your food and lifestyle choices, as well as the reasons your teeth became discoloured in the first place.
For best results, laser teeth whitening (performed by a dentist) is recommended once your colour starts to fade. If you’ve been given at-home, customised trays, you can use these to top up your whitening every month in between treatments. This will help maintain the colour.
How can I make my teeth whitening treatment last as long as possible?
If you want to extend the time between laser teeth whitening treatments, try these strategies to prevent a rapidly discolouring smile:
- Give up or cut back on smoking, to avoid your smile becoming yellow and dingy.
- Avoid staining foods and drinks (such as blueberries, beetroot, coffee and red wine) as much as possible.
- If you really must consume staining foods and drinks, try drinking through a straw and rinse your mouth out with water afterwards. As well, try and brush your teeth afterwards if possible.
- Use a whitening toothpaste, as this will help remove surface stains and keep your teeth looking whiter for longer.
- Maintain daily oral hygiene practices. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day are essential.
- Get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months or so, to prevent hard-to-remove stains from setting on your teeth.
Can I get my teeth whitened if I have braces or dental restorations?
Dental restorations such as crowns or veneers are colour-matched to your natural teeth. Teeth whitening will only work on tooth enamel. It won’t change the colour of crowns, bridges, fillings or veneers. This means they may look different from whitened teeth. These may need replacing if they no longer match the rest of your whitened teeth.
It’s possible to get your teeth whitened while wearing braces, although it’s much more difficult. Your dentist will need to work around the brackets to whiten your teeth. If you’re using an at-home whitening kit, the trays will be custom made to leave space for the brackets.
After removal of the braces, the areas beneath the braces may look darker than the rest of your teeth. A touch-up treatment can help even out the colour.