All You Need to Know About Laser Teeth Whitening

A dazzling white smile is important not only because it boosts your self-esteem and overall confidence (although that helps) but also because it’s a sign of a well-functioning mouth. This is one of the reasons teeth whitening procedures are so popular in almost every dental office near you. And the latest trend in removing stains and discolorations is laser teeth whitening.

Laser Teeth whitening

Teeth darken with age and can stain from the foods we eat every day. One way to brighten them is to use an over-the-counter bleaching treatment. You can pick a whitening treatment up from the supermarket, and it usually only takes a few minutes each day to use. Its convenience is one of the reasons over-the-counter whitening strips are so popular. But it’s a one-size-fits-all solution that takes a while to show results — and those results typically won’t last very long. Additionally, many of the OTC teeth whitening programs increase tooth sensitivity and gum irritation issues. And natural options may include abrasive substances, such as charcoal, that not only harm the enamel protecting your teeth but also produce limited or no results.

Methods, like in-office whitening and take-home whitening trays, can take the guesswork out of the equation.

Depending on how “white” you’d like your teeth to be, your dentist can customize the bleaching solution to meet your individual needs. Professional whitening treatments offer longer-lasting results because dentists are able to use a much higher concentration of bleaching solution than the one typically found in OTC whitening strips. And you can receive a professional cleaning before beginning your treatment, putting your gums and teeth in tip-top shape from the start.

With the new laser teeth whitening in-office treatment, dentists use lasers or similar light beams to speed up the bleaching chemical reaction, leading to a bright, white smile in a matter of hours. What’s more is you won’t have to undergo multiple treatments to achieve your desired results. Having teeth whitening procedures done at the dental office also allows your dentist to examine your teeth. That means your dentist will be able to evaluate your overall oral health prior to beginning your whitening treatment.

In-Office Teeth Whitening Cost

Laser teeth whitening is the most effective bleaching option with long-lasting results. Like most dental treatments, the cost usually varies depending on your location and needs.

Because it’s a cosmetic treatment option, most dental insurance plans don’t cover laser teeth whitening, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up paying for it out-of-pocket. But it may save you in the long run because with OTC options, you often have to undergo multiple treatments to achieve significant results.

Safety comes first.

Laser teeth whitening starts with your dentist determining whether you’re a viable candidate for the treatment. During the initial screening, Dr. Allred will check if your gums have receded and exposed a significant amount of your teeth’s roots, which are resistant to bleaching. If this is the case, you may not be a viable candidate. The procedure is also not recommended for teenagers or pregnant women, unless yellow teeth are a significant concern, and even then, treatment will happen under close supervision in the dental office.

Once the dentist gives the go-ahead for the cosmetic treatment, he’ll place a protective coating over your gums to protect your mouth from the bleaching gel.

Teeth sensitivity is normal.

One of the biggest drawbacks to any teeth whitening treatment is sensitivity. The bleaching process temporarily dehydrates your teeth, reducing insulation and exposing the nerves to changes in temperature. You’ll not only find that your teeth are more sensitive to heat and cold, but they’ll also be more sensitive to staining. In fact, any dentist will probably recommend you take a break from certain foods that are prone to staining. The shade of your professionally whitened teeth will lock in five to seven days after treatment. Until then, if starting your day without coffee feels like torture, try using a straw or rinsing your mouth with water right after to limit the damage to your new white, bright smile.

Aftercare is just as important.

In a perfect world, tooth whitening treatments would last forever. That planet may exist, but we’re definitely not on it. While the shade of your pearly whites can last anywhere from six months to a year, aftercare can make a world of difference. Try to avoid dark-colored beverages, like coffee, wine, and tea (or drink them with a straw to minimize contact with your teeth). Add foods like apples, celery, and raw carrots to your diet to fight discoloration, and drink plenty of water.

Of course, if you don’t have one already, you should establish a good daily oral care routine. Brushing your teeth with whitening toothpaste and flossing every day can help maintain white teeth.

Why pay for laser whitening?

Using lasers to whiten teeth is definitely worth the cost if speed is an issue for you, but instant results aren’t the only advantage. Having a well-trained and certified dentist perform the procedure can lead to:

  • Deeper stain removal as the bleaching gel attacks the discoloration on a molecular level
  • A significantly whiter smile from a single laser whitening session
  • The whitening effect lasts longer than that of other teeth-bleaching treatments currently available in any dentist’s office near you
  • No appliances or additional equipment used will cause irritation or bleeding gums

There’s a wide array of options available for whitening your teeth, from popular whitening strips you can buy at any pharmacy to customized take-home trays and in-office procedures like laser teeth whitening. Schedule an appointment and let Dr. Allred help you find a treatment that’s right for you.