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How Does Laser Teeth Whitening Work & How Long Does It Last?

What is Laser Teeth Whitening?

Laser teeth whitening is a procedure of bleaching teeth that is done by a dentist. It is different from other whitening procedures and involves using a bleaching gel and laser. It is done to brighten the teeth.

During the Laser teeth whitening procedure, a bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and a laser is used to heat up the gel. This activates the whitening procedure and alters the molecules and stains. The goal of this procedure is to reduce the discoloration on the teeth and make them look whiter.

What Causes Teeth Discoloration?

Tooth discoloration can happen due to many reasons. These include:

According to a review, this procedure gives a similar result as the other whitening procedures including UV lights and whitening gels.(1) This is why laser teeth whitening is considered an ‘off label’ by the Food and Drug Administration.

How Does Laser Teeth Whitening Work?

Laser teeth whitening is done at the dental clinic and the procedure requires 30-60 minutes time.

Depending on the need, the steps may vary for each individual.

The dentist first places a rubbed or a plastic prop in the mouth to help it stay open. Then the protective glasses are placed on the eyes. A gum barrier is also used to protect the gums. Bleaching gel is then applied to the teeth and then after a few minutes, the laser is directed onto the teeth. The laser heats up the bleaching gel and activates its whitening properties. Then the gum barrier is removed and the bleaching gel is rinsed off.

Laser teeth whitening is a painless procedure but the teeth may remain sensitive for more than 24 hours after the procedure.

Teeth whitening may damage the tooth enamel or pulp. It is therefore important to avoid frequent teeth whitening procedures. It is best to speak to the dentist to know what frequency suits the best for you. They can also perform the procedure in a way so that the teeth and gums are protected.

How Long Does Laser Teeth Whitening Last?

Laser teeth whitening effectively reduces teeth discoloration. The chemical used is stronger than those used in at-home treatments. This is why laser teeth whitening is a more effective and quicker solution.

The effect is temporary and may last for up to 3 years or longer than any other treatment, including whitening strips.

There are several factors that may affect the result of laser teeth whitening:

  • The original color of the teeth
  • Frequency of treatment
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Bleaching gels and lasers
  • For the best results, it is important to take 3-4 sessions.
  • Lifestyle changes can be helpful in maintaining the results. These changes include:
  • Limiting or avoiding tobacco and cigarette
  • Avoiding foods and drinks that may lead to discoloration of the teeth
  • Reducing trauma to the mouth the can increase stains

Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening

The pros of teeth whitening include:

  • Its lasting effect, which is 3 years
  • Performed by a trained professional, thereby reducing the chances of the procedure going wrong
  • Better results than home treatments

The cons of laser teeth whitening are:

  • Costs more than at-home treatments
  • Require frequent trips to a dentist
  • Increases gum irritation and tooth sensitivity

Risks of Laser Teeth Whitening Procedure

There are a few possible side effects linked with laser teeth whitening procedures. These include:

  • Increase in tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth pulp damage
  • Irritation and damage to the gums
  • Loss of minerals and fluoride in the teeth
  • Increase in tooth erosion and decay

The procedure cannot be done in those with:

  • Tetracycline stains on the teeth
  • Recently completed orthodontic treatment
  • Taking analgesic
  • Tooth malformation or mouth injury
  • A weak enamel or exposed dentin
  • Orofacial tumors, mouth injury, or tooth malformations

Laser teeth whitening procedures do not work for those with dentures and crowns.

Laser teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure done to reduce the discoloration of the teeth. It can make the teeth look brighter and are an effective treatment than those done at home. It has a few side effects and should be done by a professional in the field.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 10, 2022

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