Lasers have numerous applications across multiple fields of medicine, including dentistry. They can be used to perform dental surgery or in various procedures, such as root canals. Your dentist may offer laser teeth whitening, and you might wonder if this is a good idea for your own whitening needs, and how a laser is actually involved.
Precise and Gentle
It's not as though your dentist simply zaps your teeth with a laser to blast away any surface discoloration. The process is far more precise (and gentle) than that. Of course, your comfort and safety are important, but laser teeth whitening is one of the most comprehensive methods available, making it a good option for teeth that have become heavily discolored.
Protecting Your Gums
To start with, your dentist must protect your gums from the laser's heat. This heat won't be uncomfortable once protective measures have been put in place. Your dentist will apply a gingival barrier to your gums. This is a pliable resin that dries in place over your gums. A laser can't whiten teeth by itself, and your dentist will then administer a laser-compatible bleaching agent to your teeth.
The laser (a small handheld wand) is then directed at your teeth, which activates the bleaching agent. This then gets to work to remove the surface discoloration of your dental enamel. This process is quick and thorough, and your teeth may tingle. Your dentist then removes the now depleted bleaching agent using a suction device. This allows them to gauge the level of whitening that has been achieved. The bleaching agent may need to be reapplied, activated with a laser, and then suctioned away several times before the desired level of whitening has been reached. The dried gingival resin barrier can now be removed.
There are very few side effects with laser whitening, and the point is to receive comprehensive whitening within a short timeframe. There may be some lingering sensitivity in the days following your laser whitening, but this will soon fade. You can use whitening toothpaste at home (as your dentist for their recommendation) to maintain your results.
The effectiveness of laser whitening means it can be more expensive than other forms of teeth whitening that are available, but this can be money well spent for someone whose teeth are particularly discolored. For more information, contact a teeth whitening specialist such as Watersedge Family Dental.