Laser Tooth Whitening
LASER TOOTH WHITENING USES A LIGHT, COMBINED WITH THE PEROXIDE BLEACHING GEL, TO MAXIMIZE THE SPEED AND POWER OF TOOTH WHITENING.
Some brand names of systems that use this technique are Zoom and BriteSmile.
The term laser whitening is a misnomer, as there is no laser involved in this process. There was a time back in the 90s when laser lights were employed to try to bleach teeth. They turned out to be very slow and labor intensive, because the laser had to be moved from tooth to tooth. Soon, the term came to be picked up by any bleaching system that used a powerful light.
The use of a bleaching light was the original technique used to lighten teeth. We started using this in my office in the mid-1980s. Then the tray bleaching systems were developed, and they were so convenient that the power light fell out of use. Now, with recent improvements in these power systems, they are becoming more popular again, mostly because of their convenience. Some patients want the dental office to do it all, and don’t want to have to monkey with trays and gels at home. They also produce a dramatic post-operative whiteness that people love.
Laser tooth whitening results
With the power light bleaching, your teeth will be dramatically whiter after only one visit. Here are before-and-after photographs of a patient treated by one of our technician at Shimaa Beauty Center Grand Prairie, Texas.
It whitens faster than the tray technique. You can get teeth just as white with the tray technique, it just takes longer.
It is more convenient, because the dental office staff do everything for you. When you use the trays, you have to take them home and apply the gel yourself, and remember to use it.
For thorough bleaching, you will either need several appointments or will need to follow up the laser whitening appointment with home treatments.
There is a greater tendency to sensitivity. Some people, after the power bleaching appointment, feel sharp zings in their teeth for a day or two afterward. The zinging is eased by taking two to four ibuprofen immediately at the end of the appointment, before your teeth actually begin to zing. It is more expensive.
Laser Tooth Whitening Procedure
Here is how this laser tooth whitening technique is done. Laser tooth whitening is a term used for power bleaching, using a potent bleaching gel and an activating light. It has the strength to lighten the color of the teeth dramatically in a single session. Though for lasting effect, the patient either needs to have several appointments, or to follow up the in-office procedure wearing at home bleaching trays. The following are photographs of this procedure:
First, the teeth need to be exposed and isolated. The light has to have access to all the visible surfaces of the teeth, so retractors are placed to gently pull the lips and cheeks away.
Laser tooth whitening - step one
A napkin is placed over the lips and cheeks to shield them from the whitening gel. Then a coating is placed over the gums. The bleaching gel is irritating to soft tissues, and so it must be kept confined to the teeth with these techniques
Laser or Zoom whitening step 2
Then the Zoom light is focused on the teeth. The gel penetrates into the teeth, and it is activated by the light. The gel releases oxygen inside the tooth, and the oxygen provides the bleaching action.
The light is focused on the teeth
At the end of the appointment, the teeth are dramatically whiter.
Patient is happy with the final results of her laser teeth whitening
*Photos courtesy of Discus Dental, the makers of Zoom whitening equipment. Zoom is the leading brand of laser whitening equipment.
Laser tooth whitening uses a light, combined with the peroxide bleaching gel, to maximize the speed and power of tooth whitening.