Your smile is not just a wonderful expression that humans have, it is also something that is one of a kind and irreplaceable. When you meet people for the first time, one of the first things that they will notice is your smile.
If your smile happens to be yellow, brown is otherwise discoloured, it can make your overall appearance dull. It can also impact your confidence and make you less likely to want to smile openly.
Don’t worry though, it is possible to get your teeth back to their former bright and white glory. Teeth whitening treatments have shown to be effective at removing stains and dark marks while cleaning your teeth from the inside out.
Teeth whitening explained
Surely you have noticed all of the hype about the various teeth whitening procedures that are nearly everywhere you look. There are TV commercials for different methods, there are toothpastes, whitening strips and even kiosks at the mall where you can get your teeth whitened.
With all of these options and more, which one is the best option for you?
While the products available over the counter might help to lift surface stains, they won’t be able to tackle the deep-set stains that make your teeth look dull, grey or yellow.
The only way to really see a difference in the colour of your teeth is with professional teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening is one option to help transform your smile and help you to smile with confidence again.
While it is true that any type of oral or tooth care must begin at home, simply brushing and flossing regularly does not remove stains from decades of foods, teas, coffees and smoking. These stains are deep set in the teeth and simply keeping the surface of the teeth clean doesn’t remove them.
How does laser teeth whitening work?
When someone goes into the dental office for a laser teeth whitening procedure, there are steps that are taken in the process. The first step is a thorough cleaning and removal of plaque from the teeth.
When your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned the dentist will then apply a special gel usually made of hydrogen peroxide to your teeth and let it set in for a few minutes. This is a very strong gel and it will fight stains while giving your teeth the ultimate cleaning.
While the gel is still on the teeth, a laser beam is directed at the teeth to activate and enhance the whitening powers of the peroxide gel. This helps to accelerate the whitening process to enable you to achieve results much faster than overnight treatments.
The entire procedure generally takes about an hour from start to finish and the results will astound you. In one session your teeth can be from 7 to 10 shades whiter than they were when you came into the office.
The alternative to this treatment plan would be to whiten your teeth at home. You will be given special trays that perfectly fit your teeth. You apply a special gel to the trays and then wear them overnight. It usually takes around 2 weeks before you’ll start to see the results from this gradual whitening process.
What can laser teeth whitening address?
Laser teeth whitening is highly effective in breaking up staining particles and flushing them out of the teeth. While your teeth might look solid, they are actually porous like a sponge. When you eat dark coloured food and drink, this can stain your teeth over time.
The most common culprits include tea, coffee, wine, spices like turmeric and dark drinks like cola. These stains cannot be removed with brushing alone and you will need a professional teeth whitening treatment to break up the stains and flush them out of your teeth.
If your staining is caused by damage or decay, teeth whitening won’t be effective. It is also less effective on teeth with thinning enamel.
What are the advantages of teeth whitening?
Generally, the reason that people have their teeth whitened is because they want to improve their appearance and not be afraid to smile at anyone. Whiter teeth tend to be associated with a healthy lifestyle as well as with beauty.
Beyond that, the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles is less noticeable when people’s eyes are drawn to white teeth.
That said, there are many advantages to having laser teeth whitening. Some of these include:
Results are immediate making this the fastest treatment option. This procedure is a non-invasive one that causes no bleeding or even pain while the treatment is being done or after it has been completed
Because there is no pain, there is no need for anyone to be anaesthetised for this procedure
Laser teeth whitening causes no damage to the teeth and it is a safe and viable option for people who may even have sensitive teeth.
Because of the non-invasiveness, people who are generally intimidated by a trip to the dentist no longer have to be.
Home whitening treatments involve wearing strips for a period of time or even mouth guards and using these things for months on end with only minimal results. Laser teeth whitening gives you instant and amazing results without the necessity of strips or guards.
What are the disadvantages of teeth whitening?
While there might be many advantages to this type of treatment, there are also some downsides to consider. That being said, most of the disadvantages are only ones that are short term. Even then, not everyone will have some of these disadvantages.
Sore gums from the gel – There is the risk that some of the gel could reach your gums and this might result in discomfort for a short time after the treatment. This should quickly pass.
Although teeth whitening can be effective for a lot of people, there are some conditions that cannot be addressed with teeth whitening alone. In this case, we would recommend veneers or crowns to achieve a perfect smile.
Cost can also be a disadvantage. While this is not the costliest procedure in the world, it is far from being the least expensive option. However, many dental offices will allow patients to make instalment payments which makes it more affordable.
There have been a few cases where people reported tooth sensitivity after the procedure. This generally lasts only a few days and only in people who already had sensitive teeth when they came in for the procedure.
There is the risk of over whitening the teeth, which can lead to a glassy, translucent look. It can also lead to whiter patches on the teeth. The risks of this happening are lower when you choose dentist-supervised whitening, as they can guide you through the process to ensure you don’t apply the treatment too many times.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment. It’s important to be realistic about what whitening can achieve. While it might improve the appearance of your smile, it won’t address other imperfections such as crooked teeth or gaps.
Looking at the disadvantages in comparison with the advantages, it seems like laser teeth whitening seems to be an extremely viable option for teeth whitening. There are more long term advantages and most of the disadvantages are only short term.
Should You Have Laser Teeth Whitening?
When looking at this treatment option as opposed to some of the home treatment options, first of all, you can always use a tooth whitening toothpaste regardless of whether you are doing anything else or not.
Aside from that, many of the tooth whitening products that are marketed for use at home can go beyond what they are supposed to do and can even damage the enamel of your teeth. Once this happens, it cannot be repaired. This type of damage is permanent.
No matter what type of whitening procedure that you are thinking about doing or having done, it is always best to have a conversation with your dentist first to know not only what options are viable for you, but also which ones will be safe for you.
Teeth whitening can be highly effective in removing deep-set stains that brushing alone cannot remove. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what you can achieve with this treatment.
Before choosing your teeth whitening treatment, you should always consult with a dentist to find out if this will even be effective for you. If it won’t be effective for your particular concerns, then you may be able to access alternative treatments.
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