As people age, teeth become discolored for many reasons, but the primary causes are consuming darkly colored food and drinks, and smoking tobacco. Virtually anyone who is dissatisfied with the color of his or her teeth may benefit from teeth whitening. While most stains will respond to whitening, yellow discoloration tends to yield the best results.
For fillings, crowns, or veneers, patients should know that teeth whitening will not work on the restorations. When dental work discolors, the restorations would need to be replaced. Many dentists will recommend teeth whitening for patients prior to having restorations placed, particularly cosmetic veneers and bonding, so that the new dental work matches tooth enamel at its brightest.
Because fewer treatments and less time are involved with LaserSmile treatment, patients tend to experience less sensitivity after the procedure, compared with both other in-office and at-home whitening systems.
Usually, dentists will not perform teeth whitening on patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Patients younger than 16 years of age are also not eligible for teeth whitening because the nerves within teeth are enlarged and chemical bleaching could lead to increased sensitivity during and after the procedure.
Patients with teeth or gums that are especially sensitive may choose not to undergo whitening, because the procedure could worsen these conditions. Many whitening systems utilize peroxide gels, so any patient with an allergy to peroxide should avoid these systems.
Teeth stains that are brown, gray, or purple may not respond well to chemical whitening. For these, a cosmetic dentist may suggest covering the teeth with porcelain veneers or resin bonding.
LaserSmile Teeth Whitening System was developed by Biolase, a dental and medical device company that specializes in laser technology. LaserSmile utilizes a laser, a handpiece, and a proprietary peroxide-based gel.
Before whitening begins, the dentist or hygienist will protect the patient’s gums with a barrier. Next, the proprietary gel is applied to the patient’s teeth. The dentist then uses the handpiece to direct the laser onto the teeth to activate the gel. The laser is applied for bursts of 15 seconds, for up to a total of 16 minutes. Finally, the gel is rinsed from the teeth, and the barrier on the gums is removed.
To begin with, LaserSmile is extremely safe, and it poses many benefits over other whitening systems. Unlike competing in-office whitening systems, LaserSmile requires only one treatment. In addition, the time required for LaserSmile is typically less than one hour (often 30-45 minutes), while other in-office whitening systems can take twice as long.
Because fewer treatments and less time are involved with LaserSmile treatment, patients tend to experience less sensitivity after the procedure, compared to many in-office and at-home whitening systems.
LaserSmile Teeth Whitening must be performed in a dentist’s office with the appropriate equipment from Biolase.
Patients who have undergone LaserSmile teeth whitening should continue to practice good dental hygiene following the procedure, including brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. In addition to not using tobacco products of any kind, dentists typically recommend avoiding foods and drinks that may re-stain the teeth, such as tea, coffee, cola, red wine, dark sauces, and berries. Attending twice-a-year checkups and cleanings is imperative for continued good oral health.
With proper dental hygiene, teeth whitening with LaserSmile can last for many years. Patients can seek re-treatment when teeth begin to discolor. Between sessions, ask your dentist whether at-home whitening is a good option for maintaining your bright smile.