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Laser Teeth Whitening
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Laser Teeth Whitening
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Description

Laser teeth whitening (also known as power bleaching, power whitening), is a cosmetic dentistry technique to brighten and lighten discolored, stained and yellow teeth.


Length of Surgery

60 to 90 minutes per procedure


In/Outpatient

Outpatient


Anesthesia

Is not administered as is not required


Back to work in...

Immediately


Treatment Frequency

Repeat treatments will be needed to maintain your desired results


Risks

Sensitivity; Absorption of the chemicals can cause possible adverse effects; Changes in the surface structure of resin, metal and ceramic restorations; Changes in your bite position from extended use of trays; Soft tissue damage.


Cost

Costs can vary depending upon the area of the country you live in and the type of whitening treatment you undergo. Laser teeth whitening is typically over $1000 for the complete procedure.


Duration of results

Depends on how well teeth are maintained and cared for after laser teeth whitening treatment



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Laser teeth whitening Costs*

Laser teeth whitening costs can vary depending upon the area you live in and the type of teeth whitening treatment you undergo. Laser teeth whitening is typically $1000* for the complete procedure.

Generally speaking, teeth whitening prices increase with the number of in-office treatments required by the patient. Dental insurance does not typically cover the cost of the teeth whitening procedure.

Most dental clinics offer flexible financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES.

If you are considering having a laser tooth whitening treatment but want to explore more about the financing options available before you make your decision, PLEASE CLICK HERE. You can discuss your financial options with your dentist, and find out if there are any loans of flexi-payment plans that will allow you to achieve the bright smile you desire.

Am I a candidate for a laser teeth whitening Procedure?

Laser teeth whitening is very effective for candidates who have yellow, discolored, dark or stained teeth caused by the following factors:

  1. Aging - Over time, the teeth darken with a yellow, brown, green or grey cast (which may be due to heredity and/or eating habits). Yellowed teeth tend to whiten most readily.
  2. Consumption of certain foods (notably coffee, red wine, sodas and dark-colored vegetables and fruits).
  3. Tobacco use.
This procedure is not suitable for those with the following conditions:
  1. Tooth and gum hypersensitivity. To avoid a hypersensitive reaction, your dentist is likely to recommend take-home bleaching trays with a low concentration of carbamide peroxide — which is not as potent as hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Teeth that have become transparent with age. This is particularly true of the front teeth, which are thin to begin with.
  3. Deep and intractable staining. Some stains are resistant to high-concentration in-office bleaches. In such cases, dentists may recommend a supervised regimen of intensive take-home bleaching or alternatives to peroxide bleaching such as bonding, crowns or porcelain veneers 

Laser Teeth Whitening Definition

Laser teeth whitening (also known as power bleaching, power whitening, professional whitening or chair side whitening) is a cosmetic dentistry technique to brighten and lighten discolored stained and yellow teeth. It is a professional in-office teeth whitening procedure that has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world today. in-office laser teeth whitening takes place under carefully monitored conditions which allow for the safe, controlled, pain-free use of a relatively high concentration of bleaching gel.

What is a Laser Teeth Whitening Procedure?

Laser tooth whitening (or power tooth whitening) is carried out in a dental surgery by a professional dentist.

In carrying out laser tooth whitening the dentist applies a gel to your teeth, and then uses a laser light to activate the crystals in the gel. This technique does include the use of bleach. A rubber dam is placed over your gums to protect them. A laser whitening treatment may take around 60 to 90 minutes.

Laser tooth whitening can make your teeth up to five or six shades lighter. If your tooth discoloration is severe, the treatment may need to be repeated a second time at a later date.

Popular brand names for laser teeth whitening systems include Zoom! ®, as featured on extreme makeover, Opalescence®, BriteSmile® and the latest Enlighten.

Potential Side Effects

The peroxide bleaching agents that dentists use when they perform professional teeth whitening treatments are caustic in nature and can be very irritating to the soft tissues of the mouth. This is why a dentist performing in-office whitening goes to such great lengths to isolate their patient's teeth (by way of placing a dental dam). An important safety feature of standard in-office teeth bleaching procedure is to limit the peroxide whitener to tooth contact only.

During the treatment process it is possible that the teeth being bleached will become sensitive or experience some discomfort. Depending on the nature of the symptoms noticed, the dentist might decide that the treatment time should be cut short and the whitening process terminated.

If the potential for pain exists, you might wonder why a dentist doesn't just numb up a person's mouth before the bleaching process is begun. The reason they do not do this is because not using anesthetic helps to make the tooth whitening procedure safer.

If the teeth become sensitive during the whitening process it serves as a warning sign to the dentist that possibly the treatment time should be reduced so the nerve tissue inside a tooth does not become seriously aggravated. Equally important, the presence of discomfort can warn the dentist that the dental dam is allowing peroxide to come into contact with gum tissue or else the person's lips or cheeks. If the patient's mouth had been numbed, these warning signals would not be available.

As with any type of post teeth whitening treatment sensitivity, you should contact your dentist if you notice problems so they can determine if the symptoms you are experiencing. This also gives them an opportunity to make a recommendation regarding a solution. In most cases this discomfort is self-limiting and will subside within just a few days.

Dentists often recommend the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin. In all cases you should read the labeling found on any drug you consider taking so to make sure it is an appropriate medication for you.

Potential Risks

  1. Absorption of the chemicals can cause possible adverse effects.
  2. Changed in the surface structure of resin, metal and ceramic restorations.
  3. Changes in your bite position from extended use of trays.
  4. Soft tissue damage. 

How is Laser Teeth Whitening done?

Before any laser teeth whitening procedure takes place, your dentist or a hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth, removing any surface stains and tartar.

The next step will be for the dentist to make a record of the shade/color of your teeth before the procedure; this is to show you the difference achieved after the whitening has taken place. This is either recoded using a tooth colored shade guide/chart or by taking a digital photograph of your teeth.

The area is then prepared for the procedure. The bleaching compound usually contains a high concentration of peroxide (15-50%) and so the dentist will usually place some form of protection around the gums so that only the teeth are exposed to the compound.

A cheek retractor is used to keep the lips and cheeks away from the teeth. Eye protection is also provided to prevent any damage to the eyes from the laser used or any accidental splashes of the peroxide. Many cosmetic practices now offer DVD glasses so that the patient can watch a movie during their treatment!

The teeth whitening gel is then applied to the surface of the teeth and exposed to a light or laser for approximately 1 hour, which activates it and speeds up the whole process making the whitening more effective.

Some teeth whitening systems do not use an activating laser and many dentists argue that the laser is not required for activation of the bleaching compound.

Your dentist will finally wash off the teeth whitening gel and remove any gum protection before evaluating the final result by taking a photograph or using a shade chart.

The results are usually quite dramatic.

A kit for teeth whitening at home is also provided which is supplied with custom trays and tooth whitening gel. The gel used in the home kits tends to have a lower concentration of peroxide (3-10%) than that used in the dental clinic.

Questions to Ask a Surgeon about a teeth whitening procedure

Here is an essential check list of questions you may want to ask your perfectyourself.com dental professional:

  1. Am I a good candidate for laser teeth whitening?
  2. Are my described expectations realistic?
  3. How long will the procedure take?
  4. What kind of anesthesia or pain relief is used?
  5. What is your experience in performing laser teeth whitening?
  6. Can I see your qualifications?
  7. Ask to see any laser teeth whitening before and after photographs of recent procedures?
  8. What percentages of your laser teeth whitening patients have had significant post-treatment complications?
  9. How much will my laser teeth whitening procedure cost?
  10. Do you offer patient financing? (Flexible payment schemes for your surgery)
  11. Will you repeat/correct procedures if the agreed goals are not met? If this is the case, will I be charged again?
  12. Ask to observe the exact procedure you are considering before you decided to have surgery if you are unsure (this could be on videotape or in real life).
  13. What is the recovery and healing period for laser teeth whitening? When can I resume full normal activity?
  14. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked, suspended
  15. Ask for and follow up on patient references (these can be invaluable to finding out what your surgeon is really like and the level of customer satisfaction he/she has received in the past)

Cosmetic Dentist Checklist

Cosmetic Dentist Checklist

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Laser Teeth Whitening procedures; click here for an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself dentist.


Most popular procedures on Perfect Yourself: liposuction, breast augmentation, face lifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks
 
Be sure to also visit our Expert Advice page where you can find great questions from real visitors, Answered by real plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and skin rejuvenation specialists.
 


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