Many patients visiting a general dentist do not fully understand the use of dental X-rays. Patients may wonder if this type of imaging is completely necessary, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Dental X-ray exposure is safer than ever before, and when patients are knowledgeable about the procedure,…
How Does Laser Whitening Work?
Laser whitening is one of the popular whitening treatments dentists provide. Historically, whitening solutions that contain carbamide peroxide have been the norm when it comes to improving the color of teeth, but lasers can now be used to speed up the chemical reaction that takes place during teeth whitening treatments.
Understanding laser whitening
Bleaching agents whiten teeth by releasing oxygen ions which gently take off stains from the surface and inner layers of teeth. By adding a laser to the equation, the entire process takes less time, leading to faster results for patients. The high precision that comes with lasers allows the dentist to use it to whiten a single tooth if necessary.
Here are the steps patients should expect to undergo when they receive a laser whitening treatment:
This stage determines if the patient is a good candidate for the treatment. Generally speaking, teenagers and pregnant women are advised to put off teeth whitening until a later date. In some cases, whitening procedures are performed on teenagers, but only in-office so it can be closely monitored by a dentist.
During the appointment, the dentist will inspect the patient's gums, looking for exposed teeth roots and other signs of gum disease. In many cases, the dentist will opt to treat any underlying dental issues the patient is dealing with before proceeding with whitening treatments.
The dentist will then prepare the patient for the procedure by cleaning their teeth. Any cavities detected will also be treated at this point since the whitening solution can get into the inner structures of a tooth through them, leading to tooth sensitivity.
Some patients who get teeth whitening treatments experience temporary tooth sensitivity. The dentist might decide to prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the sensitivity experienced. The patient is instructed to take the medicine prior to their first whitening treatment.
The patient will be told to lean back, and a plastic or rubber guard will be used to keep their mouth open. A protective gel is applied to the patient's gums to protect them from the whitening solution. The gel will quickly harden and form a rubbery protective layer.
Once the gel has hardened, the dentist will use a syringe to apply the whitening solution to the patient's teeth. A pen-like laser is then used to agitate the compound, which turns into foam as it removes stains and discoloration.
The dentist will leave the compound on the patient's teeth for a few minutes after all of the patient's teeth have been whitened with the laser. It is then removed with a small vacuum. The process might be repeated up to three times during a single whitening session. The color of the person's teeth can be improved by up to ten shades after the first treatment. Once the dentist is pleased with the results, the patient's mouth will be rinsed and the protective barrier removed.
Want whiter teeth?
Contact our Tavares office today to learn more about how we can make your teeth whiter with fast laser teeth whitening treatments.
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