Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure. The appearance of a bright smile is a sign of good dental health. In-office whitening treatments are quick and effective. Understanding the process better can help you prepare for your appointment. If you want to know what to ask your dentist about your teeth whitening procedure, here…
Learn More About Laser Teeth Whitening Treatments
Anyone considering laser teeth whitening to transform a dingy smile into one that sparkles may wonder what makes this popular dental procedure so compelling. Dentists who offer this whitening method advise patients to learn as much as possible about it.
How laser teeth whitening works
A rubber guard keeps the patient's mouth open while the dentist applies a solution to the gums that quickly hardens into a barrier, protecting them from the bleaching agent. Once the protective layer is in place, the dentist applies the bleaching agent onto the teeth before applying low-intensity heat from a laser to help it penetrate the underlying layers where it bleaches away stains.
Learn more by asking questions
Patients who educate themselves about the procedure understand why it is essential to qualify for it and prepare questions for dentists to answer. Dentists who patiently answer questions and share information about the procedure help ensure that eligible patients achieve desirable results.
Who qualifies for laser teeth whitening?
Patients must have healthy gums and natural teeth to qualify for laser whitening. Dentists recommend that patients delay other cosmetic procedures, including crowns and veneers, until after whitening occurs to ensure color matching. The whitening process is not advisable for patients with gingivitis and periodontal disease or pregnant women because it can promote oral sensitivity and discomfort, which these patients frequently experience. Patients under age 16 should not consider this procedure because it can cause permanent sensitivity in teeth that are not sufficiently mature.
Is cleaning before whitening necessary?
Removing plaque and tartar is necessary to allow the whitener to penetrate the teeth and yield optimum results. Many patients prefer to schedule a double dental appointment and undergo whitening immediately following a routine cleaning to ensure that nothing prevents the whitening agent from working correctly. Regular cleanings can also reveal dental problems that can make whitening impossible.
How long do whitening sessions take?
Most people should count on being at the dentist's office for one hour. Some people may achieve maximum results sooner. Regardless of the treatment's duration, all patients can count on leaving the dentist's office following treatment with noticeably whiter teeth.
How long do results last?
Teeth usually remain white for a minimum of six months following treatment, but results may vary depending upon lifestyle habits, including smoking and food and beverage choices. Some patients enjoy whiter teeth for as long as two years. Dentists sometimes recommend using at-home whitening trays and whitening toothpaste to help extend the time between office whitening sessions.
Does the procedure have side effects?
Patients often experience tooth or gum sensitivity during and after whitening sessions, though it usually only lasts for a few days. Discomfort is minimal, and dentists may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help patients manage it. Otherwise, this whitening method has no adverse effects.
Laser teeth whitening is an excellent option for patients with healthy mouths who want to brighten a dull smile. Asking questions to learn as much as possible about the procedure can help patients understand how to qualify for and maximize the benefits of this procedure.
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