Laser Whitening Treatment for Teeth
In the evolving world of cosmetic dentistry, one procedure has risen to be one of the most popular topics: laser teeth whitening. We are always looking for more efficient and effective ways to brighten our smiles and boost our confidence. This sophisticated technique has gained popularity due to its simplicity for patients.
If you’ve thoughts about enhancing the brightness of your smile, this article will guide you through the pros and cons of laser teeth whitening. I would love to share the expertise I have gained throughout this last decade of being a dentist here in Mckinney. **Before we get into the details, it is important to establish that there are many different types of causes for discoloration of teeth.**
Extrinsic tooth staining: Caused by external chemical interaction with the surface of the tooth enamel layer. For example: certain foods with added colorants and drinks such as coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco products.
Intrinsic: White, opaque, chalky, brownish, and gray areas on the teeth caused by irregularities that occur during the development of the teeth in childhood, usually between 1 and 8 years old. These internal irregularities of the layers inside the teeth stand out from the regular surface of the teeth. These stains are typically dull and chalky, which give the appearance as if the teeth have developed decay. Unfortunately, this type of stain is not removable, and neither chemical nor laser whitening treatment will remove them completely. Although this fact may present as a certain aesthetic disappointment, there is good news since intrinsic stains are typically more resistant to decay than regular enamel/dentin layers. Typically, the best way to correct these intrinsic discolorations is through porcelain veneers or crowns.
Trauma stains: This category is usually considered as part of the intrinsic stain category but it is distinctive as the rest of the intrinsic types because it can be removed after a root canal is completed. For example, when a tooth receives a traumatic impact, in some cases, the innermost layer develops a hematoma or bruise that changes the color of the tooth into a brown or bluish shade. Usually, when a tooth is discolored after trauma it needs root canal therapy. During this procedure, we are able to whiten the teeth from inside where the staining originated.
Age-related darkening of teeth: As we age, teeth tend to get darker- this is due to a combination of thinning enamel and the thickening of the dentin (darker layer of the tooth under the enamel). This combined with recession around the gumline causes teeth to look darker and whitening may brighten slightly. Usually, ideal results are with the use of porcelain veneers or crowns.
Pros of Laser Teeth Whitening
- Fast and Efficient: Unlike over-the-counter whitening kits that can take weeks to show results, laser teeth whitening can drastically lighten your teeth in just one session. For those who don’t want to spend weeks applying strips or trays, this is a game-changer.
- Long-lasting Results: Laser teeth whitening penetrates deeper into the tooth enamel, ensuring that your pearly whites stay brighter for a longer period. With proper care, the results can last for years.
- Safe when Done Professionally: When conducted by a qualified dental professional, the procedure is safe. The gum tissue is covered and protected during the treatment, ensuring that only the teeth are exposed to the laser.
- Customized Treatment: Everyone’s teeth are unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach might not work for everyone. With laser teeth whitening, the dentist can adjust the intensity and duration to fit the specific needs of the patient.
Cons of Laser Teeth Whitening
- Cost: One of the most significant drawbacks is the cost. Laser teeth whitening is among the more expensive treatments available. While many find the results worth the investment, it might not be feasible for everyone’s budget.
- Sensitivity: Some patients report increased tooth sensitivity after the procedure. This sensitivity usually fades after a few days, but it can be uncomfortable. It’s important to discuss any concerns with your dentist before undergoing the procedure.
- Not a One-Time Procedure: Even though the results are long-lasting, they’re not permanent. Over time, consuming certain foods and drinks can stain your teeth again. You might need touch-ups after some years to maintain that bright smile.
- Doesn’t Address All Types of Discoloration: Laser teeth whitening is most effective for yellowed teeth. Gray or brown-toned discolorations, often caused by certain medications or injury, might not respond as effectively to the treatment.
Pros and Cons of Teeth Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening is an innovative approach that offers quick and impressive results. However, like any other procedure, it comes with its pros and cons. If you’re considering this treatment, consult with a trusted dental professional. They can provide insights into whether this is the right procedure for you and guide you toward the radiant smile you’ve always wanted.
Just remember, a bright smile is just one part of oral health. Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper oral hygiene are the foundational steps to ensure your teeth not only look great but remain strong and healthy. Dr. Prida is committed to helping you and your family maintain excellent oral health for life. If you would like more information on teeth whitening, schedule an appointment online or call 214-613-1500 today.