A common cosmetic dental complaint is stained or discolored teeth. The good news is there are numerous options, including laser teeth whitening, that can brighten the teeth and improve the smile without using invasive procedures. Many people choose to get in-office teeth whitening because it tends to have better and longer-lasting results. However, dark-colored foods and beverages, such as coffee and red wine, begin to stain the teeth after a period of time, and some people choose to supplement their whitening with at-home treatments.
The laser teeth whitening procedure at a dentist
There are two types of tooth discoloration. Extrinsic discoloration is affected by certain beverages and foods, and it affects the outer portion of the teeth. Intrinsic discoloration is caused by genetics, aging, medical treatments, some diseases, medications, and trauma, and it affects the inner portion of the teeth. Teeth whitening using a laser addresses both extrinsic and intrinsic stains, and it can only be performed in a professional dental setting. This relatively quick procedure consists of a series of steps.
The first step of the laser teeth whitening method is to place a rubber or plastic guard in the patient's mouth to keep it open. To protect the gums from the bleaching gel, a protective layer is placed and allowed to dry.
Whitening gel activation
Next, the whitening gel is applied carefully to the patient's teeth. A laser is used to generate heat, which whitens the tooth surface faster. While the laser is working, the gel will foam, which indicates it is removing stains.
The gel remains on the teeth for around three minutes. A small vacuum is then used to remove the gel. These steps are repeated until the desired shade is reached. This may take three or four applications.
Once the laser teeth whitening is completed, the mouth is rinsed out and the gum protective layer is removed.
The results of laser teeth whitening can last anywhere from six months to two years, based on oral hygiene and foods or beverages consumed. For whitening boosts in between laser treatments, and for extrinsic discolorations, some people choose to use at-home whitening products as well.
There are professional whitening kits that are available from the dentist. These contain whitening gels that are stronger than over-the-counter whitening treatments, but people can apply them in the comfort of their own homes.
For other whitening options, there are strips that are applied to the front of the teeth. These are easy to use and can be worn while out and about running errands. Another option is a brush-on whitener. These provide instant results, such as reducing the appearance of stains right after drinking red wine.
Some toothpastes also contain whitening agents and can be used in conjunction with in-office treatments. These toothpastes contain abrasives and peroxide bleach.
For those looking for an easy answer for a better smile, teeth whitening is a good choice. Laser teeth whitening is a professional option that usually has long-lasting results, and there are at-home options that can support this procedure.
Request an appointment or call Encino Cosmetic & Dental Implants at 818-578-2333 for an appointment in our Encino office.
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