Laser Teeth Whitening
The Laser Teeth Whitening Procedure
The dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth. He or she will also ensure that all cavities are treated and filled, because otherwise the whitening solution could penetrate through the cavity into the interior of your tooth.
Any form of teeth whitening can cause temporary sensitivity, especially in people who already have some sensitivity in their teeth. For this reason, your dentist may prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication prior to the first whitening session.
The dentist will use a rubber or plastic guard to hold your mouth open. Next, the dentist will apply a barrier over your gums to protect them from the whitening solution. This barrier is often applied as a gel which hardens to a protective rubber-like layer. When the gums are fully protected, the dentist will use a syringe to apply a whitening compound to the front of your teeth. The dentist will use a pen-style laser to activate the compound, which will cause it to foam somewhat as it lifts the stains away.
When all of the teeth have been whitened by the laser, the dentist will allow the compound to remain for a few minutes, and then wipe off the whitening compound using a small vacuum tool. He or she will then apply a new layer of compound and repeat the process as many as three times.
The teeth whitening process is not permanent. Teeth can be re-stained, especially by cigarettes, beverages such as coffee or tea, or some foods. You may need to schedule a follow-up whitening session; the effectiveness of the whitening lasts for as few as six months or as long as several years.
Laser teeth whitening isn't for everyone. To see if you're a candidate, call Smile for Life Dentistry at 618-288-6699 to schedule a consultation.