Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
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Laser teeth whitening is a cosmetic laser dentistry procedure. It should be performed at a dental clinic by a licensed professional.
The procedure involves applying a concentrated whitening gel and a laser to heat it. This activates the chemicals in the gel, which whitens your teeth quickly.
Most in-office teeth whitening products, like ZOOM! and Sapphire, use light from a blue LED, not a laser. Both techniques may appear to have similar steps, but they function differently.
In whitening techniques using LEDs, blue light activates the bleaching gel. This includes those products you can use at home.
With laser teeth whitening, the same is true, but the light is much narrower and produces more heat. Since one tooth can be treated at a time, the result is a faster overall whitening effect.
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Laser teeth whitening is completed in a dental office, and the procedure consists of a few simple steps:
After your laser teeth whitening session, drink only clear liquids for at least two hours. Avoid eating acidic and dark-pigmented foods. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, and soda for at least 24 hours.
Laser teeth whitening is a safe and effective procedure. However, it can cause minor and short-lived side effects, including:
It's rare for these side effects to be severe, but it is possible in some people. Avoid eating and drinking anything overly hot or cold for a few days after the procedure to prevent these adverse effects.
There’s a slight risk that the heat generated by the laser could damage the pulp of the tooth or other tissues. However, professional care and laser settings are intended to prevent this. Allergic reactions, though rare, are also possible.
You may not be recommended teeth whitening treatment if you have amalgam fillings. The whitening gel could trigger a release of mercury from the fillings.
There isn’t any evidence suggesting that laser teeth whitening is either safe or unsafe for pregnant women. However, it may be best to hold off on teeth whitening treatments until the baby is born.
Pregnancy can increase tooth sensitivity due to erosion from frequent vomiting. Undergoing a laser teeth whitening treatment in this state can damage the teeth.
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According to the American Dental Association Survey of Dental Fees 2020, the cost of in-office teeth whitening ranges from $262 to $1,180. The average fee is $594.
A reasonable price for laser teeth whitening is more likely to fall within the $600 to $800 range. This is consistent with the cost of the supplies needed for the procedure and an hour or more of the dentist’s time.
To the surprise of some, the cost is usually a little higher in rural areas where there is less competition among dentists. More competitive pricing may be offered for procedures not covered under dental insurance in a city or suburb with a dentist on every corner.
The cost of laser teeth whitening is tough to pin down. Because it is a cosmetic procedure and not covered by dental insurance companies, there is no “standard” fee.
There are less expensive at-home solutions if you do not want to invest in laser teeth whitening.
Other popular teeth whitening methods include:
At-home teeth whitening treatments can be more convenient than laser whitening treatments. Most reputable at-home teeth whitening brands are available online, allowing you to order and use them without leaving the comfort of your home.
That said, at-home teeth whitening treatments can take several uses before you can see results. This can be a disadvantage when you compare it to laser treatments, which can give you visible results after just one session.
A dentist must perform laser whitening because it uses a much higher concentration of bleaching agents. This high-strength gel can cause chemical burns on the mouth's soft tissues, so a dentist's oversight is mandatory.
On the other hand, some at-home whitening products are bought over the counter, while others are only available through prescription. But these at-home products are safe to use without a dentist's oversight.
Laser teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that a licensed professional should perform at a dental clinic. It uses a much higher bleaching agent concentration than at-home teeth whitening products, which can cause minor and short-lived side effects.
These side effects include:
Laser teeth whitening is faster but not necessarily better than other teeth whitening methods. If you’re in a hurry or wish to avoid the hassle of handling whitening at home, in-office laser whitening may be worth the extra cost.
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