We all love a good fad, especially when it involves a technological breakthrough, and laser teeth whitening looks like just the thing for instant pearly whites. This will result in your immediate promotion, a great deal on a new car and getting the girl! Won’t it?
It does look good, but bear in mind that it is a procedure reserved solely for implementation by medical professionals. Simply put, don’t do this at home! It would do you well to have a little look into the procedure and what it actually does.
Bam! Pow! Ka Chow!
The common misconception of laser teeth whitening is actually regarding the laser. Most people have visions of lasers deftly slicing away the yellow and leaving bright white. Star Wars in your mouth – how exciting!
In reality, the laser is the catalyst for the bleach to do its job. Get the right wavelength and it speeds up the process considerably. It’s a get white quick scheme.
If the lasers are the lightsabers, then the teeth are kitted out like stormtroopers. Rubber shields are placed over all the gums, cheek retractors are worn and fluoride is applied to desensitize teeth. They are going into battle.
The bleach is painted on to your teeth, everyone steps back and the laser is activated.
Temperatures go up and the bleach starts to oxygenate the enamel of your teeth, making them up to six shades lighter.
What are the claims?
● In actual fact, the process is under-researched by authoritative bodies. There is little regulation on how it is done and so wavelengths vary, concentrations of bleach vary, session times vary. Generally speaking, it would be wise to do your own research. Find a reputable dentist and speak to them first. The right one will be happy to go through all of this with you and explain how they do it. Here’s what is generally claimed:
It’s the fastest way to white teeth.
● Probably true. But it is also inconvenient – you can’t take the laser home and turn it on whilst you watch TV. You have to have repeat bookings of up to an hour each.
It gets teeth whiter than any other method.
● Again, probably true. Those who have had it done certainly think so, claiming up to six shades whiter, which is definitely more than you can expect from traditional methods.
Reports are also in that you can see the difference after just one session!
It’s perfectly safe.
● This is a hard one to answer. However, the side effects do seem to be minimal. Whilst the scientist argue the (debatable) detrimental effects on enamel and tooth pulp, the only proven side effect is increased sensitivity to temperature, usually only for a reduced time period.
What are the cons?
The main point against it is the cost. As with any cosmetic process, it’s not cheap. But it does seem to be worth it. It looks like it does the job, faster, stronger, better. A veritable tooth Jedi.
As with the path to the Jedi, there is much work to be done. Any dentist will tell you that dental and oral hygiene, good eating and regular checkups are the way to white teeth. Laser teeth surgery can take you to new beginnings, but you still have to put in the work to maintain the standard.
As we age, our enamel gets weaker and needs more attention. You may be prepared to go into the battle and win the whiteness, but you will need to use the force afterward. The dark side beckons all day in the form of wine, raspberries, rogan josh and balsamic vinegar on your healthy salads. You need to be strong, maintain your dental health routine and if you have to eat tooth staining foods, take protective measures.
Laser teeth surgery is not for everyone. You need to consult with your dentist, who will show you your best options. But it is a great concept with potentially high rewards. Think about it.
Colgate – https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/is-laser-
The Oral Health Foundation – https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/cosmetic-
National Health Service UK – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/teeth-whitening/
National Center for Biotechnology Information – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4385673/