Should I have bleaching or laser whitening?


If you wish to have ‘Laser white teeth’ you need to know there is no such thing as a white teeth laser! Tooth whitening or white teeth bleaching can be done in only two ways. It is carried out by either using thin trays with little reservoirs that have the bleaching gel, for bleaching teeth white or by sealing the gums and accelerating the bleach tooth whitening, using NOT a laser but a Ultra Violet (UV) light.


So ‘laser teeth whitening’ does not use a teeth white laser or lasers of any kind and is a Non professional person’s expression of the process. However, the most ‘instant’ tooth whitening bleach can be used with the UV light and accelerates the teeth whitening action and legally must be supervised by a Dentist as an alternative to veneering or crowning teeth as it is non-destructive to the enamel. Where options such as veneers or crowns are desired it may be that teeth whitening or bleaching teeth white is a less destructive option. It can look great so ask if it is a possible alternative to achieve a more natural, whiter smile, if that is your goal.



What is UV tooth whitening?

Using UV to whiten teeth usually takes a while to set up because the gums have to be protected from the strong gel. It is illegal for non-registered, trained people to do this as it has been considered potentially harmful by the Trading Standards of the UK to use strong gels with or without acceleration in the dental surgery or to supply for use in the home.


In the dental practice with the miss-named laser teeth whitening, as no trays are used initially it takes dental skill, carefully sealing the gum edge first which takes about 15-20 minutes and then it usually three 15 minutes application of the bleach whitening fluid with the (white teeth laser) UV lamp which is used with special shields for the face and eyes. It is especially made for this process and is a safe and proven method in the dental professional’s hands. Only dentists are qualified to legally examine and prescribe any treatment in the mouth, whether to whiten teeth, diagnose gum disease, tooth-coloured fillings or other dental restorations such as implants, bridges and crowns, veneers, or bonding. These do not whiten when teeth whitened with bleach change colour, and can look odd.



What is the other method?

Home or in surgery tooth whitening can be prescribed by the Dentist using trays and no UV acceleration. An impression of the teeth is taken and bespoke trays are made and supplied for patient use. These can be used initially in surgery for a few sessions and explained to the patient and continued at home every few days, on alternate or on consecutive days. If used at home by the patient to get the teeth whitened. To be effective tooth whitening needs to be seen as a course and continued and checked by the Dental practice. Revisiting the dental practice helps provide the discipline to continue use of the trays to whiten teeth and confirm the shade obtained.


The patient can stop using the trays when they are happy with the shade. They can be resumed again at the patient’s own pace and are often used as a follow on from the bleaching of the teeth started in the practice giving the best of both worlds and control by the patient but supplied and supervised by the dental practice.


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