Laser tooth whitening uses a light, combined with the peroxide bleaching gel, to maximize the speed and power of tooth whitening. Some brand names of systems that use this technique are Zoom and BriteSmile.
The term laser whitening has a confusing history. Back in the 1990s, laser lights were used to try to bleach teeth. This turned out to be very slow and labor intensive, because the laser had to be moved from tooth to tooth. Soon, dentists began using the term for any bleaching system that used a powerful light. But then, in the early 2020s, more efficient techniques were developed using lasers to help whiten the teeth, and a small number of dentists began actually using lasers again.
The use of a bleaching light was the original technique used to lighten teeth. We started using this in my office in the mid-1980s. Then the tray bleaching systems were developed, and they were so convenient that the power light fell out of use. Now, with recent improvements in these power systems, they are becoming more popular again, mostly because of their convenience. Some patients want the dental office to do it all, and don’t want to have to monkey with trays and gels at home. They also produce a dramatic post-operative whiteness that people love.
Laser tooth whitening results
With the power light bleaching, your teeth will be dramatically whiter after only one visit. Here are before-and-after photographs of a patient treated by one of our mynewsmile.com network dentists, Dr. Susan Hollar of Arlington, Texas.
Advantages of Laser Whitening as Compared to the Tray Technique
- It whitens faster than the tray technique. You can get teeth just as white with the tray technique, it just takes longer.
- It is more convenient, because the dental office staff do everything for you. When you use the trays, you have to take them home and apply the gel yourself, and remember to use it.
- For thorough bleaching, you will either need several appointments or will need to follow up the laser whitening appointment with home treatments.
- There is a greater tendency to sensitivity. Some people, after the power bleaching appointment, feel sharp zings in their teeth for a day or two afterward. The zinging is eased by taking two to four ibuprofen immediately at the end of the appointment, before your teeth actually begin to zing.
- It is more expensive.
Click here to read about the laser tooth whitening procedure.
This information was personally written by Dr. David Hall. If you would like to be referred to a cosmetic dentist who would be expert in all of these questions about tooth bleaching, please see our cosmetic dentist referral page. Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question.