Laser Teeth Whitening vs Professional Teeth Whitening Trays
Laser Teeth Whitening
One of the newest fads in cosmetic dentistry is laser whitening treatment. Laser whitening is a specialized procedure performed in the dental office. The procedure involves placing a concentrated bleaching gel on your teeth and then using a laser to heat it up, which will theoretically whiten your teeth.
Because of the increased concentration level of the bleach, there are several precautions that must be taken to protect the patient’s gums, lips, and oral tissues, including the use of rubber dams, cheek retractors, and desensitizing pastes.
In addition to the increased risk, laser teeth whitening is also considerably more expensive than other whitening methods. There is also ongoing debate about the efficacy of the procedure in whitening teeth.
Given these factors, it is important to discuss this and other teeth whitening options with your dentist to determine which approach is right for you.
Teeth Whitening Trays
If your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for a tooth whitening procedure, there are several different approaches your dentist might take. If your dentist recommends the use of dental trays, a custom tray will be designed to fit your unique dental structure. Next, your dentist will place the trays, in their office, using a higher concentration of bleach that is specially formulated, to address any particular sensitivities you might have. Or, if you have decided to apply the trays at home, they will provide you with the trays and give you instructions for proper application.
The cost involved in having teeth whitening performed can be an incredibly important factor. For people for whom affordability is the most important factor, at home treatments, such as over-the-counter specialty whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, or strips, are an option. There are benefits and drawbacks to either approach, but in general, it is recommended to have your teeth professionally whitened for the following reasons.
- Safer: While over the counter products are convenient and generally not dangerous, there is an added benefit to having a professionally trained dentist administer your whitening trays, especially for patients with sensitive teeth or periodontal disease.
- Faster: Over the counter items will gradually improve the whiteness of your teeth, but the process will take considerably longer than having the whitening performed in the office. In general, over the counter products can take up to four weeks for noticeable improvements to be made, as opposed to in-office
whitening, which can generally be performed in one to two hours.
- Stronger: In-office bleaching agents are significantly more concentrated, which results in faster and longer lasting results, when compared to over the counter items.
Benefits of Laser Teeth Whitening
- Can be performed in only two to four treatments
- The procedure is performed under the supervision of a dental professional, who can help alleviate or address any sensitivity
- Application only takes 15-60 minutes
Drawbacks of Laser Teeth Whitening
- Treatments have to be spaced out around 1-2 weeks
- There is an increased chance of developing tooth sensitivity
- Possibility of damaging the tooth pulp
- Maintenance can be costly
Benefits of Teeth Whitening Trays
- Annual maintenance is very affordable
- Trays can last for up to five years
- Trays are designed to fit your unique dental structure
- Can be worn while sleeping
- Comfortable and efficient
Drawbacks of Teeth Whitening Trays
- Requires more applications when compared to laser teeth whitening
- Can potentially irritate gums
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