Laser Teeth Whitening

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As you grow older, your natural teeth are increasingly at risk of staining and discolouration. Laser tooth whitening is a relatively recent development in dental treatments and can combat stains and discolouration without the need to replace or remove your natural teeth.

Structure of your Teeth

Your teeth are broken up into two main layers, the inner layer of dentin and the outer layer of enamel. Dentin is one of the hardest substances your body produces, a calcified tissue filled with microscopic channels which permeate all the way from the core of the tooth to the enamel. The enamel is the hard outermost layer which protects your teeth from day to day wear. However, as you ingest food and drinks, another layer, called the pellicle film, is formed. If left untreated, this can increase the risk of stains especially if you regularly consume substances such as red wine, coffee, tea or cigarette smoke. Fortunately, most of these 'extrinsic' stains can normally be brushed or scoured away but other types of stain can be more stubborn. 'Intrinsic' stains form on the inner tooth and become slowly visible on the outside. This type of stain can penetrate the enamel so that scraping or scouring is ineffective. In cases such as these, tooth whitening is usually recommended.

Laser Teeth Whitening Procedure

Laser dentistry has an excellent safety record and has been in use for several years. The equipment which is used in laser tooth whitening is highly adjustable, meaning that power output and the duration that your teeth are exposed to the laser, can be carefully controlled. Using a laser for tooth whitening is also extremely comfortable compared to chemical-only treatments.  After your initial consultation, to check the health of your teeth and gums and make sure you are suitable for the whitening treatment, your dentist should take you through the treatment options.

During the Laser tooth whitening process itself your dentist will begin by applying a rubber dam to isolate your teeth. It is highly important that your gums and lips are protected so that any burning of the soft tissue or any other damage won't occur. The whitening gel will then be applied directly to your teeth before being activated by the laser which allows the crystals contained in the gel to penetrate tooth stains quickly and effectively. It usually takes up to four applications to get the desired results and the whole process usually takes about an hour. You should notice visible results straight away and many patients have successfully used laser whitening to achieve a tooth shade, which is six shades lighter than their natural tooth colour.

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