Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most of the dentists perform tooth whitening.

Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color.

What It's Used For

The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. The color of natural teeth is created by the reflection and scattering of light off the enamel, combined with the color of the dentin under it. Your genes affect the thickness and smoothness of the enamel. Thinner enamel allows more of the color of the dentin to show through. Having smoother or rougher enamel also affects the reflection of light and therefore the color.

Every day, a thin coating (pellicle) forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains.

External Teeth Whitening

External teeth whitening procedures whiten teeth from the outside in. This is the most common form of whitening used and is generally for extrinsic and mild intrinsic stains. External teeth whitening options include in-office whitening, home whitening kits given by the dentist, over-the-counter whitening kits, and whitening toothpastes.

Internal Teeth Whitening

Unlike external whitening which brightens teeth from the outside in, internal whitening brightens teeth from the inside out. How do you whiten teeth from the inside out you may ask? Whitening the tooth internally involves drilling a hole to the pulp chamber, cleaning, sealing, and filling the root canal with a rubber-like substance, and placing a peroxide whitening gel into the pulp chamber so that the gel can work directly inside the tooth on the dentin layer. This procedure is typically reserved for a tooth that has had a history of trauma, leading to a single darker tooth.

Alternatives to Tooth Whitening

Soft Tissue Laser Application in Teeth Whitening

Lasers are high intensity of energy in the form of light. When these lasers are used in controlled way for surgical and medical purposes, the laser acts as a precise cutting instrument and helps in treating several other medical issues, like laser is extensively used in skin treatments and dental procedures.

Teeth whitening and bleaching has become one of the fastest developing field of dental aesthetic. Teeth whitening by using laser helps in achieving the power of bleaching process using the most effective energy source without any chemical and morphological changes to the enamel and teeth. When laser is used in teeth whitening procedures, it acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of teeth bleaching agent. It is worth noting that these lasers are different from the cold lasers, used in phototherapy for relief of pain and inflammation.

Dentists uses laser to treat variety of dental and gum related issues.

  1. Laser for Gum disease: Lasers are used to remove bacteria while performing root canal therapy and to reshape gums.
  2. Lesion Removal: Lasers are used to remove lesions in the mouth and relieve the pain of sores.
  3. Tooth Decay: Lasers are also used to remove the tooth decay and prepare the enamel for filling.
  4. Tooth Whitening: Lasers are used for tooth whitening process by applying a peroxide solution, which under laser energy, speeds up the whitening process.
  5. Frenectomy: Children facing speech problem, can be cured by untying the tongue with the help of lasers.
  6. Removal of Tumor: Tumors in the soft tissue areas in and around the gums can be removed with the help of lasers.

How teeth whitening is performed with the help of laser?

When lasers are used for the bleaching effect, laser absorption enhancing substances are added to the teeth. These particles are capable of absorbing the high intensity energy from the wavelength of light, emitted from the laser and re-transmitting the energy as thermal energy.

These days the technique used involves a broad-spectrum method utilizing hydrogen peroxide or mixture of sodium perborate and hydrogen peroxide as an agent, which are accelerated by the use of laser. Energy are delivered to bleaching gel through various methods like, plasma-arc, halogen lamp and lasers. Among several lasers used in dentistry, diode lasers are generally used for this purpose. This mechanism of laser-assisted bleaching is called photochemical reaction that ends up producing singlet oxygen radicals which have the ability to remove unwanted yellow and dark stains. The laser is extremely bright, and special glasses will be provided to protect the eyes. The dentist will then direct the beam at the affected area and carefully dissolve the soft tissue, harden the filling or whiten the teeth.

What Are the benefits and disadvantage of using laser for the teeth whitening process-

Compared to the traditional method of teeth whitening, lasers:

  • Causes less pain and hence reduces the need for anaesthesia
  • It reduces the anxiety in patients as the process is very smooth and is also very less time consuming
  • Minimize bleeding and swelling during treatments
  • Preserve healthier tooth and the gum regions as the process is more direct and has comparatively no side effects.

The disadvantages of lasers are:

  • It can't be used on teeth with fillings already in place or crowns, bridges and caps intact.
  • Laser treatment tends to be more expensive as compared to traditional method of teeth whitening.
  • Laser whitening has to be followed by several precautions and has to visit the dentist for at-least 3-4 sittings.

There are several types of laser instruments used for the process, but the most common among them is diode laser, owning to its affordability, painless effectiveness and several added advantages.

One of the most advanced diode laser equipment and technique is “Epic Biolase Laser Diode”.

The epic biolase laser diode comes bundled with host of features and are available in four configurations to meet all the requirements, whether one is seeking a soft tissue diode laser treatment or teeth whitening and pain therapy.

It provides an ideal teeth-whitening solution for all shape and sizes of teeth. This system of teeth whitening is so effective that it performs a full-mouth procedure with 3-4 shades in average 20-30 minutes including all the setups. This laser diode offers the most precise control of tissue cutting and teeth whitening for different procedures and tissue biotypes. The diode laser wavelength, exclusivelywhitens the teeth and cleans the soft tissues, with more hemostasis and perfect patient comfort.

The epic biolase diode delivers power that other portable diode lasers cannot even match – up to 10 Watts of peak power in a compact, beautifully designed console that is completely portable in the clinic. With the use of this diode machine there is no need of using anaesthesia to the patient. With dedicated setting of newComfortPulse setting it delivers pulses to the tissue as short as one ten-millionth of a second, resulting in improved patient comfort and less damage to surrounding tissues with better healing.

Whereas, older diode lasers rely on the technique of stripping and cleavingthe fiber before each use. The biolase diode is the first to offer disposable single use tips for diode lasers, which uses full range of bendable tips for better access to all areas around the teeth and the gums.

The effects of bleaching generallylast for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient. There are certain precautions to take, for example avoid smoking, brush the tooth twice daily and follow the good habit of flossing at least once a week. There might we sensitivity in the initial days in a very few cases else there is no side effects with using this technique for teeth whitening.

Remember, first impression is the last impression and when that comes coupled with beautiful smile with a shining tooth, that impression last longs, whereas when it comes from the pale, dull yellowish teeth it can have a completely negative impact on the person’s profile.

Simple ways to improve the appearance of discoloured teeth include:

  • Brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Stopping smoking
  • cutting down on food and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as tea, coffee and red wine
  • Visiting your dentist regularly – he or she can scale and polish your teeth to remove any tartar that has built up