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White Teeth after treatment

Tooth Whitening - Laser Whitening vs. Home Whitening Kits

Tooth Whitening - Laser Whitening vs. Home Whitening Kits


Tooth whitening is an ever more popular cosmetic dental treatment, used widely to improve the appearance of the teeth and give people a brighter, more confident smile. Tooth whitening is a simple, highly effective procedure involving bleaching of the teeth, in order to lighten them by up to several shades and create a whiter, healthier look. As tooth whitening has become more readily available and cost-effective, there are a few different whitening systems which can enhance the smile according to your expectations, budget and time requirements:

  • Cost: usually between £200 - £500 depending on the practitioner and system
  • Treatment time: under an hour to 4 weeks
  • Results: the effects will vary from person to person, depending on the type of tooth whitening treatment used. Heavily stained, yellow teeth or discoloured teeth may see more dramatic results than only slightly stained teeth.

In-practice, or laser whitening, and professional home whitening kits prescribed by a dentist, are the two main types of tooth whitening treatments currently available. They both use a procedure which applies a peroxide-based bleaching gel varying in concentration, onto the teeth to initiate the whitening process. Both treatments are safe and work without the need to remove any tooth structure.

Tooth whitening isn’t suitable for everyone, for instance if you have gum disease or other dental health problems or you’re pregnant. Teeth whitening will also not take effect on any crowns, fillings or veneers, so you’ll need to consult with your dentist to discuss the best options.

Laster Tooth Whitening

Laser tooth whitening can be carried out in as little as a 40 minute in-practice session by your dentist. Laser whitening uses photo cosmetic technology, whereby a bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and a laser light is used to activate it and restore teeth to a natural lighter shade. Laser whitening usually achieves more dramatic results than professional home kits and is much faster, as the concentration of peroxide is higher.

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Before the teeth whitening process your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove any tartar or surface stains. Once your existing shade has been recorded and protection has been placed around the gums, to avoid any potential damage from the peroxide, the whitening process can begin. You may feel sensitivity during the procedure, which will at most last for 48 hours after treatment, however if symptoms persist then you’ll need to contact your dentist.

With laser tooth whitening you can expect an instant bright smile of up to 10 shades lighter. Many dentists recommend following up the treatment with a professional home whitening kit, to prolong the results.

Professional Home Whitening

Home whitening kits are a less expensive tooth whitening treatment to lighten teeth and improve the smile. As they contain a lower concentration of peroxide, they are safe to use at home if prescribed by your dentist, however they will take a longer time to take effect. There are over the counter whitening kits available however these can be dangerous as they are not regulated as professional kits are – always carry out home tooth whitening under supervision of a registered dentist.

In your initial consultation your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, so that custom whitening trays can be made to exactly fit your teeth. After around 5-10 days your trays will be ready and you can use them in combination with a professional bleaching agent for the time period specified. Depending on the system you use, you may need to wear your whitening trays for just 1-2 hours a day, or longer overnight. Professional home whitening treatments usually take around 2-4 weeks for gradual, long-term results, which will leave you with a whiter and healthier looking smile.

For more information on laser tooth whitening or professional home whitening treatments, or to discuss your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us on 029 20 230 945, or you can email info@cathaysdental.com