Best Teeth Whitening Methods and Cost, Houston, TX.
DR. JOHN BRIDGER, DDS
Teeth whitening has evolved significantly in recent years, and there are a variety of methods and options for people, from over the counter remedies, in-home whitening trays prescribed by a dentist, to in-office laser treatments. Our article aims to help you understand some of the options and outlines the specific advantages and benefits of laser teeth whitening. With older teeth whitening techniques, individuals must purchase an over the counter whitening package which consists of a generic teeth tray and bleaching gel. From there, one must keep up with the tedious daily applications of wearing the trays with whitening gel for up to 8 hours per day for up to 14 consecutive days. During the two weeks, the whitening gel works to open your enamel pores to bleach out stains and color imperfections. Because the enamel pores are open, individuals are restricted for two weeks from eating and drinking a variety of colored foods and liquids that may cause possible additional staining, including coffee, colas, cranberries, red wine, ketchup, tomatoes, and more.
Teeth whitening has evolved significantly in recent years to lessen the amount of time required to whiten the teeth, to lessen sensitivity, to increase the final whiteness level, and to increase the safety. Specifically, laser teeth whitening is now the preferred choice, as it is the fastest, most effective option at whitening your teeth, and the safest.
By John Bridger
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The Laser Teeth Whitening Process
With laser teeth whitening a “whitening gel” is applied to your teeth and is exposed to a very bright LED light, which works to activate the gel and remove stains. This process generally takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes and consists of 3 consecutive 20 minute sessions. At the beginning of this procedure, 15 minutes is used for preparation of your teeth and face to protect them from light and gel exposure during the laser whitening process, and then the three 20 minute sessions are started using the laser.
Comparison of Laser Teeth Whitening versus Home Teeth Whitening
Differences between Laser and Home Whitening
|Slightly more expensive.||Lower cost.|
|Custom teeth mold to prevent leakage of whitening gel and thus burning of gums.||Longer process. Up to 8 hours per day for up to 14 days.|
|One, 1-hour 15-minute visit (15 minute prep and 3 consecutive 20 minute sessions).||Tedious procedures and maintenance. Restricted diet|
Who is a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Crowns and veneers cannot be whitened. However, even if you have crowns or veneers, we can whiten the other teeth around the crowns or veneers to match the whiteness of the existing crowns or veneers. Or, for example, if only the upper teeth have veneers we can focus on whitening the lower teeth.
Pregnant or lactating mother are not recommended for laser teeth whitening.
Why Laser Teeth Whitening versus Home Bleaching?
Although home bleaching techniques may show improvements to teeth, the bleach used with our laser whitening procedures is much stronger than the home bleaching remedies ensuring longer lasting and brighter results that occur in a shorter time frame. The latest evolution of laser teeth whitening is ZOOM! 1-Hour Whitening, version 4.
Laser Whitening Packages:
Dr. Bridger‘s laser teeth whitening treatments start at $499 for both upper and lower teeth. We also have a special ZOOM! 1-Hour Combo package, which consists of the in the office laser teeth whitening treatment plus custom whitening trays and 3 days of in-home bleaching gel to use for 3 hours per day following the in-office laser technique, which maximizes the whitening procedure.
These custom trays can then be used in a few months for 3 hours per day for 3 days to re-brighten the smile without having to go through the in-office laser whitening again. Our custom-made trays are much more effective and safer compared to the over the counter generic trays as they are molded specifically to your teeth. While the generic over-the-counter trays you buy in store often leak and tend to bother and irritate your gums due to leaking of the bleaching gel onto your gums. With our laser teeth whitening procedure, extended days of home trays are no longer necessary. However maximum and best (i.e. whitest) results are achieved through the ZOOM! 1-Hour Combo package.
What About Maintenance?
Maintenance with laser teeth whitening is easy and hassle-free. If you notice a slight darkening of your teeth after a few months, you only need to wear your already-made trays with home bleaching gel in them for 3 hours per day for 3 days to get back to your maximum whiteness. More gel can be purchased inexpensively at our office.
What Are The Different Outcomes Between Home Whitening and ZOOM 1-Hour Laser Teeth Whitening?
If you did the 14 days of home whitening applications and you didn’t drink or eat colored food/drinks, teeth should be 100% of the maximum whiteness that they can be at the end of the 2 weeks. Every individual’s teeth whiten at different rates and to different degrees, however, so results may vary. The final whiteness cannot be guaranteed. If coffee, soda, red wine, and other stain-creating substances are consumed during the home whitening procedure, finals results may take longer than the expected 14 day period and/or be less white at the end.
Laser Teeth Whitening (ZOOM! 1-Hour)
With our ZOOM! 1-Hour Whitening, after the 1-hour 15-minute session, your teeth will be 85% of the maximum whiteness that they can be. For best results, after wearing your trays and gel for only 3 hours per day for 3 days, your teeth will be 100% of the maximum whiteness that they can be, but in far less time than with only home whitening. Every individual’s teeth whiten at different rates and to different degrees, however, so results may vary. The final whiteness cannot be guaranteed. If coffee, soda, red wine, and other stain-creating substances are consumed during the home whitening procedure, finals results may take longer than the expected 3 day period and/or be less white at the end.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Older laser bleaching techniques used to create sensitivity with some individuals. However, with the latest generation of laser technology, individuals experience much lower levels of sensitivity and many none at all. Many people, also, worry that laser treatments may leave negative long-term effects on their teeth. However, laser whitening is completely safe and will only leave your teeth looking brighter and whiter, giving you the confidence you’ve always wanted! Laser teeth whitening is safe when done on individuals 16 years and older, who are not pregnant or lactating moms.
If you’re considering laser teeth whitening, call our Houston dental office for a free mini exam and consultation to make sure laser whitening will achieve what you want with your smile. To schedule an appointment call Dr. Bridger at: (713) 266-2244 or email us at Lina@bridgerdds.com
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We’re located at 3400 S. Gessner, Suite 101, Houston, Texas 77063
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