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Laser Tooth Whitening

Light based whitening that produces a dazzling smile within an hour


Procedure Summary

Surgery Type:


Procedure Duration:

1 hour

Expected Results:

Whitens teeth

Recovery Duration:


First used:

1990's in USA

Results Duration:




Average UK Cost:

£600 - £1,200

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Laser whitening is a straightforward, non-invasive process that can make your teeth whiter within an hour. Whether your teeth are severely discoloured or just a bit yellowed here and there, laser tooth whitening, sometimes referred to as power whitening, uses intensified light to activate a bleaching process that will result in the degree of whitening that you desire.

White teeth have always been considered attractive, and a bright, fresh-looking smile is a key element to that crucial first impression when meeting someone for the first time. It is known that as far back as Ancient Egypt people applied concoctions made from oxen hooves, egg shells and pumice to whiten their teeth. Wealthy Romans even imported urine to brighten their smiles, the ammonia in the urine acting as a bleaching agent. Thankfully, although the desire for an attractive smile is still with us, modern methods of achieving it are quick, effective and urine-free! The first implementation of lasers as tooth whiteners came about in the mid 1990’s by the Ion Laser Technology company in the USA.

Are you a candidate for laser teeth whitening?

Our teeth vary just as much as do our hair and skin and they are equally susceptible to our differing lifestyles. Surface stains can be caused by the food we eat and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and fruit juice. Laser Tooth WhiteningSmoking can discolour teeth as can certain medications.

“I though about getting one of the ‘do it yourself’ bleaching kits to brighten my yellowing teeth,” said one woman, “but considering the dangerous chemicals and the time and effort involved, I decided to pay more and have laser treatment instead. The whole procedure was completed safely and professionally in a single visit to the dentist. Although it was more expensive, the instantaneous results made it very worthwhile.”

Before having your teeth whitened, your dentist should check your mouth to see if you are a suitable candidate for the treatment. This will take more than a quick glance, as they will need to look for signs of gum disease. If gum disease is detected, undergoing tooth whitening may result in irritation and ulcerated, receding gums.

Whitening your teeth using laser technology

Once the initial check has been accomplished a peroxide-based gel will be applied to your teeth. Then a special light operating at a precise frequency will be shone onto your teeth, activating the gel and maximising its effect. The degree of whitening can be controlled, with the whole process typically taking no more than one hour. In cases of particularly deep stains, the laser teeth whitening procedure may be repeated until the desired effect has been achieved.

As one man in his 20s commented, “My teeth are quite sensitive and for this reason I have always been unwilling to receive crowns, veneers or similar dental work. However, because laser tooth whitening is non-invasive, and is accomplished in a single, brief visit to the dentist, I decided to go for it. Fifty minutes after entering the surgery I left with a dazzling smile and no discomfort whatsoever.”

Occasionally the bleach used in the laser whitening treatment can cause sore gums, however, this will only be short-term and should ease shortly after the bleach has been removed. As with all cosmetic dentistry, it is essential to follow the advice of your practitioner following the procedure. This will make the outcome as successful as possible and reduce the risk of complications

Who should carry out laser tooth whitening?

Laser teeth whitening involves the use of potentially dangerous chemicals and equipment. In fact, for this reason, UK dental regulators have stipulated that tooth whitening is illegal by non-dentists. There is also an art to carrying out the procedure effectively that some practitioners will posses more than others. It is advisable, therefore, to seek out a cosmetic dentist that is trained, skilled and experienced in laser tooth whitening before going ahead with the procedure.

Charges vary between practices and parts of the country as well as depending on the level of treatment you require. However, as a guide, you can expect to pay something in the region of £600-£1,200 for a private dental laser tooth whitening procedure. Neither laser, nor chemical (bleech) tooth whitening is available on the NHS. If laser tooth whitening is something that you are considering, you can discuss all of the issues mentioned here in greater depth during a consultation with your cosmetic dentist.

The content of this article has been verified
by Dr. Harmeet Kaur, BDS. of Apollonia Dental Care.

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