LED Teeth Whitening: How it Works and Its Benefits
A radiant smile can boost your confidence and leave a lasting impression. One effective way to achieve that dazzling smile is through LED teeth whitening. This innovative technique combines LED light and specialised whitening gel to brighten teeth.
LED teeth whitening can provide significantly better results than other methods of whitening. But before you rush to the dentist, it’s worth finding out more about how the process works and if it’s right for you.
Understanding LED Teeth Whitening: How It Works
LED teeth whitening is a modern approach to achieving a whiter smile. The process can be performed in-chair by your dentist or at home with LED whitening kits. While the process is pretty much the same, you can’t beat the results that your dentist can provide (more on that later).
Here’s how the in-chair process works:
- Preparation: Before beginning the LED teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will clean your teeth to remove any surface debris and plaque. This ensures that the whitening gel can make direct contact with the enamel.
- Application of Whitening Gel: A specially formulated whitening gel containing a peroxide-based bleaching agent is applied to the teeth. This gel contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are active ingredients that break down stains on the enamel.
- LED Light Activation: A mouthpiece or device containing LED lights is positioned in your mouth. These LED lights emit a specific wavelength of light, typically in the blue spectrum range. This light is used to activate and accelerate the breakdown of the stains on the surface of the teeth.
- Chemical Reaction: The combination of the whitening gel and the LED light triggers a chemical reaction within the gel. The energy from the LED light helps to speed up the release of oxygen molecules from the peroxide in the gel. These oxygen molecules penetrate the enamel and target the discoloured molecules that have accumulated over time.
- Stain Removal: The oxygen molecules released during the chemical reaction break down the molecular bonds of the stains, effectively bleaching them. As a result, the stains become less concentrated, and the teeth appear whiter.
- Repeating the Process: Depending on the desired level of whitening and the specific LED teeth whitening system being used, the process may be repeated in multiple sessions, typically ranging from 15 to 30 minutes per session. Some systems might involve a single session, while others might involve multiple sessions over a span of days.
It’s important to note that while LED teeth whitening can be effective in improving the appearance of teeth, the results may vary depending on the individual’s starting tooth colour, the severity of stains, and the specific product used.
What are the Side Effects?
While LED teeth whitening is generally safe, some individuals may experience minor and temporary side effects. These can include tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. It’s advisable to consult with a dental professional before undergoing the procedure, especially if you have a history of sensitivity or oral health issues.
In-Chair Dentist Treatments vs. Take-Home Kits
LED teeth whitening can be administered either in a dental office or through take-home kits.
In-Chair Dentist Treatments:
- Performed by a professional dentist
- Offers immediate and controlled results
- Suitable for individuals seeking rapid and supervised whitening
- Typically more expensive due to the professional oversight
- Administered by the patient at home
- Gradual results achieved over several days
- Convenient and cost-effective option
- Requires discipline and consistency in usage
Is LED Teeth Whitening Right for You?
Determining if LED teeth whitening is the right choice depends on factors such as your dental health, preferences, and expectations. It’s worth bearing in mind that there are many causes of tooth discolouration, and some will respond better than others to whitening treatments.
A few factors to consider before trying any teeth whitening treatment include:
- Oral Health: Consult your dentist before undergoing any teeth whitening procedure, especially if you have dental restorations or ongoing oral health concerns.
- Expectations: LED teeth whitening can lighten teeth by several shades, but individual results vary. Realistic expectations are key to satisfaction.
- Sensitivity: If you have sensitive teeth, discuss this with your dentist. They can recommend appropriate products or treatments to minimise discomfort.
We recommend talking to your dentist before commencing a treatment to find out if it’s right for you.
Comparing LED Teeth Whitening to Other Methods
How does LED teeth whitening stand up to other teeth whitening methods? Let’s have a look.
- Traditional Whitening Strips: LED whitening often provides quicker and more noticeable results than over-the-counter whitening strips.
- Laser Teeth Whitening: Similar to LED, laser whitening uses light to activate whitening gels. However, LED is often considered more comfortable and less intense.
- Charcoal and Baking Soda: These natural remedies can be abrasive and might not provide consistent or long-lasting results compared to LED whitening.
- Oil Pulling: While oil pulling might promote oral health, it’s not as effective for stain removal as LED whitening.
LED teeth whitening is a modern and effective way to achieve a brighter smile. With its innovative combination of LED light and whitening gel, this procedure offers noticeable results. By understanding the process, potential side effects, treatment options, and comparing it to other methods, you can make an informed decision about whether LED teeth whitening is the right choice for you. If you have any questions, remember to consult your dentist for personalised advice tailored to your dental health and needs.