How is a Teeth Whitening Light Used in Cedar Park, Texas?

It’s no wonder that teeth whitening has become so popular over the past few years; not only in Cedar Park, Texas, but all over the country as well. After all, whitening your teeth is one of the quickest, least expensive ways to brighten your smile. And with the wide variety of over-the-counter products available online and in stores, it’s pretty easy to find a cheap “solution” for your stained teeth. But before you invest money in OTC whitening kits, you should know that the results you’ll get with these products can’t compare with professional whitening services provided by your dentist. Many of these involve use of a teeth whitening light. In this article, we’ll explain the advantages of having your teeth professionally whitened, as well as how and why some dentists and over-the-counter whitening products incorporate a teeth whitening light as part of the process.


Why Professional Whitening Services Are So Much Better

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” As it turns out, that’s true for just about everything – including over-the-counter teeth whitening products. There are plenty of them out there: toothpastes, mouth rinses, whitening pens, bleaching trays, whitening strips, etc. And while a select few of these can improve the shade of your teeth to a certain degree if they’re used repeatedly, nothing compares to the results you’ll see when your teeth are professionally whitened by your dentist. There are two reasons why this is true: 1) the whitening solution used by dentists is typically much stronger than OTC products, and 2) your dentist can create custom-made bleaching trays that deliver an equal amount of that stronger solution to the surface of every tooth in your mouth.

Some teeth-whitening products – including a few of those used in dentists’ offices – utilize either a UV or an LED light as part of the process. There’s good reason for this. Studies reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association, along with independent research conducted by the American Chemical Society, have shown that both UV and LED lights do actually result in whiter teeth when used in conjunction with a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching solution.

How a Teeth Whitening Light is Used

The first step in having your teeth professionally whitened takes place when your dentist makes an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent out to a dental lab, where technicians create a custom-made set of whitening trays for your teeth.

Once that’s done and the trays are sent back to your dentist, you can return to the office for the actual whitening process.

During that visit, your dentist will fill the custom trays with whitening solution, insert them into your mouth so they fit snugly and comfortably, and then give that solution some amount of time to do the job of whitening your teeth – usually about 30 minutes, but that time may vary depending on the exact whitening solution being used. It is at this point in the process when a teeth whitening light comes into play. Your dentist will direct the light onto the surface of your teeth while the solution is working. The results are whiter teeth in a shorter period of time.

The Differences Between UV and LED Lights

“UV” stands for “ultraviolet,” which is the same form of magnetic radiation emitted by the sun. As you might suspect, UV light emit (in addition to light) radiant heat. On the other hand, “LED” (which stands for “light emitting diode”) emits a blue light but no heat. Although both types of lights have been proven effective in amplifying the results of teeth whitening products, there are some risks associated with use of a UV light. If this type of light is improperly used, it can cause gum irritation and even damage to your teeth, as well as increased tooth sensitivity. Fortunately, dental professionals are accustomed to using UV lights when whitening teeth, so the chances of this happening in a dentist’s office are slim to none. Still, it’s important to be aware that there is some amount of risk involved with UV lights.

Things to Consider Before Whitening Your Teeth

We’ve already established that having your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist is much more effective than over-the-counter products, and that use of either a UV or LED light during the process can accentuate the results. But there are some other important considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether or not teeth whitening is right for you:

  • If you have a lot of dental work, you may not get the results you were hoping for. That’s because whitening solutions don’t work on dental restorations, such as crowns and fillings, for example. So if you have this type of dental work that is visible when you smile, your natural teeth will be brighter after whitening, but your restorations will stay the same shade.
  • If you aren’t in good oral health, your dentist will want to resolve any issues you have before whitening your teeth. This is particularly true for patients with gum disease, for example. If you need to have other work done in addition to whitening, you should coordinate the sequence of those procedures with your dentist in such a way that makes sense with the plan for whitening your teeth.
  • If your teeth and gums are sensitive, whitening your teeth can be quite uncomfortable. The hydrogen peroxide formula used in whitening solutions can make anyone’s teeth and gums sensitive for a short period of time during the process, although that usually goes away quickly afterward. But people with very sensitive teeth and gums may find whitening to be too painful and decide that it’s not the right choice for them.
  • If the enamel layer of your teeth is eroded, you probably have yellowish teeth. That’s because the dentin layer underneath the enamel is naturally tinged yellow. Unfortunately, whitening products work by enhancing the white shade of tooth enamel, so if you don’t have enough enamel present on your teeth, bleaching them won’t work. For patients with damaged enamel, dentists often recommend another solution for whitening teeth – such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers, for example, both of which not only whiten teeth but protect the existing tooth surface as well.

For more information about teeth whitening lights and to determine whether or not teeth whitening is right for you, contact your Cedar Park, Texas dentist today.

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