Teeth whitening has been around for years as a treatment for cosmetic dentistry and has always been popular because a smile can have such an impact on one's self esteem and confidence. While there are various methods available to whiten teeth, we have more research studies available today regarding the teeth whitening process.
For years, the most effective teeth whitening method used was ultra violet (UV) light. Recently, advances in LED technology have enabled us to offer a safer alternative. The two techniques can produce lightning fast and instant results – or so we’ve been led to believe.
Light activation techniques work in conjunction with varying concentrations of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel. Firstly, the gel is applied directly on the teeth. Light is then applied which causes a reaction between the gel and the light, breaking it down to free radicals. These react with the tooth enamel and ultimately whiten the teeth.
While the light activation process has a very high success rate, degree of success ultimately is on a case by case basis. Different people have different genetic make up, social habits, and levels of oral hygiene. For example, a person who keeps up their oral hygiene and not have may social habits, may only need one to two teeth whitening sessions. On the other hand, a person who does not regularly brush their teeth, is a heavy coffee/tea/red wine drinker may need multiple whitening sessions in conjunction with a dental cleaning. Secondary to this, teeth whitening is not permanent and requires regular upkeep.
There are some situations where whitening is ineffective. For example, if you have multiple fillings or caps/crowns on your teeth, the color of the teeth will not change with bleaching. Also, if discoloration occurred during the development and formation of the tooth, then whitening success could be less predictable. if you fall into one of these categories, alternative methods of whitening may need to be explored.
For many years, Ultra Violet light is used for teeth whitening. However, recent research showed that there is no proof that ultra violet light actually whitens the teeth or even speeds up the process of the breakdown of the hydrogen molecule. In fact, research has proven that this technique can cause more harm to one’s teeth and gums than good, secondary harm can also include damage to the eyes and lips.
How does this happen? When ultra violet light is exposed to one’s mouth, its temperature increases to approximately 103 degrees to increase the process of the breakdown of molecules through high heat (ultra violet light is the same light that causes skin cancer and sunburn). Scientist researched the wavelength of ultraviolet light and how it worked in the whitening of your teeth, the results obtained were not positive.
Studies showed that ultra violet light whitening, actually exposed patients to approximately four times the radiation that would occur during a regular outdoor tanning session. Additionally, the eyes and face are not fully protected in the recommended twenty-minute treatment. Repeated exposure to the UV light during multiple treatments, could accelerate cataract occurrence in the eyes. There have been several reported cases of bleeding gums and severely burnt gums as a result of ultra violet light whitening treatments.
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. For the whitening process to work efficiently a whitening agent and accelerator (LED which emits blue light with a wavelength of around 465 nanometers) must be used. A layer of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel is applied to your teeth, followed by the LED light. Once the light comes into contact with the bleaching gel, it increases the breakdown of the gel into free radicals which rapidly increases the whitening process.
Generally a patient only requires a single treatment session for whitening to be successful, however, it also depends on degree of discoloration before treatment. Studies have shown that the blue LED light is not solely responsible for the whitening of the teeth, however it greatly speeds up the process of the chemical breakdown which is what causes teeth to whiten. It is advisable to have a thorough dental cleaning prior to starting treatment.
Researchers have reported that clinical whitening treatment utilizing the LED light technology can greatly improve results. Also, no major side effects have been reported, aside from light sensitivity issues and tingling sensations.
After years of research and studies, scientist and researchers have found that the best solution for clinical teeth whitening, that offers safe and noticeable results is LED light technology – also known as the blue light technology. This process works together with a carbamide peroxide gel and increases the process of the breakdown of molecules into free radicals resulting in faster whitening.
Further research concluded that the ultra violet light which has also been utilized as a whitening solution is potentially harmful and should be avoided.
We must always maintain our oral hygiene, and while white teeth may look great, it’s also important to brush and floss regularly and be seen by a dentist. Whitening should always be done under the care of a dental professional.
Furthermore, before pursuing a new form of oral care, such as teeth whitening, it is in your best interest to do the research first. For teeth whitening process to work efficiently a proper whitening agent (carbamide peroxide) and accelerator (LED which emits blue light with a safe wavelength of around 465 nanometers) should be used. Call today to be evaluated for teeth whitening in Exton.
Ultraviolet (UV) light has been widely used by dentists to enhance and speed-up the whitening process for many years, but now with so many studies showing the safety risks of UV radiation, a safer alternative needed to be developed. The result was LED teeth whitening, which uses safe wavelengths of blue light. We ensure your safety first. Call us for an evaluation to see if bleaching is the solution for you.