Whereas at one time, having your teeth whitened by lasers was the prerogative of the rich, costing a thousand dollars in a dentist’s office, you can now buy home laser teeth whitening kits for around $70. As a home teeth whitening method, it is less widely available than a simple tray filled with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel, but delivers results at three times the speed, with 40% more effectiveness than similar treatment at a dentist’s office.
How Home Laser Teeth Whitening Works
A home laser teeth whitening kit consists of a plasma arc light, a tray to fit around your teeth, a syringe to inject gel into the tray, and the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel itself. The tray works in the normal way—you fit the tray around your teeth and inject the gel. The difference with a home laser teeth whitening treatment is the laser itself.
Looking somewhat like a particularly durable aluminum flashlight (it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum), it contains plasma arc light bulbs capable of generating 12 laser beams. These beams activate the peroxide gel to increase the level of oxidation. Manufacturers claim that the systems are guaranteed to whiten teeth 3-9 shades lighter.
Use the home laser teeth whitening kit for 30 minutes every day for 7 days. The plasma light can be used by many different people, though the trays obviously need to be confined to a single person, for reasons of hygiene.
Home Laser Teeth Whitening Vs. Dentist Supervised Laser Whitening
One advantage that going to your dentist for laser teeth whitening has over home laser teeth whitening is speed. Dentist supervised treatment only requires a single session lasting one hour, whereas the home laser teeth whitening kit requires seven treatments of half an hour each, for a total of 3½ hours spread out over a whole week.
There are also safety issues regarding any unsupervised treatment at home. Home laser teeth whitening treatments use arc lights that emit dangerous UV rays which can overheat the tooth, causing inflammation of the tooth pulp, the soft connective tissue at the center of the tooth.
In contrast, many dentists’ offices use state of the art argon lasers, which emit no UV light. The Argon lasers emit a blue-green light which is transmitted through a fiber optic cable to a handheld wand that is then passed over the teeth. Having said that, home laser teeth whitening kits should be safe as long as the user follows the manufacturer’s directions.
As with anything, it is a matter of what you can afford, and cutting costs almost always involves increased risks. If you are prepared to accept the responsibilities that go with using them, home laser teeth whitening kits offer an affordable alternative to dentist supervised treatments.