How LED Teeth Whitening Technique Works

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of a person using a home LED tooth whitening system.
March 8, 2023 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we believe tooth staining is not only an inconvenience but also lowers your self-confidence when interacting with other people. That’s why the demand for tooth whitening dental treatments is so high. The tooth whitening process involves the physical removal of stains or a chemical reaction to lighten the colour of the teeth in order to whiten them.

LED teeth whitening technique is a form of light-activated teeth whitening procedure that is considered relatively safer than using UV lights and offers good results. Basically, it enhances the effects of tooth-bleaching gels to produce better results.

How does LED teeth whitening technique work?

LED teeth whitening improves upon the traditional teeth whitening treatment method. First, a chemical agent with bleaching properties is applied to the stained teeth. The most commonly used tooth whitening gel includes hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

Next, a blue LED light is used to activate the whitening agent and start the chemical reaction. The blue LED light penetrates the enamel during the interaction and helps to lift existing stains. Thus, the blue LED light helps to break down the tooth-whitening agent faster to quicken the tooth-bleaching process.

Compared to other light-activated teeth whitening procedures that involve the use of ultraviolet lights or halogen light, LED lights are preferred since they last longer than other light sources and are much more efficient. For instance, they can immediately switch on at their highest intensity since they don’t have a warm-up time.

Still, they only serve as catalysts to speed up the chemical reaction caused by a whitening agent and will not change the colour of your teeth when used alone.

Does the LED teeth whitening technique have any side effects?

The use of LED lights for teeth whitening is considered safer than using ultraviolet (UV) lights since UV lights can cause your cells to mutate. In fact, you can even use LED teeth whitening products at home safely as long as you follow the product guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions.

However, LED teeth whitening treatment can produce side effects common to all teeth whitening procedures. These include mild gingival irritation and tooth sensitivity. You can experience tooth sensitivity during the treatment and up to several days thereafter. Gingival irritation can last for several days as well. Overexposure to the bleaching agent can also lead to major side effects such as tooth demineralization and pulpal damage.

The risk and severity of side effects can be affected by many factors such as the duration of the treatment, the concentration of the bleaching agent, disregarding the product manufacturer’s instructions, and the formula of the whitening product.

The steps involved in the LED teeth whitening procedure

You don’t need to do anything when you opt for a professional LED teeth whitening procedure at the dentist’s office. Here is what you can expect:

  • The dentist will deep clean your teeth and check for signs of oral problems.
  • A shade measurement of your teeth will be taken to compare the results of the whitening process.
  • Your dentist will apply the whitening gel to your teeth after ensuring your lips are away from your teeth. This will involve the use of tools such as cheek retractors and more.
  • After the application of the whitening agent, they will aim the blue LED light at your teeth.
  • After three 110-minute cycles of activating the whitening gel using the LED light, the dentist will thoroughly rinse your mouth.
  • The colour of your teeth will be checked and the process might be repeated if necessary to produce the desired teeth shade.

How can LED teeth whitening products be used at home?

You can use LED teeth whitening kits to whiten your teeth at home by yourself. At-home teeth whitening kits don’t come with strong whitening agents and thus, are less effective when compared to in-office treatments. Usually, such kits tend to contain whitening strips that contain the whitening agent or plastic trays that you have to fill with the whitening gel. They also include a battery-powered blue LED light.

Here is how it works:

  • You can directly apply the provided whitening strips on your teeth or insert whitening gel with a syringe into the set of trays provided in the package and then insert the trays in your mouth to cover the teeth.
  • Allow the whitening product to sit on your teeth for the recommended duration to work its magic on your teeth.
  • Turn on the blue LED light to activate the whitening product. You can directly attach the LED light to the mouthpiece on certain products so that there is no need to hold it. The LED lights will turn off automatically after a certain duration for many products.

Ensure you properly follow the instructions of the manufacturer to make the treatment more effective and safe.

The pros of LED teeth whitening technique

  • Helps to improve the appearance of the teeth
  • The treatment time is short
  • Can boost your confidence and self-esteem

The cons of LED teeth whitening technique

  • Short-term effects
  • It’s expensive
  • Can produce unsatisfactory results
  • Might lead to tooth and gum sensitivity

How effective is LED teeth whitening treatment?

The effectiveness of LED teeth whitening treatment will depend on several factors that can affect tooth discolouration. In fact, the longevity of the treatment can be affected by natural ageing, genetics, smoking, eating certain foods, specific medications, and more.

To maintain a whiter smile after the treatment, it is important to stay hydrated, avoid using tobacco products, schedule regular dental exams, and brush with whitening toothpaste.

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you consider professional teeth whitening treatment to remove deep stains from your teeth. An experienced dental professional will be able to whiten your teeth at the clinic more effectively and with less risk of side effects. If you want to try at-home teeth whitening products, ensure you ask your dentist for a few recommendations based on your dental history and personal needs. Additionally, it is crucial to confirm whether you have any dental problems since teeth whitening treatments can irritate the pulp and lead to tooth sensitivity.