Laser Teeth Whitening: Pros, Cons, And 4 Other Alternatives

Are you looking for your brightest, most radiant smile? Laser teeth whitening is a popular option, but it isn't the only way to boost your smile. 

Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of laser teeth whitening and four effective alternatives that may be worth exploring.

What is laser teeth whitening?

Laser teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses a special high-powered light to accelerate the bleaching process of the teeth, offering a powerful way to brighten your smile.

Laser teeth whitening pros and cons

Laser whitening has become a go-to for brighter smiles, thanks to its many advantages; however, as with most cosmetic procedures, there are things to consider when determining whether it is right for you.

Laser teeth whitening pros

A smile with white and healthy teeth
  • Fast: Produces noticeable results in a single session, usually in about an hour.
  • Effective: Removes stubborn stains and discoloration caused by aging, coffee, tea, wine, and smoking.
  • Safe: Considered safe when performed by a qualified dental professional who follows appropriate safety protocols.
  • Long-lasting: Can produce long-lasting results of up to two years with proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

Laser teeth whitening cons

A woman who is experiencing sensitive teeth
  • Cost: Laser teeth whitening is a more expensive option compared to other teeth whitening methods.
  • Sensitive teeth: Some people may experience temporary tooth sensitivity or gum irritation after the treatment, which can last for a few days.
  • Maintenance: Patients may need periodic touch-ups or at-home whitening treatments.
  • May not be suitable for everyone: Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under 18, or people with certain dental conditions.

Is laser teeth whitening safe?

Yes, this whitening teeth treatment is considered safe, but like any dental procedure, it carries some potential risks and side effects. 

During treatment, a dentist applies a hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent to your teeth and then uses a special laser to activate the bleaching agent and accelerate the whitening process. 

While the laser is not harmful to your teeth, it can cause some temporary discomfort or sensitivity to your gums and teeth.

Does laser whitening damage tooth enamel?

In rare cases, laser teeth whitening can damage enamel, although this is uncommon when performed by an experienced dentist.

How effective is laser teeth whitening treatment?

Teeth whitening cosmetic procedure before and after

The level of effectiveness will depend on the individual's starting tooth color, the severity of staining, and the type of bleaching agent used during the procedure.

Studies have shown that laser teeth whitening can produce significant improvements in tooth color. In some cases, the treatment can whiten teeth by several shades in a single session. 

However, the exact results will vary based on individual factors, such as age, diet, and lifestyle habits.

How do you maintain laser teeth whitening?

A woman who wants to brush her teeth

After undergoing laser teeth whitening, it's important to take certain steps to maintain your new, brighter smile.

Here are some tips for maintaining laser teeth whitening and what you should avoid after laser whitening:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to help remove plaque and stains that can dull the appearance of your teeth.
  2. Avoid staining foods and drinks: Limit your intake of dark-colored beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine, and avoid foods that are known to cause stains, such as berries, tomato sauce, and soy sauce.
  3. Use a straw: When drinking beverages that can cause staining, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking can cause yellowing and staining of teeth, so quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to maintain your laser teeth whitening results.
  5. Schedule regular dental cleanings: Regular dental cleanings can help remove surface stains and prevent plaque buildup that can dull the appearance of your teeth.
  6. Consider touch-up treatments: Over time, the effects of laser teeth whitening can fade. Consider touch-up treatments to maintain your results and keep your smile looking bright.

By following these tips and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can help prolong the effects of laser teeth whitening and keep your smile looking its best.

Are there any other whitening treatments other than laser?

Yes, there are several alternatives to laser teeth whitening that can help improve the appearance of your teeth.  Here are some of the most popular methods:

Teeth whitening kits

Someone injecting whitening gel

There are a variety of other methods that are typically less expensive than professional treatments and can achieve noticeably whiter teeth, including:

  • Bleaching gel
  • Bleaching tray
  • Whitening gel
  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening trays
  • Whitening toothpaste


Appearance of some teeth after Lumineers treatment

Lumineers are thin, porcelain veneers that are custom-designed to fit over your existing teeth which can cover stains to achieve brighter teeth.

Porcelain veneers

A woman who wants to do porcelain veneers

Veneers are thin shells that are placed over the fronts of the teeth to improve their appearance and can provide long-lasting results.

White fillings

White fillings

Also known as composite fillings, these can make teeth appear whiter by filling in cavities or repairing damage to the teeth. 

How much does laser teeth whitening cost?

A hand holding a 1 dollar bill

On average, laser teeth whitening costs in San Diego can range anywhere from $300 to $1,400 and will depend on the particular dentist, dental office, the extent of in-office whitening required, and the number of follow-up sessions needed to achieve the desired shade.

An experienced dentist can walk you through what is included in the tooth whitening treatment.

Is laser whitening covered by insurance?

In most cases, laser teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by dental insurance. 

Which tooth whitening solution lasts the longest?

The longevity of teeth whitening results depends on the individual's diet, lifestyle habits, and oral hygiene practices. 

In general, professional teeth whitening methods tend to produce longer-lasting results compared to over-the-counter options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many sessions of laser teeth whitening are needed?

A single session of laser teeth whitening can whiten teeth by several shades but will depend on the severity of staining, the initial color of the teeth, and desired level of whitening.

However, multiple sessions may be needed to achieve the desired level of whiteness.

How long does laser teeth whitening last?

The immediate results can last for several weeks to a few months, depending on the individual. 

Typically, laser teeth whitening can produce results that last for several months up to a few years.

Can you get white teeth without whitening?

Practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding staining foods and drinks, using a straw, quitting smoking, and trying natural remedies are all ways to brighten teeth without whitening treatments.

How long after laser teeth whitening can you eat?

It's best to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes to an hour after laser teeth whitening as the teeth are more susceptible to staining.

Can I drink coffee after laser teeth whitening?

It's generally recommended to avoid consuming dark-colored, staining beverages for at least 24-48 hours after laser teeth whitening. 


If you are ready to get your teeth whitened and finally achieve pearly white teeth, Main Street Dental in Vista has you covered!  

Our experienced staff can walk you through the pros and cons of laser teeth whitening work and discuss alternative whitening procedures to help you choose the best whitening treatments today!  

Contact us today to book a consultation!