An almost unheard-of and rare procedure until a couple of decades ago, Teeth whitening rode on the wave of increasing materialistic attitude of the people the world over to attain a very prominent role in the lives of every other public personality, and lately every other man on the street!

In the 1980s, Teeth whitening procedures were limited to people highly exposed to the public through the mass media, such as actors and actresses, news anchors, interviewers etc. Back then, the prices of Teeth whitening procedures used to be simply too high as compared to the salaries of the general population. Though most new technologies experience such a phase, gradually the prices fall drastically, with rise in demand and further progress in the technology, apart from growing competition due to large-scale commercialization. Teeth-whitening however, hasn't undergone a very remarkable economization over time.

Though in the present world teeth-whitening has become commonplace, there is still the popular misconception in the minds of the people that the procedure can only be carried out by a professional and experienced dentist. The more intelligent and non-traditional sections of the population are beginning to make use of DIY or do-it-yourself home-kits which companies ship out in thousands each month. This is a more cost-effective and time-saving alternative as compared to taking appointments and devoting hours to a procedure carried out by a dentist.

Laser teeth whitening, as opposed to ordinary bleaching methods, can be carried out only by an experienced dentist. This procedure is a bit costlier but provides much quicker results. Although the active bleaching agents of this whitening procedure might be different, the results are almost identical to the non-stimulated bleaching method, other than the difference in time. Patients going for laser teeth whitening procedures have their teeth-color improved by around 10-15 shades.

Usually, concentrated hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is used as the bleaching agent. The bleaching solution is "activated" by a laser and occasionally a light thus rapidly accelerating the process of teeth whitening. While the whole procedure takes between one to two hours, the results are instant. There are definitely a large number of options in the field of teeth-whitening, with varying costs and results.

Though the results in case of laser teeth whitening are instant, its associated side effects and consequences make the whole process less enjoyable. Gum sensitivity after the procedure is increased. Around a fifth of the patients report gum problems, like bleeding and infections, while an astounding 39% of them had admitted to a dramatic rise in teeth sensitivity after the procedure. Wine, coffee, red sauce and similar food items which can stain the teeth must not be consumed soon after the procedure.

The duration for which whitened teeth indeed remain white depends on the food consumed as well as personal hygiene.