Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after whitening so they will match the newly whitened teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed after several months, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution for an hour a day for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped whitening.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
Zoom is a bleaching process widely used throughout the country and around the world to lighten discoloration of enamel and dentin. Tooth discoloration may result from drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine; or from smoking. The aging process also can stain and darken your teeth. The Zoom in-office tooth whitening procedure uses the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp – said to accelerate the bleaching process – to activate the 25 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening. As the hydrogen peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin to bleach the stained substances, leaving the structure of the tooth unchanged.
Before deciding whether Zoom in-office teeth whitening is right for you, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to ensure proper health, as well as talk with you about your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits to determine if you will benefit from whitening. This will help you and your dentist agree on the whitening product or technique that's best for you.
Your dentist also may require you to undergo tooth whitening if you are planning other cosmetic dental procedures, such as veneers or composite bonding, in order to ensure a better match between the restoration and your natural dentition, or after the removal of braces. Depending on the condition of your teeth and your goals for changing the look of your smile, tooth whitening may not be your best option.
During your consultation and evaluation, your dentist also will note existing dental work, such as crowns and veneers, which will not respond to conventional whitening agents.
The complete procedure takes less than an hour, but a regular teeth cleaning is recommended prior to the actual Zoom teeth whitening session.The procedure begins with a short preparation to cover the lips and gums, leaving the teeth exposed. The dentist or dental assistant then applies the Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel, which works together with the Zoom light to penetrate the teeth and break up the stains and discoloration. The gel remains in place for 15 minutes while the light is activated. During this time, you can relax, watch TV or listen to music.
The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions of light activation, for a total treatment time of 45 minutes. Individuals with a strong gag reflex or anxiety may have difficulty undergoing the entire procedure. Immediately afterwards, a sensitivity-reducing fluoride paste-gel is applied to the teeth.
You will be given a Zoom home-use touch-up kit that includes custom-fitted whitening trays. Follow your dentist's instructions for when and how to use this touch-up kit.
To help maintain the whitening effects of your Zoom teeth whitening treatment, your dentist may advise you to avoid certain foods and beverages, or consume them in moderation to avoid staining your teeth. This includes tea, coffee, red wine, cola, etc.
Additionally, tobacco products will stain teeth, even after whitening treatments. As such, your dentist will suggest you quit using them. Maintain an appropriate oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) regimen to prevent stains from reforming, and see your dentist and hygienist regularly for scheduled teeth cleanings.
Toothpastes containing whitening agents also may be suggested by your dentist to maintain the results of the procedure.
Sensitivity during treatment may occur in some people. The Zoom light produces minimal heat, which is usually the source of discomfort. Rarely, minor tingling is experienced immediately after the procedure, but always dissipates. Ask your dentist for an anti-sensitivity toothpaste prior to treatment to lessen sensitivity.
As with other tooth whitening products, Zoom whitening is not recommended for children under 13 years of age, or for pregnant or lactating women. Also, it is important to remember that whitening treatment may not be as effective for some people as it is for others. Only your dentist can determine if Zoom teeth whitening is right for you after performing a thorough oral examination that includes a shade assessment.