Zoom! Whitening is one of the newer tooth bleaching processes being uses across the country. This form of tooth whitening is used when both the tooth enamel and dentin have become discolored. As an in-office procedure, Zoom! Whitening can provide clearly noticeable results in a very short period of time, making it the preferred method for many patients who want their smile to look its best and brightest before a special event such as a wedding or reunion.
What causes tooth discoloration?
Tooth discoloration can be caused by a number of factors. Beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, and wine are common culprits, as is tobacco use. What many patients are unaware of is that teeth can also become discolored as a product of the natural aging process. As we age, our tooth enamel thins from use, exposing the yellow dentin beneath. This can give teeth a dulled or discolored look. Zoom! Whitening can help counteract these elements, leaving you with a whiter, more dazzling smile.
Is Zoom! Whitening right for you?
In order to determine if you are a good candidate for Zoom! Whitening, Dr. Mabry will carefully examine your teeth and gum to ensure that they are healthy. He may also talk to you about your lifestyle habits and oral hygiene practices to ensure that Zoom! Whitening is the best technique for you. In some cases, tooth whitening may be recommended if you are planning to receive other cosmetic dentistry treatments such as veneers or dental bonding to ensure your restoration will best match your natural tooth color.
During this examination, it is important that you discuss any previous dental restorations that you have with Dr. Mabry. Some restorations, such as dental crowns or porcelain veneers will not respond to conventional whitening treatments. If these are not accounted for, you could end up with a condition known as “technicolor teeth,” where the restorations remain a different color from the natural teeth. It is important that you disclose all dental work with Dr. Mabry before proceeding with the Zoom! Whitening process.
The Zoom! Teeth Whitening In-Office Procedure
It is recommended that you have your teeth thoroughly cleaned before beginning the Zoom! Whitening process to ensure that you receive the best results possible. Once this is done, the Zoom! procedure generally takes less than an hour. Your lips and gums will be covered with a rubber dam to protect them from the whitening solution, which can cause some minor irritation in these areas. The Zoom! whitening gel will then be applied to your teeth and left in place for 15 minutes. At the same time, your teeth will be exposed to the Zoom! light, which activates the gel, speeding up the whitening process. During this time you may read, relax, or listen to music.
This process will be repeated a total of three times, for a total 45 minutes of whitening time. If you suffer from anxiety or have a strong gag reflex, discuss this with Dr. Mabry beforehand so that accommodations can be made for you. Immediately after the process is finished, a fluoride paste-gel will be applied to your teeth to reduce tooth and gum sensitivity following your whitening procedure.
Keeping your teeth bright following your Zoom! Whitening
Dr. Mabry will provide you with a Zoom! touch-up kit to use at home. This kit contains custom-fitted whitening trays that you can use to keep your teeth looking their best. Dr. Mabry will advise you on when and how to use this kit in order to ensure that the effects of your Zoom! Whitening procedure last as long as possible.
Following treatment, you may be advised to avoid certain beverages or foods, particularly those that are known to stain your teeth. If you do decide to indulge in these items in moderation, be sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth immediately afterward to minimize staining. It is also important that you reduce or completely cease your use of tobacco products if you want your smile to remain white and bright for as long as possible.
Following an appropriate oral hygiene regimen will also help prevent stains from reforming. Continuing to follow a regular schedule of visits to our office for checkups and professional cleanings will also prolong the effects of your whitening procedure. In some cases, Dr. Mabry may recommend a special whitening toothpaste to help maintain the effects for as long as possible.
Possible Zoom! Whitening Complications
While tooth whitening is considered to be one of the safest cosmetic dentistry procedures available today, it is important to keep in mind the possible complications when considering treatment:
- Some patients may experience minor discomfort during treatment due to the use of the Zoom! light. In most case, this is experienced as minor tingling.
- Some patients may experience increased tooth and gum sensitivity following treatment. You may wish to ask Dr. Mabry for an anti-sensitivity toothpaste to alleviate this symptom following treatment.
- Zoom! whitening should not be used with patients who are pregnant, nursing, or under the age of 13.
- As with other whitening treatments, results will vary from patient to patient.
If you have any questions about the Zoom! Whitening process, or if you would like to find out if you would make a good candidate for whitening treatments, call our office today for a consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions that you might have, we look forward to achieving the bright, white, and beautiful smile that you’ve been waiting for.