ZOOM is a great way to whiten your teeth FAST
The results are dramatic. It is very rare that I can’t see an obvious whitening change with my patients. There really isn’t a whitening system out there that will produce a more dramatic result. Most of the “dental office” chair side systems are about the same. I personally like the ZOOM system because it has been around longer, is well advertised, and has more supporting studies.
People always ask me, “How does ZOOM compare to over the counter systems like Crest White strips or those people sprawled out getting their teeth whitened in the middle of the mall?”
Well, I’ve stopped those people in the mall and asked for their credentials/training. The person in charge is usually a pimply teenager and a typical answer is, “Ummm.. I don’t know..” I’ve asked what chemical they are putting on their “patient’s” teeth and in what concentration?” Again, the answer is very similar, “Ummmm…..”
In other words, the FDA only allows a certain % of carbamide peroxide (or hydrogen peroxide) to be sold over the counter. This percentage is enough to whiten teeth, but not enough to damage or burn soft tissue. Therefore, these “mall people”, without having carefully placed isolation barriers around the gums, are using the same chemical you get with the Crest White strips, charging you twice as much, and the light is for show.
So, if you’re going to blow a hundred bucks (or whatever!) on “mall people”, you might as well pay $45 on Crest White strips and do it in the privacy of your own home.
The difference between ZOOM and these over the counter systems are simple. ZOOM uses a much higher % of carbamide peroxide and is only sold to dentists. Our dental office provides a controlled and supervised setting where the active chemical is applied to the teeth with the gums, tongue, and cheeks completely isolated.
A typical zoom appointment takes about an hour. In that hour, I’ll spend about 5 minutes going over ZOOM, 10 minutes setting up isolation barriers on your gums and face, and 3 (or 4) 15 minute sessions with application of carbamide peroxide catalyzed by the ZOOM light.
Issues that I go over include:
1) Sensitivity 2)Medication Contraindications 3)Fillings and Crowns 4)Barrier Issues 5)Post Zoom Instructions
1) I believe it is important for the patient to know that sensitivity may happen during or after ZOOM.. This sensitivity (which I have experienced myself) feels like light “sparks” in the teeth. I have performed ZOOM on hundreds to thousands of patients and have never had a patient sensitive for more than a few days following the procedure. Furthermore, I have the patient brush with a special high fluoridated toothpaste called Prevident 5000 before and after treatment. This greatly helps reduce sensitivity.
2) Any medications you may be taking that make you prone to light sensitivity (such as many types of acne medications including Tetracycline) are also a contraindication for ZOOM.
3) Any fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers, or ANY NON-ENAMEL SURFACE will NOT whiten. It is important to know that if you have any of these “shade matched” restorations before ZOOM, they may not match your teeth when ZOOM is complete. This is also the reason why I always offer ZOOM BEFORE placing any of these types of cosmetic restorations, so I can match to the new whiter color.
4) I use a very high concentration of light activated Carbamide Peroxide (much stronger than over the counter products) to lighten teeth It works by removing a micro layer of yellowed enamel, exposing a fresh white under surface. We very carefully isolate all tissue exposed surfaces with barrier material. The patient is basically “mummified” with only their teeth exposed. If some of the Carbamide gets on soft tissue, it will cause a burn. Very occasionally, I get a small whitened edge of the gums in areas where the chemical may have leaked slightly through the barrier. If this occurs, I give the patient Vitamin E lotion and have them apply it over the next few days. I have never had one of these “burns” persist longer than a few days after ZOOM.
5) After ZOOM is completed, the teeth will continue to whiten over the next 2 weeks! I have always been very careful not to proceed with matching shades or cosmetic or restorative dentistry until the ZOOM color has settled. Also, when a patient leaves the office following ZOOM, I describe the teeth as being like a sponge that has been dried out. Since the very micro-surface layer of the enamel has been removed, the under surface enamel, microscopically, is like a bunch of dehydrated tubes ready to suck in any liquid it can get its hands on. Therefore, you do NOT want to drink anything like RED WINE, DARK COLORED SODA, COFFEE, TEA, RED FRUIT PUNCH, or ANYTHING that has a pigmentation to it. If you do, your teeth WILL TURN THAT COLOR!!!! I’m serious about this! Be careful!!
Also, after ZOOM, I have patients brush with Prevident 5000 (a prescription high fluoridated toothpaste) which significantly helps to cut down on sensitivity. And, if the patient had experienced any burns on the soft tissue, I will give the patient Vitamin E to apply to the areas.
As part of the ZOOM treatment, I will also make the patient customized bleaching trays for future “touch-ups” if the patient sees their white teeth fading. Everyone is different in terms of how long their teeth stay ZOOM white. I, personally, had ZOOM done 5 or 6 years ago and people still ask me if I whiten my teeth. Other people have told me they see a “fading” of their white teeth in only 6 months to a year after ZOOM. It all depends on the individual and their eating and drinking habits. If you drink a lot of Red Wine, eat Soy Sauce, SMOKE CIGARETTES, etc.., then the white isn’t going to last as long. Regardless, we provide a touch up kit (at minimal charge if any..) AND customized bleaching trays (which are free) for those patients to whiten their teeth back to ZOOM white.
We also offer, as a completely different avenue of treatment, “Day White” or “Night White” take home whitening kits and customized bleaching trays. With these systems, you can achieve the same results as ZOOM, but it takes 2-3 weeks instead of one hour. You wear the “Day White” trays for one hour a day for a few weeks or the “Night White” trays while you sleep. So, the big difference is you don’t get that initial “Wow!” factor that you get from ZOOM…. and, of course, it costs less. Some people prefer the trays. Its all personal preference. But, keep in mind, it isn’t a dramatic cost difference and you also get trays and “touch up” kits with the ZOOM system. So, its up to you, but be aware that both whitening methods are available.