Teeth whitening is the single most commonly requested cosmetic dentistry treatment in the world. While there are many different products that claim to be able to lighten the color of your teeth, from toothpastes to at-home gels and UV lights, it is whitening that is carried out by an experienced dentist that produces the biggest improvement and the most consistent and long-lasting results.
One type of in-office whitening that is particularly popular amongst patients is known as Zoom whitening.
Zoom whitening is a product of the brand, Philips, since it uses a special Philips Zoom lamp to activate the whitening solution. This lamp is superior to many others used in dentistry since it can accelerate the bleaching process, and this helps it to deliver the outstanding results that Zoom whitening is known for. In fact, many patients can achieve a smile that is up to SIX shades whiter after choosing a Zoom whitening procedure.
Zoom whitening uses an agent that is 25% hydrogen peroxide, which is significantly more than any over the counter whitening solution. This is carefully applied to your teeth by your Zoom whitening dentist. Once this is in place, the Zoom lamp will be directed on to your teeth where the two work together to penetrate the teeth and break up stains and discoloration. The whole process is carried out in three or four 15-minute sessions, all undertaken in just one appointment. Exactly how many you will need will depend on the shade you hope to achieve and the initial color of your teeth.
Immediately after your whitening procedure, you will have a sensitivity-reducing fluoride gel or paste applied to your teeth. This is because teeth are known to be particularly sensitive in the days and weeks after bleaching. You will also be provided with a ‘touch-up’ tray to take home and use to help maintain your results. You will also be given specific instructions as to things that you can do and things that you should avoid so that you can enjoy your new, whiter smile for longer.
Some people have concerns about the effects that bleaching may have on their tooth enamel. Teeth are made up of layers and the enamel is the hardest, outer layer of the teeth and the one that is affected by staining and discoloration. Some reports have suggested that exposure to whitening agents can cause softening of the enamel, making decay more likely and causing patients to experience dental sensitivity and pain when they eat or drink anything particularly hot, cold or sweet.
Fortunately, at the concentrations used in cosmetic dentistry, bleaching agents have been shown not to damage the enamel, and there is no evidence of softening or stripping of the enamel. However, around half of patients will experience some sensitivity of their teeth in the days and weeks after their procedure. This effect is usually temporary and is largely believed to be caused by dehydration of the teeth that occurs during the bleaching process. The sensitivity-reducing fluoride gel that will be applied after your Zoom whitening procedure will help to counteract this, but you may also wish to avoid hot/very cold drinks and very sweet products for at least a week following your appointment.
For more information on Zoom whitening, or to schedule your consultation appointment with our Zoom whitening specialists, please contact our offices.