What are the benefits of whitening my teeth?
I believe teeth whitening is a personal decision. But many patients who feel self-conscious about their smile, either because their teeth are naturally darker than average or become stained over time, say whitening has made them look younger and improved their overall confidence. So if I can do one small thing to increase patients’ confidence and desire to smile while also helping them look younger—whether it be for job interviews, important life events like a wedding or just life in general—then I’m all for it.
When is whitening recommended?
We can help guide you toward the best whitening technique for you based on the condition of your teeth and gums, oral hygiene, lifestyles and goals for improving the look of your smile.
As well, we recommend whitening to patients who are planning to undergo cosmetic dental procedures—including veneers, crowns or cosmetic bonding—to better match the restoration to your natural teeth coloring. And oftentimes we suggest whitening for patients who’ve recently had braces removed to eliminate staining that can occur during the orthodontic treatment.
Is it true that whitening damages teeth?
I often hear that questions from patients and assure them that it is not harmful. The whitening is done with hydrogen peroxide and/or a carbamide-peroxide gel, which does not damage the teeth. The procedure is also non-invasive and, other than some temporary sensitivity, there are no known side effects. (Teeth whitening procedures are not recommended for women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or nursing.)
What is Zoom whitening and how does that differ from traditional methods?
For patients who want quick results, we offer Zoom teeth whitening. An in-office bleaching procedure that takes about 90 minutes, Zoom is the perfect option for a patient who wants their teeth whitened for a specific event like an upcoming wedding or photo shoot.
The results of Zoom whitening depend on the existing color of your teeth, which will affect the level and duration of my treatment recommendation. Whether your teeth stains are significantly dark, medium or light, Zoom whitening typically results in teeth that are two to three levels lighter than before the treatment, a significant, positive change for most patients.
Other teeth whitening products and procedures are relatively inexpensive, such as a professional-grade day or nighttime whitening gel that is higher in concentration than over-the-counter varieties. Using custom-made whitening trays that match the contours of your smile and ensure contact with all visible surfaces, these gels can help improve the color of your teeth.
Keep in mind, however, that this method does take longer to net results, roughly after three or four applications. (Typically patients are satisfied with whitening after about six-to-eight uses.) Once the desired shade is reached, patients can use the trays to touch up once per year or as needed.
How does Zoom whitening work?
Using the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp that accelerates the bleaching process, the special UV light activates the powerful Zoom whitening gel containing 25 percent hydrogen peroxide. (We take great care to make sure your eyes, lips and gums are completely covered and protected throughout the procedure.)
The Zoom whitening procedure consists of three 15-minute sessions that begin with an application of whitening gel. The Zoom lamp catalyzes the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide, allowing oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin to bleach the stained substances while maintaining the tooth’s structure. After each session, the old gel is removed and a new, fresh layer is applied. Within just two hours, Zoom patients will see the dazzling smile they desire.
In addition to receiving the Zoom whitening procedure, patients receive a set of customized trays for touch-ups and maintenance.