Zoom whitening is a process used to achieve whiter teeth through bleaching. Teeth usually discolor because of habits such as smoking, drinking caffeinated and carbonated drinks, drinking red wine or from age-related discoloration. Your teeth might also be discolored as a result of fluorosis, a condition caused by excess fluorine in the water.
Teeth whitening is also recommended for patients who intend to undergo other cosmetic procedures such as veneers, in order to achieve a good match between the natural teeth and the veneers. You can also go through whitening after you remove braces.
Zoom bleaching is done in the dentist’s office, using a chair-side lamp that activates the bleaching product (25% hydrogen peroxide) and accelerates bleaching. The light breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into its component parts, and your teeth will get whiter when the oxygen component penetrates them to bleach the stained parts. Zoom bleaching does not affect the structure of your teeth.
The treatment procedure for zoom whitening
To get your teeth zoom-bleached, you will go through the following process:
Stage 1: Consultation and diagnosis
In order to decide if you are a suitable candidate for in-office zoom whitening, the dentist will perform a detailed examination of your gums and teeth. He will also talk to you about your oral health and lifestyle habits in order to gauge whether you’ll benefit in the long run from whitening. An important factor that your dentist will look out for is any existing dental procedures such as crowns or veneers, which do not respond to whitening products.
Based on his assessment, he/she will recommend the product and technique best suited for whitening your teeth.
Stage 2: Whitening
Your second visit will start with a short preparation step for covering your lips and gums, which will leave your teeth exposed and easier to work on. Before the whitening begins, the dentist might perform a regular cleaning, which only lasts a few minutes.
Whitening gel is then applied to your teeth, and the zoom light is applied directly to the gel to activate. The zoom light has to work together with the light for stain breakdown to happen. The light and the whitening gel have to stay in place for 15 minutes, during which you can relax.
These 15 minute sessions are repeated 3 times, so the total whitening procedure will take 45 minutes. After the final rinse off, your dentist will apply a gel for reducing sensitivity.
Care and maintenance of zoom-bleached teeth
You’ll need to do the following to keep your teeth white:
You will be given a whitening kit for home use, which includes whitening gels and trays that are custom fitted. You need to follow your dentist’s instructions regarding how to use the kit.
Watch what you eat and drink
You might also have to avoid or minimize your consumption of certain foods and drinks that cause staining including coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, red wine and other acidic foods. Additionally, chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes cause staining and interfere with your oral health, so your dentist will advise you to avoid them.
Change your toothpaste
If you don’t have teeth sensitivity problems, you will also need to switch to using a whitening toothpaste.
Regular teeth cleaning sessions are advisable to remove buildup of plaque.