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Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth.  The most popular method is ZOOM! whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically.  Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.  Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Tooth whitening is not permanent.  A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.

Zoom! Tooth Whitening:

Below you will find questions and answers to the ZOOM! whitening process of your teeth:

  • What is Zoom! tooth whitening?

Zoom! is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin. You may have seen the Zoom! process used on ABC’s Extreme Makeover. 

  • How long does Zoom! Chairside Whitening take? 

 The complete procedure takes less than an hour. The procedure begins with a preparation period followed as little as by 45 minutes of bleaching. (A cleaning is recommended prior to the actual Zoom! whitening session.) 

  • How does the Zoom! In-office system work? 

The Zoom! light activated whitening gel's active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. As the Hydrogen Peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching colored substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged. The Zoom! light aids in activating the hydrogen peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth. A study has shown that use of the Zoom! lamp increases the effectiveness of the Zoom! gel by 26% or more, giving an average improvement of up to eight shades. 

  • What will I experience during the Zoom! In-Office Procedure? 

During the procedure, patients may comfortably watch television or listen to music. Individuals with a strong gag reflex or anxiety may have difficulty undergoing the entire procedure. 

  •  How long do the results last?

By following some simple post whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily, and occasional touch-ups with Zoom! Weekender or Nite White gel. These are professional formula products designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest. They are available only through your dental professional.

  • Are there any side effects?

Sensitivity during the treatment may occur with some patients. The Zoom! light generates minimal heat which is the usual source of discomfort. On rare occasions, minor tingling sensations are experienced immediately after the procedure, but always dissipate. You can also ask your dentist to supply you with anti-sensitivity toothpaste for use prior to treatment.

  • What causes tooth discoloration?

There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, colas, tobacco, red wine, etc. During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.

  • Do many people whiten their teeth?

More people than you might imagine. A bright sparkling smile can make a big difference for everyone. The Zoom! Chairside Whitening System makes it easier and faster than ever before.

  • Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. Your dental professional can determine if you are a viable candidate for this procedure through a thorough oral exam, including a shade assessment.

  • Is whitening safe?

Yes. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom! is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.

What does home tooth whitening involve?

This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits.  At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.  It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

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