Zoom in Office Whitening
Step 1: Get Ready
Zoom teeth whitening is an in-office procedure. The Zoom whitening procedure itself takes about an hour and a half. Before the Zoom procedure, you’ll need to fill out a few pages of paperwork about the Zoom procedure. If we’ve never seen you before as a patient, you’ll also be asked to complete new patient paperwork, which may take a few extra minutes. Next, you’ll have a quick exam to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for whitening, and to check if you have any dental restorations like bridges or crowns. If you haven’t had a cleaning recently, you may need to get one. (In fact, if it’s been some time since your last professional dental cleaning, we suggest a full dental cleaning BEFORE investing in whitening because some quality time with the cavitron to remove surface stains and calculus may make a major difference). Once everything is in order, we’ll make a note of your current tooth shade so that we can track your progress through your whitening sessions.
Step 2: Get Whitened
The actual Zoom whitening procedure starts with protecting your gums and soft tissue. Translation: we put in cheek retractors and enough cotton rolls to keep your top and bottom teeth from touching each other. Next, we paint a protective layer on your gums. The whitening agent used in Zoom is powerful, so it’s important to be thorough in this step.
Once that’s done, we put a layer of the Zoom whitening agent on your teeth (front surfaces only), and set the laser light in front of your teeth. You’ll be given some orange safety glasses for this portion of the program. Once the whitening starts, we set the time for 15 minutes. A full Zoom whitening procedure consists of 4, 15-minute sessions. Don’t worry, we’ll be around to check on you regularly, in case you need anything.
Zingers: We mentioned a little earlier that the whitening agent in Zoom is powerful. In order to do its job, the whitening agent temporarily dissolves a very thin layer that covers your enamel, called the “pellicle.” That layer is what protects your teeth from being overly sensitive to everyday activities. Some people experience “zingers” during their whitening sessions. Zingers are aptly named, and can feel like small electric shocks around your teeth and gums. They bother some folks more than others, and the effect of zingers can usually be muted by taking some ibuprofen before your appointment. Check with your dentist first, though.
Step 3: Go Turn Heads
After each session, we may add more whitening agent, or adjust the light. We’ll check the progress to see how your teeth are doing. Some sessions go so well that some folks choose to end early so their teeth don’t get blindingly white. Others will go the full hour. When your time is up, we’ll wash all of the gunk out of your mouth, give your lips some time transition from Wallace-esque back to normal, and hand you the mirror to admire the results. While we can’t guarantee a particular result or shade, many patients see a change of 2 to 3 shades, and notice a big difference.
On your way out the door with your gorgeous smile, we’ll hand you a list with food, drink, and vices to avoid for the next 48 hours. Basically if it’s red, dark, spicy, or savory, you probably can’t eat or drink it. And absolutely no smoking, we mean it. That pellicle we mentioned earlier also protects your teeth from surface staining, and it takes about 48 hours to grow it back. We suggest getting your teeth whitened early in the week, so that you won’t be tempted over the weekend.