Frequently Asked Questions

Zoom! Whitening

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 approximately 60 to 90 minutes.  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 eight to thirteen shades.

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

During the procedure, patients relax comfortably and may 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 office.

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 thinning enamel due to age 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 16 years of age, nor for pregnant and/or lactating women.

Other Information

Almost all natural teeth can benefit from Zoom! Whitening treatments and significant whitening can be achieved in most cases.  Zoom! Whitening treatments are not intended to lighten artificial teeth, caps, crowns, veneers or porcelain, composite or other restorative materials and that people with darkly stained or yellow or yellow-brown teeth frequently achieve better results than people with gray or bluish-gray teeth.  Teeth with multiple colorations, bands, splotches, or spots due to tetracycline use or fluorosis do not whiten as well, may need multiple treatments or may not whiten at all.  Teeth with many fillings, cavities, chips or cracks may not lighten and are usually best treated with other non-bleaching alternatives.  Temporary restorations made from acrylics may become discolored after exposure to Zoom! Treatment.

Zoom! Treatment is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, light-sensitive individuals, patients receiving PUVA (Psoralen + UVA radiation) or other photochemotherapeutic drugs or treatment, as well as patients with melanoma, diabetes, or heart conditions.  Zoom! Lamp emits ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) and that patients taking any drugs that increase photosensitivity should consult with their physician before undergoing Zoom! Treatment.

Tooth Sensitivity/Pain – During the first 24 hours after Zoom! Treatment, some patients may experience tooth sensitivity or pain.  This is normal and is usually mild, but it can be worse in susceptible individuals.

After treatment, it is important to refrain from consuming any substances that could discolor your teeth for the first 48 hours after treatment.  These substances include: coffee, tea, colas, all tobacco products, mustard or ketchup, red wine, soy sauce, berries, red sauces, etc.  A general rule of thumb to follow would be to avoid consuming substances that could stain a white t-shirt.

Photoreactive Drug Information

The following medications are commonly considered to be photoreactive and may cause an adverse condition if used in conjunction with the Zoom! System. If you are currently taking any of these medications, please consult with your physician before going through the Zoom! Procedure. To check photoreactive properties of any medications not listed, please consult the most recent edition of the Physician’s Drug Reference (PDR).

Generic Name displayed in bold, with trade name(s) following:                  

Chlorthiazide, Aldoclor, Diupres, Diuril

Hydrochlorothiazide, Aldacteride, Adoril, Capozide, Dyazide, Hydrodiuril, Lopressor, Orotic, Moduretic

Chlorthalidone, Combipres, Tenoretic, Hygroton

Naprosyn, Naproxen

Oxaprozin, Daypro

Nabumetone, Relafen

Piroxicam, Feldene

Doxycycline, Vibramycin, Doryx

Ciprofloxacin, Cipro

Ofloxacin, Floxin

Psoralens, Methoxcalen, Trisoralen

Democlocycline, Declomycin

Norfloxacin, Chibroxin, Noroxin

Sparfloxacin, Zagan

Sulindac, Clinoril, Sulindac

Tetracycline, Achomycin

St. John’s Wort

Isotretinoin, Accutane

Tretinoin, Retin A