No one has to wear a worn, lackluster smile if they desire not to. Advancements in teeth whitening systems have given my patients the opportunity to have the smile they always wanted. As a dentist for almost 4 decades, I’ve seen firsthand what the aging process does to teeth. Years of drinking acidic liquids which stain and actually erode away tooth enamel (like red wine, coffee, grape juice, etc.) does come with a price.
Even certain medications, genetics and, of course, tobacco can cause a duller, darker smile. But teeth whitening has seen vast improvements in technique as well as the amount of time it takes a smile to go from dingy to dazzling. After a treatment with the ZOOM whitening system, many patients wonder why they waited so long.
Why is ZOOM Whitening preferred over just using home bleach trays or White Strips?
One of the major reasons people prefer ZOOM whitening over take-home bleach trays is that is so quick. People want results fast, and it appears convenience is the major factor when selecting a teeth whitening regimen. In about an hour patients can turn back the clock 20 or more years. It is the least invasive procedure we can do to transform our smiles. In addition, it is just about the cheapest choice and of course doesn’t involve anesthetic or drilling (always a plus!).
Another huge benefit for patients to ZOOM whitening is an unintended improvement in relationships and careers. It simply makes sense that patients with whiter teeth feel better about themselves and it shows. If people feel better about themselves and their smile, they will of course smile more. And those who smile more are naturally perceived as confident, friendly and more approachable. People can’t help but be drawn to a more relaxed and self-assured person with a brighter smile. Hence the improvement in relationships and careers. Almost everyone who whitens their teeth remark that they should have done it years ago.
How do we do it?
With the ZOOM patented technique, an active bleaching solution containing 30 percent hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth, being extremely careful to keep it off the gums. We follow that with an advanced chair side UV light lamp that actually accelerates the bleaching process. The agent combined with the ZOOM light penetrates and breaks down the stain and discoloration. We typically do three 15 minute sessions during that hour appointment, and during that time patients can listen to music, watch television or just relax. We follow up the ZOOM treatments with a professionally applied desensitizing gel on the teeth for 5-10 minutes. (Sensitivity to cold is the most common side effect of whitening, but it always goes away when we are done with whitening and we have many choices available to manage and minimize it during the bleaching process.)
The improvement in tooth color is quick and dramatic. However, in our experience we typically get the teeth about 60% of their potential whiteness with just ZOOM treatment alone. For that reason almost all of our whitening patients do a combination of ZOOM and “at home” whitening with extremely accurate custom made “deep bleaching” thin trays, at first filling them with the ZOOM brand home gel (used overnight while sleeping) for a few nights, followed by use of LIFE-LIKE brand 30% gel for 1 hour a day. This gives us the best, longest-lasting results and but typically adds about 1-3 weeks of time to the entire process. During the at home phase we typically will see our bleach patients once a week to coach and fine tune their technique and results. However, if patients prefer we can limit the whitening process to the in-office ZOOM treatments only (at a reduced fee). Most all of our bleaching patients do the combination whitening. One other advantage is being able to use the custom made deep bleach trays once or twice a year for a day or so (usually after each hygiene visit) to maintain and enhance the beautiful whiteness over the years without having to repeat the ZOOM process.
How does Zoom Whitening work with crowns, veneers and bonding?
Porcelain crowns and veneers do not change color when applying the ZOOM Whitening treatment. Often patents with veneers and crowns find them to be a few shades lighter than their natural teeth, so whitening their natural teeth sometimes makes the veneers and crowns fit in better. Bonded composite also does not change color with whitening treatments either. In fact it’s not unusual for patients to find a color mismatch between their restorative dental work and their natural teeth which can produce an unappealing appearance in their smile. We discuss this in advance and for patients who do not want to replace any previous cosmetic dentistry we will usually limit the bleaching time to closely match the shade of their newly whitened natural teeth to any existing bonding or veneers they already have in place. However, most patients are so excited about their new smile that from the beginning they have planned is to replace existing tooth colored restorations with new, brighter white ceramics or composites.
How to Keep that Whiter Smile Post Treatment
With the ZOOM Whitening system, the following 48 hours special. It’s within that time frame that the pores in the tooth enamel are quite absorbent. So patients need to be very careful of consuming food or drinks that can easily stain their teeth. Liquids like coffee, tea, colas and red wine are especially tough on newly whitened teeth. (Rule of thumb: It’s important to be mindful that anything that stains a white shirt can stain a beautiful new smile during the 48 hours immediately following ZOOM) We also recommend, if at all possible, that patients use a straw while going through the whitening process, so that potentially staining food and drink will bypass the teeth and will limit the exposure to the back teeth only. We realize that diet restrictions are often difficult to follow. So if nothing else, the best possible way to keep your new whiter smile white is to rinse with water or brush your teeth immediately after drinking liquids or foods that stain. (As an aside, when I whitened my teeth about 15 years ago I continued drinking my mug of Starbuck’s coffee every morning and my teeth still got unbelievably whiter!)
At our Southfield Dental office our staff is well-equipped and trained to help all our patients with questions about the whitening treatments available. Everyone deserves a smile that flashes! Reach out to us today at 248-356-8790. Find out how easy it is to achieve that radiant smile you thought was impossible to get. Discover the difference a great dentist can make!
Until Next Time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD
Your Southfield Family Dentist
Tel: (248) 356-8790