What is Zoom Teeth Whitening?
Zoom Teeth Whitening is a clinic-based LED light-assisted chemical bleaching performed by our dental team to lighten the natural colour of your teeth.
This process only works on natural teeth and will not lighten existing fillings, veneers or crowns.
What causes tooth discoloration?
Tooth discolouration may be caused by external stains from smoking and the consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, soy sauce or dark-coloured fruit juices. Ageing also causes your teeth to slowly yellow over time as the enamel layer wears down.
Other sources of tooth discolouration are internal, such as tetracycline antibiotic staining, dental decay, enamel defects, leaking amalgam fillings or necrotic pulp stains (in a dead/root canal-treated tooth). These may not respond that well to Zoom and other treatment options may be more suitable in order to achieve the desired result.
Is Zoom teeth whitening safe?
The bleaching gel and the activation light have been assessed to be safe by various global regulatory bodies (USFDA, CE, Health Sciences Authority of Singapore) when used under the supervision of a licenced dental professional.
It is a myth that the bleaching gel is able to erode tooth enamel because the optimal pH for bleaching is neutral to slightly alkaline.
Is Zoom teeth whitening suitable for me?
Your dentist will be able to advise you on whether Zoom teeth whitening would be suitable for your case.
Patients are free to request certain types of treatment in the belief that the treatment will benefit them. However, a consultation is required to determine if Zoom whitening (or any other treatment for that matter) will suit a particular patient and what they hope to achieve.
Zoom is not advised for patients below 18 years old and for pregnant women.
How is Zoom teeth whitening done at Elite Dental?
Step 1: Consultation
A thorough examination is required to assess if you are suitable for the Zoom whitening treatment. The bleaching gel should not be applied on decayed teeth/open cavities, around inflamed gums, or on extremely worn teeth. So these conditions should be treated first, before the whitening can be done safely.
We will advise you on how much your teeth will lighten with Zoom and maintenance instructions will also be given to help you keep your smile as bright for as long as possible.
Custom teeth whitening trays can also be made so that it is easy to maintain the whiteness of teeth at home, with a lower concentration whitening gel.
Your starting teeth shade will be recorded.
Step 2: Preparing your Teeth
Your teeth will be carefully cleaned to remove plaque and debris. A protective gel barrier is applied to the gum margins and the rest of the soft tissues are covered to prevent irritation from the Zoom lamp and the bleaching gel.
This allows us to use the maximum strength of hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel (25%), which is only available to licensed dental professionals.
In some cases, you may also be given an oral painkiller to reduce sensitivity during the procedure.
Step 3: Zoom Whitening Procedure
After applying the bleaching gel onto your teeth, a strong LED light is used to accelerate the chemical bleaching process. As the bleaching gel is exposed to the light, it breaks down stain molecules within the tooth structure into colourless compounds. The depleted gel is removed and fresh gel is reapplied at the start of each 15 min cycle. 2-4 consecutive cycles of 15 minutes are normally required.
Step 4: Whitening Complete!
The bleaching gel and barrier material will be removed at the end of the procedure.
Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity after Zoom. A desensitizing gel and desensitizing toothpaste is recommended for the first 1-2 days after Zoom, and we will instruct you on how best to apply these to your sensitive teeth.
IMPORTANT: Avoid exposing your teeth to coloured cosmetics (lipstick/lip balm), coloured food and beverages for the first 48 hours.
Your dentist may review your bleaching after 1-2 weeks to assess the final shade. It is normal to experience some fading after Zoom as your teeth rehydrate.
Some patients also have bleaching trays made for 3 monthly top ups using home bleaching gel.
Will the results of Zoom teeth whitening last forever?
As we age, our teeth get darker and this is a part of the natural ageing process. Doing top-up whitening sessions (in clinic or at home) is recommended to maintain the brightness of your smile.
Is teeth whitening done at a salon by a beautician just as effective?
In recent years, provision of aesthetic dental treatment (teeth whitening, veneers, braces) by non-dental professionals has increased. Therapists and beauticians operating out of salons, spas, beauty parlors and some even from their own homes, offer such treatment. These providers offer what seems to be the same treatments as those performed by licensed dentists at a much lower fee, promising similar results.
The short answer is, whitening or other dental procedures not carried out by licensed dental professionals is done at your own risk. There is no guarantee of predictable success and there is an increased risk of material harm (from unlicensed bleaching chemicals being used in your mouth and soft tissue burns). You will have no recourse should the procedure go awry.
Please read these articles for more information.