In the past decade, there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments.
Teeth 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 using a home teeth whitening kit that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since this only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate the replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
This 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 solutions 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.
A pearly-white smile is beautiful to look at and can greatly improve self-confidence. Many people are opting for the Zoom!® Chairside Whitening System (Zoom!®) for fast, safe and effective teeth whitening. Zoom!® combines the newest advances in dental technology with proven chemical formulas. This ensures that the bleaching experience is painless, and the results are satisfying.
There are many reasons why teeth become stained or discolored, including tobacco use, and drinking dark liquids such as red wine, coffee, tea and cola. However, the natural aging process and prescription medication use can also cause yellowing and graying.
There are literally hundreds of whitening treatments available in the marketplace, including take-home strips, bleaching toothpaste, and take-home whitening gels. Many take-home gels are ineffective and may not elicit the desired results.
Zoom!® is a bleaching process that lightens the dentin and enamel of the teeth. Zoom!® contains a hydrogen peroxide component (25%), which is the active ingredient in the gel. When hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth, the peroxide component breaks down into tiny oxygen bubbles. It is these bubbles that eliminate yellowing and staining.
A mercury metal halide light is used to activate the gel and expedite the whitening process. This specialized light contains a unique infrared filter that works to reduce the amount of heat (and therefore sensitivity) on the surface of the teeth during the procedure. The internal structure of the teeth remains completely healthy and intact during and after the treatment.
As with any whitening system, the post-treatment results can vary according to the degree of staining and the condition of the teeth. A consultation with the dentist prior to treatment will provide information as to what kind of results Zoom!® can provide in specific instances. Zoom!® is only applied to healthy teeth and gums. If tooth decay or gum disease is an issue, these need to be controlled before the bleaching treatment is performed.
Prior to treatment, there will be a consultation where the dentist will outline the exact procedure. On treatment day, a deep cleaning (prophylaxis) will be performed to rid the teeth of any debris and plaque. Then, special eyewear will be provided to protect the eyes from the halide light, and splash guards to protect the clothing from the bleaching agent.
Here is a brief overview of the Zoom!® procedure:
The same external factors that caused the discoloration in the first place can quickly work their way back onto the teeth. For this reason, the dentist recommends flossing once a day, thorough cleaning with anti-sensitivity toothpaste twice a day, and occasional retreatment with Zoom!® Weekender. These post-treatment measures will ensure that the smile stays at its whitest for a long time.