Dr. Meena's Blog

Posts for category: Cosmetic Dentistry

I receive a lot of questions about ZOOM Teeth whitening from my patients, so I thought I should compile a list of the most frequently asked questions together with my responses in one place. So, here they are -

(1) Is ZOOM the best teeth whitening technique?

ZOOM is the most popular in-office professional whitening procedure done today. The advantages of ZOOM are the ease of having it done and the shortened time frame to get your teeth whiter. Typically, you can get a whiter color in less than one hour, as opposed to taking several days bleaching with home trays. The disadvantahes are that it costs a little more than other procedures and there is a higher chance of sensitivity for a day or two afterwards. As with all whitening approaches, it fades with time and requires touch-ups and maintenance with trays at home. 

(2) Are there any painful side effects after a ZOOM Teeth Whitening session?

Sensitivity is the #1 risk when getting your teeth whitened. Whether you choose to whiten at home using Crest White Strips or have your dentist do it professionally in her/his office, there is always the possibility that you will experience some discomfort. The problem is that you never know ahead of time how a given patient will respond. I decided that if I was going to offer ZOOM whitening to my patients, I was going to take every precaution available to keep their sensitivity to a minimum such as :

  • 600mg Advil 1 hour before whitening
  • 1 hour wearing bleaching trays filled with desensitizing gel before whitening
  • Complete isolation of gums, lips and spaces between the teeth during whitening
  • 1 hour wearing bleaching trays filled with desensitizing gel after whitening
  • 200 mg Advil as needed during the next 24 hours after procedure

Having taken these precautions, none of my patients have ever had a serious case of sensitivity the next day. 

(3) What should I drink or eat after a ZOOM Teeth Whitening session? 

Your teeth are prone to absorbing stains immediately after ZOOM whitening. The general rule of thumb is that "anything that will stain a white shirt will stain your teeth." The foods and drinks that we tell our patients to avoid are: coffee, smoking, pasta sauces, soy sauce, ketchup, berries, juices, soda etc. The first 48 hours are crucial. However, if you do happen to eat something that will stain your teeth, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible. 

(4) Will brown stains start to appear again after I get ZOOM Teeth Whitening done?

Teeth have pores and you are in a constant battle with stains everyday. Whitening your teeth is like dyeing your hair - there is always upkeep. ZOOM is a great way to get your teeth white but you need to follow a process to keep them white. I advise patients to use custom made take-home trays to maintain their desired tooth shade. In addition, make sure that you see your dentist for regular cleanings. Always drink dark liquids through a straw. Do not drink coffee or soda regularly for they will stain your teeth. Smoking also stains your teeth. Finally, brushing your teeth more frequently will result in less staining. 

(5) Do I need to have my teeth cleaned prior to ZOOM teeth whitening?

The simple answer is 'yes'. The plaque, tartar and/or debris will cause a build-up on your teeth that may not allow the teeth to whiten in certain areas, resulting in uneven coloring on your teeth. However, you do not want your teeth cleaned and whitened on the same day as they will be very sensitive. For best possible results with ZOOM whitening, have it done within a week of your cleaning. 

Just completed a wonderful 2-day seminar of Full Arch Reconstruction in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am posing with Dr. James Downs who is an outstanding instructor. 

Here are some 'Before' and Áfter' pictures of a patient on whom Dr. Downs performed the Full Arch Reconstruction in the seminar at Utah. As the pictures show, today's modern dentistry can work wonders for the esthetics which in turn boosts the patient's confidence. Unbelievable transformation!