The Complete Guide to Zoom! Whitening

An educated patient is our best patient!  To better prepare for your upcoming appointment please read this guide to understand what to expect from your Zoom! in-office teeth whitening appointment. Below is everything you need to know about your appointment.  If you have further questions, don't hesitate to call us at 908-219-4118.

Start with a Dental Exam and Cleaning

Prior to Zoom! whitening, a dental exam and evaluation by a dentist as well as a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar staining and deposits needs to occur for optimal results.   


The Zoom! Whitening Treatment

Teeth Whitening works by exfoliating stains from inside your teeth to bring them back to their natural color.  Zoom! teeth whitening is a process that uses a 25% hydrogen peroxide gel, the gel is activated via a special light.  Your eyes, lips and gums are completely shielded and protected throughout the entire procedure.  The procedure consists of three 15-minute sessions.  A fresh layer of whitening gel is applied after each session as the old gel is removed from your teeth.


Teeth Whitening Results Cannot be Predicted

We will measure your initial shade, and the final shade to see how many shades lighter you got.  But there’s no way to predict how many shades lighter your teeth will get beforehand.  The whitening process removes stains that we all accumulate over the years from coffee, tea, juice, soda, fruits and berries, sauces, etc…  The final shade is your natural tooth color, which is unique for everyone.  The only way to find out is to try the in-office teeth whitening for yourself.  Typical results show that the average patient will get approximately 6-8 shades lighter. 

Results are Instantaneous

You will see results immediately after the Zoom! whitening procedure.  We will be able to determine your new tooth shade and measure how much lighter the teeth have become.  However, the teeth immediately after the whitening are dehydrated, as they’ve lost moisture.  There’s  a bit of a rebound as the teeth regain their moisture over the next few days.  This is also why we recommend not to choose the shade for any dental work that same day.  If we plan to proceed with any cosmetic work such as veneers or crowns we generally wait 2 weeks before selecting a final shade.

Crowns, Veneers, Bonding, and Dentures Won’t Change Shade

Any Previous Dental Work Does Not Change Color.  Crowns and veneers are made of porcelain, the shade of which cannot be changed. A dental bonding is a filling, the color of which is also picked before they’re placed, thus they cannot be lightened.  That doesn’t mean that you should not do whitening if you have a crown, veneer, or a filling on a front tooth.  Often the color of the restorative work is actually lighter than the rest of the teeth.  Over the years the natural teeth may have gotten stained or perhaps the shade was never matched perfectly in the first place.  You have the option to look in the mirror after each session to decide when it’s time to stop the whitening.  If you’re unsatisfied with your current bonding, veneer or crown you should also consider replacing them as an option.

White Spots on Teeth

Many of us have white spots or streaks on our teeth, often we may not even realize they exist.  We’ll inspect your teeth before starting the procedure and point out any white spots we find.  They’re often covered up by stains and don’t show up prominently.  The white spots may have been caused by previous orthodontic treatment, trauma, or they may be genetic. As we remove the stains from teeth with whitening, the white spots will become more prominent.  The white spots will also get even brighter because they will whiten as well.  Usually, after a few days the white spots will blend in a bit more.  But expect them to possibly stand out more in the beginning.

Dietary and Smoking Restrictions Post Whitening

For the first 48 hours the pores in enamel are open, they can absorb stains faster than before.  Remember not to smoke.  As a rule anything that stains a white shirt, will stain your teeth.  We realize that the diet is very restrictive.  Please do your best, if you happen to eat or drink something you shouldn’t,  then brush your teeth or rinse with water right after.  If you plan on drinking coffee or soda please do so with a straw, this way only the back of your teeth are exposed to coffee.  For 2 hours after the treatment, patients must NOT consume coffee, tea, red wine, or tobacco. 

Tooth Sensitivity From Teeth Whitening

Teeth Sensitivity during and after teeth whitening is an important concern for our patients and for everyone in our office.  We want you to be comfortable during and after the procedure. While most of our patients complete the entire treatment, it’s important to understand that completing the three 15-minute sessions of Zoom! teeth whitening is not for everyone.

We monitor our patients closely and encourage them to let us know when they start feeling sensitivity.  Sensitivity is a “zing,” or a “zap” that your tooth may feel during the procedure.  One or two is normal but more than that means that it may be time to stop.  Our patients generally get good results even if they’ve completed 2 cycles.  Sensitivity is the body’s natural way of telling you that it’s time to stop.  If the whitening process is stopped before teeth become more sensitive, you will be much more comfortable for the rest of the day.

Pain Management

Although moderate to severe sensitivity is rare, unfortunately a small percentage of our patients will experience some discomfort after the whitening.  Although we try to encourage everyone to stop if their teeth start to feel sensitive, it’s not always easy for the patient to stop before sensitivity increases. 

Taking an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve etc… relieves the nerves inside teeth that got inflamed during the whitening treatment. Please note Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory, it works best when taken in combination with an anti-inflammatory.  We recommend taking 400mg (2 pills) every 4 hours if sensitivity persists.  For severe sensitivity please take an additional tablet of Tylenol 2 hours after taking the Ibuprofen.

Certain toothpastes such as Sensodyne can relieve sensitivity. At home, we recommend applying the toothpaste for sensitivity to your teeth for 5-10 minutes.

Zoom! whitening is NOT for everyone

Although Zoom! teeth whitening is a very safe procedure, whitening is contraindicated for pregnant or lactating women, Patients being treated by a physician for a serious illness, and children under the age of 13.


NJ Cosmetic Dentistry Associates, LLC
Luciana S. Daniels, DDS
33 Overlook Road | Suite 403
MAC 1 Building | Summit, NJ 07901 
O:  908.219.4118 | F:  908.598.8388


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