Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on September 30, 2022

Zoom Teeth Whitening Costs

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What is Zoom Teeth Whitening?

Zoom teeth whitening is a professional whitening procedure, completed in-office by a licensed dentist. It uses a combination of bleach and light to brighten tooth color.

A dentist protects the gums with a gel or shield during a Zoom procedure. Then they apply the bleaching agent (usually made with hydrogen peroxide) to the teeth. The dentist then uses a special blue light that activates a chemical reaction in the bleaching agent.1

Zoom teeth whitening takes a fraction of the time of other whitening methods. The process is minimally invasive and usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. It can get teeth up to eight shades whiter in one procedure.2,3

How Much Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Cost?

The average cost of an in-office Zoom teeth whitening procedure is between $300 and $600. However, it can vary depending on the dentist's location and experience.

In addition to the cost of the procedure, you should consider the cost of maintaining a white smile.

You may decide to use over-the-counter:

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Americans spent more than $1.4 billion on over-the-counter teeth whitening products in 2018 alone.5

Does Zoom Whitening Really Work? Is it Worth it?

Zoom teeth whitening is effective. Many studies have demonstrated that patients who undergo Zoom achieve an average of 6 to 8 shades of whiter teeth 30 days after the procedure.

It is very effective because dentists are qualified to use higher concentrations of hydrogen and carbamide peroxide than over-the-counter (OTC) products. OTC teeth whitening treatments contain 5 and 10 percent hydrogen peroxide, while Zoom contains 25 percent hydrogen peroxide. 

The Zoom teeth whitening process breaks down stains below the surface of teeth.

During the procedure, the deeper stains embedded in the enamel come off when the oxygen molecules are released from the hydrogen peroxide. This causes the colors to break up and dilute.

Zoom teeth whitening only works on natural teeth.

The Zoom whitening process does not work on:

  • Veneers
  • Crowns
  • Bridges

Zoom is proven effective at brightening the appearance of teeth. However, it is not for everyone and can cause side effects.

Who is a Candidate for Zoom Whitening?

You may be a candidate for Zoom whitening if you:

  • Have extrinsic tooth discoloration, which is caused by consuming dark-pigmented foods and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, dark berries, and tomato sauce. Poor oral hygiene and tobacco products can also cause this type of discoloration.6
  • Have intrinsic tooth discoloration, which refers to deeper staining. Natural aging, certain medications like tetracycline, and tooth defects/injuries can cause intrinsic stains.6
  • Are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Do not have untreated dental conditions like cavities, gum disease, exposed tooth roots, or worn down enamel. 
  • Do not have braces on your teeth.
  • Do not have veneers or crowns on your teeth (they don’t whiten).

Zoom Procedure: Step-By-Step

To determine if Zoom whitening is right for you, you’ll need to set up an appointment with your local dentist. During this consultation, they will ask you some questions about your lifestyle and oral hygiene habits.

Then they’ll perform a detailed examination to ensure you don’t have cavities, worn down enamel, exposed roots, or gum disease.

In general, Zoom whitening treatment includes six steps:

  1. Before the procedure, the dentist will cover your gums and lips, leaving only your teeth exposed. 
  2. Then they will apply the Zoom whitening gel, which contains 25 percent hydrogen peroxide, directly to your teeth. 
  3. After the gel is applied, they’ll use a specially designed Zoom light that helps speed up the teeth whitening process. Together, the gel and light remove surface stains by penetrating deep into your tooth enamel. 
  4. More gel is applied every 15 minutes, and the entire procedure takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete. 
  5. Once the procedure is done, your dentist will rinse the whitening gel off your teeth and apply a fluoride-based gel to reduce any sensitivity. 
  6. The results last between 6 months and a year with proper care. You can set up retouch appointments during routine dental exams. 

If you have a strong gag reflex or anxiety, it may be difficult to undergo the entire procedure. Talk with your dentist beforehand to make sure Zoom is right for you.

The side effects of Zoom include:

Tooth sensitivity

The bleaching solution used in a Zoom whitening procedure can remove minerals in the enamel.

It can cause the teeth to become porous, exposing small channels called microtubules within the teeth.

These tubules lead to the center of the teeth, where the dental nerves are housed. This leads to sensitivity. These minerals generally replenish within a few days of teeth whitening. Once the minerals are restored, tooth sensitivity typically resolves.

Gum irritation

The bleaching agent can irritate the gums and cause a burning sensation.

White spots on the teeth

White spots on the surface of the teeth are usually the result of dehydration or a loss of minerals in the tooth's enamel layer.

These spots typically fade shortly after the whitening treatment. If you had any previous calcification spots on your teeth, you might notice these spots turn whiter than adjacent tooth structures.

Dental bleaching is not recommended for everyone. Before undergoing a teeth whitening procedure, you should talk with your dentist first. 

How Long Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Last? 

Patients will see the results of Zoom teeth whitening immediately after the procedure. The average bleaching results can last anywhere from six months to three years.

No tooth whitening treatment lasts forever.

To maintain your pearly whites:4

  • Keep up with a rigorous oral care routine
  • Use over-the-counter touch-up products
  • Avoid foods that stain, such as red wine, chocolate, and coffee

Is Zoom Covered by Insurance?

Like other teeth whitening procedures, Zoom teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure. Thus, it is not covered by dental insurance.

Most dental insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures, such as:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth shaping
  • Veneers
  • Gum contouring

These procedures are intended to improve the look of teeth. So, they are not considered medically necessary. They must be paid for out-of-pocket.

Other Ways to Pay for In-Office Teeth Whitening

There are other options available for patients who cannot afford the entire cost of Zoom teeth whitening.

Some dental offices offer payment plans. This means you do not have to pay for the entire cost of the treatment up front.

Financing options may also be an option to pay for in-office teeth whitening, such as CareCredit.

Some dental offices offer coupons or promotions to help patients save on the cost of teeth whitening.

Pros of Zoom Teeth Whitening

The advantages of Zoom include:

  • You’ll notice changes in tooth color right away (up to eight shades lighter after one or two sessions)
  • Treatment only takes 45 minutes to an hour 
  • Whitening results last up to a year with proper care
  • A dentist performs the entire treatment for you 
  • Less risk of gum irritation and enamel damage 
  • You’ll receive an at-home retouch kit to keep your teeth white in between appointments
  • You can set up whitening treatment sessions during routine dental exams

Cons of Zoom Teeth Whitening 

The disadvantages of Zoom include:

  • Treatment is expensive (up to $1,500 per session) 
  • Temporary tooth sensitivity is common
  • In-office treatment is required

Other Teeth Whitening Options (+ Affordable Alternatives)

For those who would rather whiten their teeth at home, direct-to-consumer whitening kits are available.

Popular at-home teeth whitening kits include Snow and GLO Science. These kits are multiple-use. They range in price from an average of $100 to $200.

In addition to at-home whitening kits, many other whitening products are available, including:

Other ways to maintain a whiter smile include:

  • Practicing adequate oral hygiene
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Seeing a dentist for regular teeth cleanings twice annually

Zoom vs. At-Home Whitening: Which is Better?

While at-home whitening products usually cost less than in-office whitening, professional whitening is more effective at brightening the teeth.

At-home whitening techniques remove surface stains and make the teeth appear white. Still, they don't bleach your teeth like professional teeth whitening or last as long. 

Only through professional teeth whitening, which uses professional-grade hydrogen peroxide, can deep stains within the teeth be penetrated and removed.

However, patients with sensitive teeth or gums may prefer at-home whitening. This may be because they contain a lower concentration of harsh chemicals and are less likely to cause sensitivity.

A combination of in-office and at-home teeth whitening may produce the best results. In one study, patients achieved the brightest smiles by using a combination of both in-office teeth whitening in addition to take-home methods.

6 Sources Cited
Last updated on September 30, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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