Zoom teeth whitening is a professional whitening procedure that uses a combination of bleach and light to brighten tooth color. Zoom is a minimally invasive process that usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. It is performed in a dentist's office under trained professionals' supervision.
During a Zoom procedure, a dentist will protect the gums with a gel or shield and then 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 and can get teeth up to eight shades whiter in one procedure.2,3
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.
Zoom teeth whitening works by breaking 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, which causes the colors to break up and dilute.
Zoom teeth whitening only works on natural teeth, not veneers, crowns, or bridges.
While Zoom is proven effective at brightening the appearance of the teeth, it is not for everyone and can cause side effects.
Dental bleaching is not recommended for everyone. Before undergoing a teeth whitening procedure, you should talk with your dentist first.
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, keep up with a rigorous oral care routine, use over-the-counter touch-up products, and avoid foods that stain, such as red wine, chocolate, and coffee.4
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, including using over-the-counter toothpaste, mouthwashes, whitening strips, and other products.
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
Like other teeth whitening procedures, Zoom teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure, and thus, is not covered by dental insurance.
Most dental insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, tooth shaping, veneers, and gum contouring. Because these procedures are intended to improve the look of teeth, they are not considered medically necessary and must be paid for out-of-pocket.
For patients who can’t afford the entire cost of Zoom teeth whitening, there are other options available.
Some dental offices offer payment plans, so you don't have to pay for the entire cost of the treatment upfront.
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.
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 and range in price from an average of $100 to $200.
In addition to at-home whitening kits, many other whitening products are available, including toothpaste, mouthwash, strips, gels, and pens.
Other ways to maintain a whiter smile include maintaining adequate oral hygiene, avoiding smoking, and seeing a dentist for regular teeth cleanings twice annually.
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 like oil pulling, whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, and charcoal-based cleaners 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 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.
"Science Behind Zoom" Phillips Oral Health.
"Bright Whites, Big City" The Los Angeles Times.
"A 3 months clinical evaluation comparing two professional bleaching systems of 25% and 40% hydrogen peroxide and extended treatment outcome using a power versus a manual toothbrush" National Library of Medicine