Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
Zoom teeth whitening is a professional whitening procedure. It uses a combination of bleach and light to brighten tooth color.
The process is minimally invasive and 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 protects the gums with a gel or shield. 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. It can get teeth up to eight shades whiter in one procedure.2,3
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
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.
The Zoom teeth whitening process 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. 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:
Zoom is proven effective at brightening the appearance of teeth. However, it is not for everyone and can cause side effects.
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.
The bleaching agent can irritate the gums and cause a burning sensation.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
For those who would rather whiten their teeth at home, direct-to-consumer whitening kits are available.
In addition to at-home whitening kits, many other whitening products are available, including:
Other ways to maintain a whiter smile include:
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.