Zoom is a popular professional teeth whitening treatment, which means it is completed in-office by a licensed dentist. This chairside treatment can whiten teeth up to eight shades after one or two sessions. It is also FDA-approved and takes one hour to complete.
Professional whitening treatments like Zoom are more effective than over-the-counter products in terms of speed and degree of whitening achieved.3,4,5
Learn more about the best teeth whitening methods.
Zoom 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 between 5 and 10 percent hydrogen peroxide, while Zoom contains 25 percent hydrogen peroxide.
You may be a candidate for Zoom whitening if you:
Zoom treatment is quick and straightforward. The process consists of the following steps:
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.
Also, let your dentist know if you plan to get veneers or bonding treatment, which will alter the shade of your teeth. They can try to match your teeth to the desired shade of the dental restoration.
Zoom whitening is safe to use on crowns, veneers, fillings, and other dental restorations. But they will not whiten like your natural teeth.
In general, Zoom whitening treatment includes six steps:
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.
Your dentist will provide you with an at-home retouch kit after your Zoom whitening session. This kit includes custom-fitted whitening trays, hydrogen peroxide gel, and instructions. Your dentist will let you know how often to use the kit to keep your teeth bright.
In addition to the retouch kit, you can keep your teeth white longer by limiting your intake of staining foods and drinks. This includes coffee, tea, red wine, and dark soda, among others. Tobacco and poor oral hygiene can also cause tooth discoloration over time.
The main downside of whitening treatment is that it can cause sensitive teeth. This side effect is generally mild and does not increase your risk of oral health issues.
In rarer cases, you may experience gum irritation.4 However, the risk is low with in-office treatment because your dentist will cover your gums before placing the gel on your teeth.
LED whitening kits, teeth whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes & professional treatment:
Enamel damage can also occur after repeated whitening treatments.4 Since Zoom can lighten teeth up to eight shades in one visit; many patients only require one or two sessions to achieve the results they are looking for. This reduces the risk of enamel damage, but it is still possible.
Zoom teeth whitening costs $500 to $1,500 per treatment. It is not covered by dental insurance because the procedure is cosmetic (not medically necessary).
The advantages of Zoom include:
The disadvantages of Zoom include:
Here are some alternatives to Zoom whitening:
Opalescence Boost is another in-office whitening procedure that uses a chemically activated gel to whiten teeth within an hour. Unlike Zoom, this treatment does not involve using a light to speed up the whitening process.
Opalescence also uses a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than Zoom. This can result in quicker results but may cause more sensitivity.
Opalescence is also cheaper than Zoom (around $500 per treatment).
KöR whitening uses a refrigerated, high-potency gel. This gel is combined with a scientifically designed application system to deliver a visibly whiter smile after just one use. KöR also claims to provide less sensitivity than Zoom.
KöR is slightly cheaper than Zoom. Treatment costs between $500 and $1,000.
Sapphire is very similar to Zoom in terms of procedure steps, treatment length, and results. Like Zoom, your dentist will provide you with a touch-up kit to use at home. Sapphire is also cheaper than Zoom (around $500 per treatment).
Professional whitening treatment is more effective than at-home whitening kits. However, many people opt for over-the-counter whitening products because they are less expensive ($20 to $200).
At-home products like whitening strips and LED kits take longer to see results. Consistent use is necessary to maintain brightness.
(1) Carey, Clifton M. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” The journal of evidence-based dental practice vol. 14 Suppl (2014): 70-6.
(2) Markowitz, Kenneth. “Pretty Painful: Why Does Tooth Bleaching Hurt?” Medical Hypotheses, vol. 74, no. 5, 2010, pp. 835–840.
(3) Eimar, Hazem, et al. “Hydrogen Peroxide Whitens Teeth by Oxidizing the Organic Structure.” Journal of Dentistry, Elsevier, 24 Aug. 2012.
(4) Basting, RT, et al. “Clinical Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of and Tooth Sensitivity to 10% and 20% Carbamide Peroxide Home-Use and 35% and 38% Hydrogen Peroxide In-Office Bleaching Materials Containing Desensitizing Agents.” Operative Dentistry, Allen Press, 1 Sept. 2012.
(5) Fiorillo, Luca, et al. “Dental Whitening Gels: Strengths and Weaknesses of an Increasingly Used Method.” Gels (Basel, Switzerland), MDPI, 4 July 2019.
(6) “Tooth Discoloration: Causes, Treatment & Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic.
(7) “How Does KöR Whitening Work?” KöR Whitening, 15 Jan. 2019.
(8) “Opalescence Teeth Whitening.” Opalescence.