We try the Dental Lounge Zoom Teeth Whitening
I love coffee, tea and wine in equal measures - depending on what time of the day it is. The problem is that my smile doesn’t. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably noticed that all those years of enjoying your favourite beverages have started to take a toll on your teeth. The only way to make them really pop is to wear a bright lippy and hope the contrast makes them look white.
Why do our teeth discolour?
I take care of my teeth. I visit my dentist every six months for a clean and a check-up, I brush and floss my teeth twice daily, I‘ve never smoked, I don’t drink soft drinks and for the most part my diet is low in sugar. So why have my teeth discoloured?
According to the experts, your teeth can discolour for a number of reasons but the most common one comes down to your diet and lifestyle. The tooth enamel can be easily stained by coffee, wine, soft drinks, cordial, brightly coloured foods (like berries and beetroot) and rich coloured sauces and spices - and of course smoking.
There is also the discolouration of the inner structure of the tooth which is caused by the use of certain antibiotics during pregnancy and in children under eight years old, or by using too much fluoride during early childhood. Then there is our personal favourite: the natural aging process.
In my case, it is exactly as I expected. My favourite beverages are to blame.
How do you whiten your teeth after they’ve been stained?
There are a number of ways to whiten your teeth and regain that pearly white smile but the quickest and most effective solution is to visit your dentist for a professional whitening treatment.
With that in mind, I visited Dr Gamer Verdian at the Dental Lounge clinic in Sydney to test out the Phillips Advanced Zoom Professional Whitening treatment for myself to see just how effective it was at whitening my teeth.
What is involved in a Phillips Advanced Zoom treatment?
When I arrive for my treatment Dr Gamer explains the process and answers any questions or concerns I have before giving my teeth a clean and checking to make sure the treatment is suitable for my teeth.
A rubber mouthguard designed to keep my mouth open and teeth exposed to the light is then fitted to my teeth. A gel is applied to my gums to protect it from the bleach.
Ideally, the treatment will consist of four consecutive 15 minute sessions. The number of sessions you get through will depend on how your teeth respond to the Advanced Zoom bleaching process. I had been warned that the treatment could be painful, depending on the sensitivity of my teeth. I’ve never suffered from sensitive teeth so I had no idea what to expect.
The bleach is then painted onto each individual tooth and a blue light is then placed over your mouth to activate the bleach. The activation process takes 15 minutes, at which point you need to have the next layer of bleach painted onto your teeth for the next 15 minute activation session.
During the first session I felt nothing at all, by the end of the second session I did feel a couple of sharp, shooting spasms in a couple of my teeth but nothing I couldn’t handle. My pain was monitored the whole way through and I was told that if the pain became too much I could finish the treatment at any point. I progressed onto the third session and towards the end of the 15 minute window the pain had increased to about a 3 out of 10, but still nothing unbearable, so I continued into the fourth.
During the fourth session the shooting pain had intensified to about a 6 out of 10. It wasn’t constant but I was worried that the pain would continue after the session so decided it was best to finish it at around the minute mark of the fourth 15 minute session.
Dr Gamer explained that the majority of the bleaching process takes place in the first three sessions, and that the fourth session is really just a nice to have, to ensure the results are as white as possible.
Afterwards, I gargled to remove any remaining bleach from my teeth and a gel was applied to help with any lingering pain and sensitivity. My teeth did remain sensitive for about three hours after the treatment, with the occasional shooting pain but then the symptoms disappeared completely.
I am really impressed with the results of the treatment. My teeth look a number of shades whiter than what they were when I arrived at Dental Lounge. The photos really speak for themselves.
How to care for your teeth after the procedure
For the next 2 to 7 days after the whitening treatment I have to avoid certain foods and drink as my teeth have been dehydrated by the bleach and are therefore more susceptible to staining. I am not allowed to consume:
- Red wine
- Fruit berries
- Rich coloured sauces and spices
- Coloured mouthwash
- Coloured soft drinks
- Black coffee/tea
I am to stick to white or light coloured foods and drinks as much as possible. These include food such as chicken, fish, rice, potatoes, white pasta (with white sauce only), eggs, bread, bananas and apples. Beverages include water, milk, lemonade, soda, vodka, and light coloured beer.
I was told I could keep my morning cappuccino if I used a straw. I had felt confident I could go 48 hours without it but I caved and used a metal straw on the first day.
How to keep your teeth white after the treatment
The idea of giving up my morning cappuccino is not an attractive long term solution. One simple solution is to brush my teeth after my cup of coffee. This helps brush away the coffee pigments that would otherwise take up residence in my tooth enamel.
Another option is to pay an extra fee for a kit to take home and maintain my whiter teeth long term. A mould of your teeth is taken and you are then given a custom bleaching tray with bleach to use at home.
You place a tear drop size of bleach in each tooth slot in your bleaching tray and you wear them for 30-60 minutes per day. Most patients wear them for 1-2 weeks until they reach the desired level of whiteness.
For best results Dr Gamer recommends combining both Zoom whitening and at home bleaching for long term results. This way you can top up your Zoom whitening levels whenever you feel the colour has dropped off.
How long do your teeth stay white after a treatment?
“How long the results last are very dependent on diet. Most of our patients do not need to do a Zoom whitening for 2-4 years, especially if they have the take home whitening kit. They will usually do a home whitening top up every 6-12 months,” says Dr Gamer.
It has been two months since my treatment and I am confident they are still the same shade as the day I left the treatment - and that is withstanding the Christmas and new year festivities as well.
How much does it cost for a Phillips Zoom Advanced Professional Whitening treatment?
A full Zoom whitening session costs $595 with an optional take home custom bleaching kit for an additional $100 (if combined with the Zoom treatment). The take home kit costs $350 if you are to purchase it without the Zoom whitening session.
Would you try teeth whitening?