Over time, your teeth can become stained and “yellow” as a result of diet, environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking and red wine. There are many different methods used to help whiten your teeth, and as you will find, some work much better than others. Tooth whitening refers to anything that can change the shade of your teeth and generally relies on some form of “bleaching” product such as hydrogen peroxide. Activation of the product (either via heat or light) and the strength of the product How does tooth whitening work? At Gerber Dental Group we use the Zoom! Whitening process which involves placing a gel onto your teeth and activating it using UV light. The gel contains hydrogen peroxide and removes surface stains and discolorations from your teeth. The UV light activates the gel and significantly speeds up the process. Tooth Whitening is available as an in surgery treatment, or as a take-home kit. Does it work for everybody? No it doesn’t and we need to assess your suitability before we can recommend the procedure. Zoom can be used in most cases to whiten natural tooth structure, but it is unsuitable in the following circumstances:
• Whitening treatments are not intended to lighten artificial teeth, caps, crowns, veneers,
porcelain, composite filling material or other restorative materials.
• People with darkly stained yellow or yellow-brown teeth frequently achieve better results
than people with grey or bluish-grey teeth.
• Teeth with multiple colourations, bands, splotches or spots due to tetracycline use or
fluorosis do not whiten as well, may need multiple treatments or may not whiten at all.
• Teeth with many fillings, cavities, chips or cracks may not lighten and are usually best
treated with other non-whitening alternatives.
• Zoom! treatment is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, light sensitive
individuals, patients receiving PUVA (Psoralen + UVA radiation) or other photo-
chemotherapeutic drugs or treatment, as well as melanoma, diabetes or heart conditions
should consult with their treating physician to ensure Zoom! Is appropriate and will not be
• The Zoom! Lamp emits ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) so patients taking any drugs
that increase photosensitivity should consult with their physician before undergoing Zoom!
• Some patients have reported that teeth become sensitive to cold and biting pressure for a short time during and after treatments. The discomfort normally does not last for an extended time. If, however, your teeth continue to be sensitive, stop using the whitening gel and contact us. We will provide you with products to help reduce sensitivity, such as sensitive toothpaste, Tooth Mousse and Relief ACP Gel.
• The whitening gel may cause some irritation or sensitivity of the gum tissues. If this happens, simply decrease the amount of whitening gel in the tray. If the sensitivity or irritation concerns you, please do not hesitate to contact the practice for further advice.
If home whitening trays are worn for too long, discomfort in your jaw joints may occur. This
discomfort will go away when the whitening trays are removed. Maximizing your results:
• Before you start your Zoom! or Home Whitening treatment, you must have clean, healthy teeth and gums. A preventive care scale and clean will remove any surface tartar to ensure that the gel can reach all the surfaces of your teeth.
• Any broken fillings or cracks in your teeth should be repaired before you commence whitening as these may cause an increased sensitivity during the procedure. This is not necessary if you are having whitening treatment prior to any cosmetic dental treatment. The whitening gel dehydrates your teeth and makes them porous. It is important to eliminate food and liquid that is highly coloured from your diet. Any food that will stain a white shirt will also stain your teeth during the whitening process. Smoking should also be avoided. IN-SURGERY WHITENING The in-surgery Zoom! treatment uses a whitening gel and UV light to produce maximum whitening results in the shortest possible time. During the procedure, the whitening gel is applied to your teeth and your teeth will be exposed to the light from the Zoom! lamp for up to four (4), 15-minute sessions. During the entire treatment, a plastic retractor will be placed in your mouth to help keep it open and the soft tissues of your mouth (i.e., your lips, gums, cheeks and tongue) will be covered to ensure they are not exposed to either the gel or light, and you will be provided with an ultraviolet light filter to protect your eyes. After the treatment is completed, the retractor and all gel and tissue coverings will be removed from your mouth. AT HOME WHITENING The “at home” technique of whitening teeth does not require heat or light, and allows you to monitor your own progress. The amount of colour change depends on the length of time you wear the trays each day and the number of weeks you continue the treatment. The results can be unpredictable. Although effects may be noticed as early as a few days, many patients report that a minimum of two weeks is required to see a colour change. The method is outlined below:
One or two hours before bedtime, brush and floss your teeth, in order to clean them before placement of the tray. Rinse well.
Place the whitening gel in the tray at each tooth position to be whitened. Use the gel only in the tray provided by us to fit your teeth.
Place the tray firmly over your teeth. Spit out excess gel and wear the loaded tray for two (2), 30-minute sessions, after which the trays are removed, cleaned and more gel placed and worn for another 30-minute session. Remove and rinse the trays, and clean excess gel from the teeth.
Repeat this technique every day or two for 14 days or as directed by your treating Oral
Once you have achieved your fantastic whiter smile using the Zoom in surgery whitening, want to help you maintain your new smile by offering you a FREE lifetime supply of home top-up gel (1 syringe every 12 months). The gel will be issued to you every second 6 monthly preventive care appointment. You must continue to return every 6 months for your preventive care appointments to remain a member of the white for life club. We’ll send you a reminder card, but if you forget your 6 monthly preventive care appointment, you won’t be eligible to receive the free top-ups any longer!
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