Teeth whitening, Zoom vs Bleaching

In our quest for a whiter smile, a number of products have come out in recent years to help people whiten and brighten their teeth. From strips to toothpastes to veneer covers for your teeth, deciding which route to take for teeth whitening can be confusing.

Two popular options for whitening teeth are Zoom and bleaching. While both serve their purposes of whitening teeth, they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Zoom
Zoom whitening is conducted in a dentist's office and takes just one visit to the dentist that lasts about an hour. With this procedure, the dentist first places a special retractor in the patient's mouth to keep the lips from touching the teeth during treatment. Then a translucent bleaching gel is applied to the teeth, and a laser is shone on the teeth for an hour. This light activates the gel, which in turn whitens the teeth. The dentist may decide to shine the light for longer than an hour, depending on the degree of discoloration the patient has.

Zoom whitening comes with a number of advantages. First of all, where bleaching or in-home kits can take weeks to whiten, Zoom takes an hour. It also whitens teeth up to 8 shades, which is the most you can whiten without getting crowns or veneers. Zoom bleaching also lasts longer than most other whitening procedures.

There are also disadvantages to Zoom. While whitening is immediate, some people may be uncomfortable with such a sudden change in their appearance. In addition, Zoom is expensive, usually around $1000.
Bleaching is another option for whitening the teeth and is the most common form of teeth whitening, as it is also the most cost-effective (aside from bleaching strips). With this procedure, the patient visits the dentist and has impressions of your mouth taken. These impressions are then used to make a custom-made tray designed to fit your teeth exactly. From there, a bleaching gel is put in the tray and worn for an hour or two each day. Because the bleaching gel is a high concentration, results can be seen within a few days. However, it usually takes a couple of weeks to see full results. Bleaching whitens teeth about 6 shades lighter than before the process began.

Bleaching
Bleaching is a popular way to whiten teeth. The results aren't as immediate as Zoom whitening, so people who don't like obvious changes to their appearance might prefer it. In addition, the cost is fairly low, usually around $500.

This type of whitening requires between two and four visits to the dentist. Depending on the dentist, he may charge for office visits as well as the standard fee for the tray fitting and the bleach.

Which is better?
When it comes to deciding which form of teeth whitening is better, it depends on your needs and how fast you would like to see results. People who require deeper whitening and will need to whiten as many shades as possible will probably want to go with Zoom, whereas someone who doesn't need or want as dramatic results will be fine with bleaching.

Time is also an issue. For people who want whiter teeth soon, Zoom is the best way to go. Cost is also a factor to be considered, since insurance usually doesn't cover whitening. If cost is an issue, bleaching might be a better option, as Zoom is typically twice as much.

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