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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

So what actually happens during an appointment for Zoom in-chair teeth whitening?

Dr. Vincent Wan


Exam to Check Suitability

Your dentist will check your teeth and discuss with you an information sheet detailing in-chair teeth whitening.  Your suitability for the procedure and any risks will be discussed.  Some people cannot receive teeth whitening, because they may be allergic to the whitening gel, sensitive to the special whitening light or have teeth that just won’t whiten very well.  Dental restorations such as fillings, veneers and crowns don’t change colour with teeth whitening and may need to be replaced after whitening.  If you have any dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease, you will need these treated first before any teeth whitening.  For best results, professional teeth cleaning to remove any deposits on the teeth is recommended.

Protection of Soft Tissues

Only the teeth should be whitened.  A retractor is placed in the mouth to keep the lips, cheeks and tongue away from the whitening gel.  Barriers are placed over the retractor to shield the skin surrounding the mouth.  A soft barrier is applied over the gums and set to avoid the gums becoming irritated.

Teeth Whitening

High concentration teeth whitening gel is placed over the teeth and activated by the special Zoom light for 15 minutes.  Up to 3 x 15 minute rounds of teeth whitening can be done.  Each round the whitening gel penetrates deeper into the tooth to remove colour and whiten the teeth.  If you get any sensitivity, you can opt to finish the teeth whitening procedure early.


For the first 24 hours, the whitening gel can still be working in your teeth.  For best results, it is best to avoid coloured food and drink for this time.  To maintain your whitening result as long as possible, you will need to brush twice a day, floss at least once a day and have your teeth cleaned at dentist every 6 months.  You may opt to have in-chair teeth whitening done again every couple of years as your teeth slowly colourise again with food and drink.  Some people use take-home whitening gel in custom made trays every 6 months or so to top up their whitening result.