You have probably heard of two main types of bleaching systems offered at dental offices: "ZOOM" whitening and bleach trays. While they both achieve the same results, there are some differences between the two procedures that you should take note of:
ZOOM Whitening is the name brand for Phillip's in-office bleaching system. Here, the entire "whitening" procedure is performed in our exam rooms. We use a blocking material to shield your gums and apply several layers of concentrated peroxide gel to your teeth. A special light is utilized to speed up the chemical reaction by activating the gel. Overall, ZOOM takes about an hour and twenty minutes from being seated in a chair to leaving our office. In the meantime, you will be set up with Pandora music, cable TV or Netflix movies. While this is the fastest way to whiter teeth, it is also the most likely to cause temporary sensitivity issues afterwards.
Bleach Trays are a home whitening system that is administered and monitored by a dentist. You will need an initial appointment for a consultation and impressions of your teeth. Later that day or the following day, your new bleach trays will be ready. You then perform the actual "whitening" at home using a peroxide gel (similar to ZOOM, but lower in concentration). Typically, patients are instructed to whiten for one hour once a day for 14 days, followed by once a month as needed. This type of whitening does work slower, but usually causes less sensitivity issues and can be adjusted to your personal comfort level.
Overall, you can see the similarities and differences between ZOOM and bleach trays. Some of our patients even combine the two procedures- that is, have one ZOOM session and bleach trays made for maintenance (done in the same visit). Since both services rely on the same peroxide gel, they can be used together for additive action. If you have any further questions on bleaching, bleach trays or other cosmetic procedures, please give our office a call!