Last Tuesday, I went to San Francisco for an appointment at Soothing Dental. This dental practice is situated in what must be the coolest, art deco, vintage-style medical building I have ever seen. I went straight up to the 25th floor and walked into the spacious office. The staff was super friendly and, step-by-step, explained the ins and outs of the procedure — Zoom! teeth whitening. My teeth aren’t stained much but, in pictures, they look pretty yellow to me. I’m pretty self-conscious about it. So, teeth whitening is something I’ve always wanted to do. I just didn’t realize how serious of a process it is.
I already filled out my medical/dental information when I booked my appointment online. So, I only had to sign some waivers and was then escorted into an examination room. Both the dental assistant and dentist made it very clear that there might be “zingers.” They described them as painful shocks that make you want to jump out of the chair. Not everyone experiences them but they can be horrible for those with sensitive teeth. Since I never had a problem with sensitivity before, I thought it would be fine. Then, it was time to get the prep underway.
The dental assistant explained the procedure in detail. She then gave me 800mg ibuprofen to help with the “zingers,”took a “before” photo, applied vitamin E to my lips, made molds for the custom trays I would be taking home, and polished my teeth. The dentist, Dr. Sona Saeidi came in to do a quick examination and to point out any problem areas. Zoom! will not whiten crowns, veneers, and bonding so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about having this done. Oh, I was also given the option to put on some nifty goggles to protect my eyes and to let me watch Netflix. Of course, I chose to watch The Princess Bride. 🙂
Zoom! Teeth Whitening at Soothing Dental — Step-by-Step
This is how the Zoom! teeth whitening went.
- Desensitizing gel was applied directly to my teeth.
- A contraption was put in my mouth to keep my lips away from my teeth.
- Tons of cotton gauze were placed along my gums and in my cheeks. Saliva messes with the process.
- A cover was applied to the area around my mouth. (Munchkin found this photo to be quite funny!)
- Liquid plastic was used to fill in any other gums that might be exposed and was then hardened with a special light. Anything not covered 100%, aside from the teeth, could be burned/damaged.
- Zoom! treatment was applied. Frans said it started to foam once put on.
- The special Zoom! light was aimed right in my mouth.
The dental assistant set the timer for 15 minutes and made sure I had a bell to call her if there was any discomfort. The first session went fine. She cleaned the treatment gel off, checked everything, and got ready for session two. At the tail end of the second session, I felt a “zinger.” Oh, man! Those things hurt! I only felt one and it passed right away. No biggie. The dental assistant warned me that the “zingers” were just going to get worse from there on and to ring her the minute I started to get them again.
Zoom! Teeth Whitening at Soothing Dental — “Zingers” & Care
Well, halfway through the third session, they hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t press that bell fast enough or hard enough! They felt like direct stabs that sent a chill through my entire body. Fortunately, the dental assistant was right there. She immediately worked to get the treatment off and put some desensitizer on. That was all I could take. I was done. The dental assistant removed the equipment right then and there. She seemed to feel the pain with me. They lasted through the night and subsided after another day. I still had slight sensitivity over the next few days. So, I am being careful with what I eat and drink and using toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
My teeth lightened just over one shade. The results would have been much better if I was able to endure all four sessions. But, unfortunately, that wasn’t an option with my sensitivity. But, I’m happy with the results so far and the color has evened out nicely (compared to the photos below, which were taken immediately after treatment). Since “zingers” could come back when I do the take-home maintenance treatment, I’m going to wait with that a bit. I want to let my teeth rest as much as possible before messing with them again.
I am so fortunate to have had such a great staff working on me at Soothing Dental. They made me fully aware of the procedure and risks and took great precautions to minimize any adverse reactions. I also appreciated the personal phone call from the dental assistant two days later. She wanted to check on me and to answer any questions I might have. Then, one week later, the dentist called to follow up again. I love how personal and empathic the staff is there! I will definitely go back for other services in the future!
Zoom! Teeth Whitening at Soothing Dental — Effective But Not For All
Not everyone will have the same experience I did as each person has a different tooth makeup and pain threshold. Yet, you should be fully aware of both the benefits and the risks before you sign up for Zoom! teeth whitening. You should also have a capable staff so you have the best experience possible, like did at Soothing Dental. Make sure to ask the dentist about what options (including express and KöR whitening) are best for you.
I received the above service at no charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.