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.: January 2007 --> Zoom Teeth Whitening Caution

Zoom Teeth Whitening Caution

» As a public service announcement: If you were thinking of having your dentist whiten your teeth using the Zoom System—don't do it! No one told me about the risk of SHARP SHOOTING PAINS inside your teeth during and after your procedure. It doesn't happen to everyone, they tell me (NOW they tell me) but it happened to both me and my husband. Let me be clear: this is a pain of short duration (though the sealant hurt—BAD—until they wiped it off) but it is more intense than any mouth pain I can remember, including my toothache. It continued to occur for the rest of the day ("perfectly normal"). My teeth are whiter, but it was not worth it. I would never do this procedure again.
 [ 01.05.07 ]


OMG! The same thing happened to me. I was in bed for the rest of the day. My teeth hurt so badly, I could hardly stand it! My husband had his done the same day but he was fine. It is a very sharp, shooting pain along with an overall extreme sensitivity. By the next day the pain had lessened but was still bothersome. It took 2 or 3 days for it to go away completely

I can deal with pain probobly better than most people but mouth pain turns me into a baby.

I have always hated going to the dentist. Although it isn't so much the pain, it is being lectured by when I can't reply for not going to the dentist more. That and the realization that what I am paying for the priviledge of being lectured is enough for them to make their BMW payment.

As for whitening, I'll put my trust in my Soniccare and Colgate for now. That sounds awful.

I couldn't afford to go to the dentist for so many years that my yearly checkup feels like a privilege to me - so I don't mind at all. It's nice to be able to take good care of myself. But it's whitening strips for me in the future.

I'm actually searching online for anything to help ease the pain and came across your website. I had the Zoom whitening done this afternoon and I keep getting these "zings" of pain in my teeth. I complained to my family today but they dont understand the sharp pain.

Wish I would've found this page earlier ! Glad to know its not just me!

I'm a Dental Hygienist and happened upon your page. What you are experiencing is dental sensitivity. This can happen with ANY product used to whiten your teeth. When you whiten your teeth you open "little pores" on the tooth's surface, these "pores" (as such) when open can create sensitivity with intensity that varies from person to person. Using a toothpaste with fluoride (look for brands that state they are for sensitive teeth) or a fluoride rinse may help with the sensitivity. The sensitivity usually subsides in a few hours up to a few days. Hope this helps.

I also recently had the Zoom treatment and experienced the same shooting pain in my teeth afterwards. The pain became even more intense after using the at home treatment. This pain lasted for days even though I used a prescription strength toothpaste for sensitive teeth. I am now using a de-sensitizer tray at night which has relieved the pain.

I had the Zoom treatment today and haven't quit smiling. I too have had a several sharp zings (it started in the third round of the treatment) but for the most part they don't last long and if you ask me, the results of the whitener far outweighs any pain I've gone through and may continue to go through. My dentist didn't tell me exactly about the zings but he was pretty clear at letting me know my teeth would be sensitive to hot & cold for a few days (to a few weeks) afterwards. My teeth weren't terribly discolored before the process but after years of tea & cola let's just say they weren't the pearly white they used to be and it made me kind of sad (and worst of all made me look and feel older!). I don't care if the pain lasts for another week, it is worth every bit of it to have such nice white teeth. No pain, no gain!

Wow, that sounds like an advertisement.

My dentist told me that some people aren't bothered by the procedure, and I guess you're one of them. But obviously, there are many of us who experienced really severe pain in response to the treatment.

The dental hygienist that I saw today was really pushing the Zoom at $549. I'm not going to get it now that I've read this. I'll try something else maybe strips or whitening toothpaste.


Just wanted to know what the procedure costs if you don't mind sharing

I am presently going thru the whitening process. I had 2 treatments in the dental chair for 20 minutes each using a light- short break in between (same day). The pain was pretty bad in some areas.
Then, I have been doing the night trays for 2 weeks with shooting pain from some tooth areas. It is awful. I go in tomorrow for the same second in-office whitening where the dentist uses some sort of light.
I am quite vain and I figure if the actors and actresses can do it, so can I!
I also am having veneers on a few top teeth and crowns of porcelain to replace the old silver ones. My teeth will be beautiful! They aren't bad now but I want to preserve them for my old age.
You must be motivated. All cosmetic procedures have some pain involved no matter what you are having done to your body. It ain't for chickens! I personally would rather have nice white teeth than stained cruddy ones. I'll take the pain.

I just had the Zoom treatment about two hours ago and I have to say that my teeth came out so white that everyone in the dentist's office was remarking at the difference, even people in the waiting room. I'm in my mid '50's and this has lifted years off my appearance. BUT - I have to say that the shooting pain is the worst! It zaps through my teeth and into my gums and is just like when the dentist is drilling and hits an exposed nerver, only worse. There is no warning and it takes me by surprise and the reflex is that my whole body jerks in pain - and then it's gone in a nano-second. Even still, since it was the best cosmetic proceedure at my age for looking younger, I think it's worth it.

My teeth were much whiter, too. I was told not to drink coffee/tea/red wine and the like for 3 days, and I didn't. I could actually see when it was okay for me to have those things again, because I could see the enamel "heal". Areas went from being bright white to being more like my normal enamel color. By the end of the 3rd day, my teeth had a yellowish tinge again, instead of the "dead white" I had left the office with. They are still whiter, but not to the extent they were immediately after the treatment.

The dentist said I won't ever have to do it again, but I have a different theory. Since my teeth have gotten whiter on their own during the times I have drastically reduced my coffee/tea consumption, my theory is that one's teeth reflect one's current tooth-staining habits. And that by the end of the year, my teeth will be more or less the color they were when I had the treatment.

I'll have the dentist check for me when I go in next year, and then I'll know whether or not I'm right.

I pre-paid today to have the "ZOOM" process completed on next Thursday. I decided to search the net to see if there was any more info about it other what the hygentist shared. Now, I am soooooooooo afraid. I wish I'd done the research prior to paying. I've been wanting to do Brite Smile or something like this for a while now, but never even entertained the idea of pain being associated with it. I'm sure I won't be able to get a refund, so I suppose I will go through with it and pray for the best.

It's worth calling your dentist's office to see if you can get a refund. If they won't give you a refund, it's worth asking them what steps you can take to minimize the pain. I think I read somewhere that taking Ibuprofen ahead of time might help (but ask a medical professional).

Keep in mind that some people have very little pain with the procedure, or, in some cases, none.

Good luck!

I had the Zoom whitening 3hrs ago and I am experiencing the painful zings. My dentist didn't warn me of the potential pain until the procedure started. The first "zing" happened during the third 15min. application and it has not stopped. In addition, I have also developed a terrible headache and can only lie down. I used doctor supervised bleaching trays 7yrs ago and achieved whitening without pain. I would not undergo the zoom process again. I wish that I had found this website first.

Ouch! I just got home from having the ZOOM tooth whitening process done, and am also experiencing those sharp pains! My dentist, like many of yours, also didn't warn me about it until it was over. During the last 15 minutes I started to get shooting pain in one area of my mouth, and it hasn't stopped since. I took Ibuprofen before I went, and have taken it again since getting home (even though it hasn't been 6 hrs!), with no relief. I have Biotene toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and am tempted to try it, I'm just afraid to put anything in my mouth now! I have a high pain tolerance, but this is too much! I would NEVER recommend this to anyone.

My wife, who is a dental assistant, had ZOOM whitening done today by her boss. White the results are amazing, she too like many others have reported is experiencing severe pain and sensitivity. This has been pretty much from the onset of the treatment. Now I myself am a Dentist (I practice at a different office than she works at) and personally I have never had experience using the ZOOM procedure on my patients. I do use an in office system called AcquaBrite Deep Bleaching that produces comparable end results as Zoom, but the technique is somewhat different. It involves two in office deep bleaching sessions two weeks apart with a take home solution that is used nightly in between. The in office sessions do not use the UV light, but rather custom trays that hold the hydrogen peroxide solution combined with an accelerator. This is done for two 20 minute sessions on the first visit, and three 20 minute sessions on the second visit two weeks later. Special AcquaSeal swabs are used with every application both in office and at home to practically eliminate sensitivity. Of all the cases that I and my partner have done with this system, sensitivity that has been reported is extremely mild and most patients experience no sensitivity at all. Also there is very little irritation to the gums and soft tissue if the trays are made properly and loaded with the gel properly. This eliminates the need for the barrier that has to be applied when using the Zoom. So while the AcquaBrite procedure take more time overall, the end result is equivalent to that of Zoom, but the discomfort is virtually nonexistent. I am considering myself trying both systems on myself....lets say ZOOM for just the uppers and AcquaBrite for the lowers and compare the sensitivity and results. I suppose that would be pretty much a good controlled experiment. I'll post back with my results if I do it!

hi im having my zoom treatment done next week. does the shooting pain happen to everyone as am reading peoples comments and its scaring me to death. is this a dangerous procedure, and i watched a documentry about teeth whiting and its says it can cause cancer.....please help

Hi Claire,

You should discuss your concerns with your dentist. He may be able to allay your fears, or offer you a different procedure.

It's Pam again.....Thanks for the advice. I will definitely check with my dentist to see if there's anything I can do to eliminate the sensitivity and check for alternative methods. I will post again next Thursday after the procedure has been completed. I've learned a valuable lesson from this and that is: to always do the research 1st!!!

ok... sensitivity after teeth whitening should really be expected. Whitening strips etc dont work.. i am a dental manager and i have had my teeth whitened. they look fantastic and i am constantly praised for them. Zoom! is the best whitening product on the market. aslo can i say that a dentist will study for 7 years of his/her life and carry out a job which helps people, if that dentist wants to buy a bmw, what has it got to do with us? they do a good job and they should be paid well.

I disagree. I expect pain in connection with an invasive procedure, but it didn't occur to me that whitening could be painful. And neither did it occur to any of the people I've told about my experience.

I just had the Zoom treatment this morning and have been in agony the entire day. I would have NEVER gotten this treatment if someone had disclosed this possible side effect. The disclosures said something about mild pain but nothing about being almost unable to function. This goes away, I hope????

It will go away, possibly by tonight. Mine got better with each passing hour and by the next day was gone. (I got my procedure done in the morning.)

I also had zoom this morning. I have sharp shooting pains and a terrible headache but i think the pain is worth it. I do hope the pain will go soon as Im finding it very difficult to cope at work.

I would love to have ZOOM as my teeth have dulled considerably over the years (I'm nearly 50). My concern is that I had root canals on my canines (on each side) and they are somewhat darker than my other teeth. Will they whiten with ZOOM? Thank you for all the feedback from the Dental professionals and ZOOM patients.

Yes, I'm interested in having my teeth whitened as well. I had a root canal on one of my front teeth and then the tooth next to my canine tooth. So my front 4 teeth have a root canal in every other tooth. They are definitely yellowing and show up very discolored in pictures. I do have a few crowns in the back. Will Zoom whitening help even out teeth where a root canal has been performed? I want them to be whiter in general, but I also want a more evenly distributed tooth color for my smile. I read somewhere that they can insert some of the bleach in the tooth that had the root canal. Do you know about this? Please help.

I had the Zoom done at 2:00 and it's 6:30 now and the pain is really UNBEARABLE. I'm afraid to talk or open my mouth or even take the codine the dentist prescribed me afterwards. The hygenist said that I might be a little sensitive to cold but NEVER said that this could happen. If I had read this before my procedure, I wouldn't have done it and I'll never do it again - the pain actually makes me tear up and freeze in pain. I wonder if I can get a novicane shot tomorrow if this doesn't go away?

I got the Zoom Treatment yesterday and on the 2nd rounds, I started getting the "Shocking Extreme Pains." It felt like my nerves were being hit and my whole body shook! It lasted the rest of the day. I was in so much pain! I would have never gotten the procedure done had I known this. This was a pain like no other. I have extremely sensitive teeth and I feel that someone should have warned me of this. Today, the pain is gone in my teeth, but my gums are so raw and they were burnt with bleach! I can't eat and this is a different pain! I would not recommend this if you have sensitive teeth and gums already! I wish that I would have found this website prior to my appointment. I am healing and my teeth are whiter, but the pain that I experienced in the first day was not worth it!

Please don't waste your money with this procedure. It hurts so much, I can't eat or talk, my teeth are so so sensitive. I can't open my mouth at all because if external air touch them, it will make me cry as hell. I can't believe people have to go through all this to get their teeth withened!!! The pain is ridiculous. Don't do it please.

I wrote on the 13th of Feb about having the zoom procedure done. It was an extremely painful experience. I could barely talk for fear of air entering my mouth, my head ache was unbearable infact it was probably the worst pain I have felt for at leats 24 hours. However, that said, I am so happy and would go through the pain all over again if I had to. My gums were also red the next day and my teeth are still sensitive but they look FANTASTIC!! I have always been very paranoid about my teeth and now I just cant stop smiling. If you want white teeth and if it will help your self esteem go for it!! Dont let the pain hold you back. Really, I had my first child three months ago and I knew that would hurt like hell but if it's worth it than it doesnt really matter does it!!

Has anyone tried orajel advanced tooth desensitizer?? I am in a lot of pain...and that stuff says it works!

I previously wrote on 2/8 when I'd only pre-paid for the services, and became extremely afraid after researching. Well, today I had the ZOOM procedure completed, and I am just FINE. I too, am experiencing the sporadic without warning sharp pains, but the magnitude of my pain is not great at all. I voiced my concerns to the dental staff, and I've never encountered such a pleasant group of people in that line of work. My dentist offered to give me a refund after explaining other alternatives to me, and reassuring me that the pain would more than likely subside a day or two later. The dentist further advised she had ZOOM this past Fri and by Saturday she was fine. Like some of the preivous bloggers have stated, I did experience sensitivity in the 3rd round but I think I was one of the fortunate ones. Overall, I am pleased with the results, but thought it would have achieved a whiter color.


Pam, thanks for checking back in. I was wondering about you and how it all went. I'm glad it went so well.

Thank you Rebecca for maintaining such an enlightening website!!!!!!!

Gosh I was looking into getting Zoom whitening, but maybe not! Not only is it super expensive, but apparently painful! I think I can imagine what the pains might be like, the last few times I'd used whitening strips, I'd gotten some pains, but this sounds much worse.

So what is a good alternative? I have been using whitening toothpaste every day since they first hit the market several years ago. I've also used white strips several times. Each time, the whiteness was great but quickly faded.

can you please give me suggestions of what to eat now? i had those acute, shooting pains all night. it was weird b/c i had it done at 1 p.m. and was out of the office at 2:30 p.m. my dentist said i was the easiest and fastest patient he has ever whitened. i did have zinging pains during the end of the 2nd treatment and through out the 3rd treatment. i thought, no gain. well, i went to work and was OK. around 7 p.m. when i left i had throbbing, acute, random shots of pain in my front teeth, and walked home in below zero weather. i took four more ibuprofen and my fiance stummbled upon your blog. my dentist told me afterwards about the zings of pain, but told me before about sensitivity. i just don't know what i can eat now? i eventually ended up taking some vicodin and it finally knocked me out so i could sleep. my fiance has an appt. on tues. he's petrified as i was in so much pain. i guess it was worth it b/c now nearly 24 hrs later i have only sensitivity. however, i'm afraid to eat anything b/c i don't want to ruin the awesome results. i look like i have chicklets so hopefully it'll tone down a little bit.

any suggestions as to what i can eat besides highly pigmented foods would be great.

I just had the Zoom procedure and spent the entire ride home in tears. I have never experienced pain like this. I too cannot talk or open my mouth for fear of this intense pain. No one at the dentist office told me about this pain, and had I known how bad it would have been I would have walked out. This product should be taken off the market!!! I have undergone other cosmetic procedures, and nothing has ever hurt this bad. Don't do it!!!

any suggestions as to what i can eat besides highly pigmented foods would be great.

Pasta with olive oil/butter/white sauce; oatmeal; leek and potato soup; vanilla yogurt; Mountain Dew (for caffeine); rice; beans, except for black beans; white wine; apples; grapefruit; gin.

Well just got back from the cleaning they recommend 24 hours before hand. Did a google to check further into Zoom which landed me here, Holy Cow ! I have never feared the surgeons scapel before but some of these horror stories have me wondering. I also pre-paid this morning and at my dentist the cost is 440.00, dont know what the going rates in other ares ? I am an outside sales rep., sounds like i may have a challenging day representing let alone eating something ? or anything ? I will let you know of my results on Tuesday. I hope these unsatisfied reviews are a very small percentile of the total satisfied people who have done this procedure.

I had the Zoom treatment done recently and had absolutely no discomfort--and I have sometimes sensative teeth. The process was time consuming but super easy and the results are more than worth it. I've been using bleach trays weekly for years so I've been diligent...but I went up 9 shades of white with the Zoom! I

I had the ZOOM! procedure this morning as well, and am experiencing some of the same pains as many of you. However, to alleviate some of the fears of people who are considering this procedure, the pain is uncomfortable, to say the least, but it is not unbearable. I say this knowing that I really do NOT have a high pain tolerance, so it truly cannot be that bad. As for those who feel that they should have been warned about such sensitivity earlier, shame on you for not doing your research prior to having such a procedure. While I agree that any health care professional has a responsibility to disclose possible side effects, it is also on the patient to be well informed and aware of what they are doing to their own bodies. There is enough information available via the internet that no one should be able to use the excuse that "they weren't informed".

Also, as a side note, I agree with the statement about dentists deserving those BMWs. After all the schooling they go through, and the fact that they have to deal with people's dirty mouths all day, they deserve Ferrari's if you ask me.

What I've learned from this thread is that the pain varies immensely from person to person, and for some people it really is unbearable. For others, not too bad.

It's worth noting that the literature provided by my dentist's office cautioned that there might be some "slight tingling" as a result of the procedure—a deliberately misleading statement if I've ever seen one. If it had cautioned me about pain, I might have done further research, but actual pain was never mentioned in any of the literature that was available. I'm usually a pretty cautious consumer, but, to be honest, I am still astonished that such a procedure even could cause pain.

Since the only other person who offered a defense of dentist's salaries identified himself as an office manager in a dental office, Andrea, I'm wondering if you, too, work in a dental office, or are related to someone who does. No one else has even mentioned it, much less complain about it.

hee hee! no way! i can't imagine a life where 8 hrs a day i was dealing with peoples dirty mouths!!!! and although my aunt is a dental hygenist, she is certainly not sharing in the profits of her dental office...maybe i take some offense b/c i drive a BMW :) but the truth of the matter is that it is a very difficult profession, and dentists work very hard to get where they are, so I do truly beleive that they deserve the fruits of their labor. I just finished 4 years of part time law school so I have alot of sympathy for the difficulty they put themselves through.

okay, it's me once again........I would just like to say that after finding this great site, and discussing the procedure in greater detail before having it completed, I learned that a lot of it has to do with the age of a person & the recession of their teeth. So it may not be fair to guage your pain levels by someone elses. Some have had root canals, and other procedures I haven't had to experience just yet. I am 32 years old...other bloggers may be older or younger... Just wanted to shed some light as I think the condition of your teeth, gums, & prior procedures may really be some factors to take into consideration.

I also agree that one should do his/her research but like Rebecca, I had not an inkling that the procedure would/could involve pain until I stumbled on this site.

I had the Zoom procedure today. I was my cousin Mary's (a dental hygenist) very first patient. I too was weary of the pain beforehand. I am very sensitive and pain intolerant. However, I found the procedure quite painless.
In fact, we went to lunch right afterwards and I ate a tuna sandwich. I got my first zing with a sip of cold water so I am drinking with straws now. I only have had three zings since and it is 9pm. I feel sensitivity to hot and cold but nothing really uncomfortable. My teeth look great thanks to my fantastic cousin. I would definitley recommend this procedure.

Got a Question ? My dentist advised me to have the cleaning one day and 24 hours later the Zoom treatment, has anyone had both treatments in one day ?

Both my husband and I had both procedures on the same day, one after the other.



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