Painful but Pretty

I had tried the whitening strips but could never...

I had tried the whitening strips but could never get them to peel off right, stick or do anything worthwhile. Then I tried Crest Night Effects where I would paint some peroxide goop onto each of my "smile teeth" and go to sleep. Well either I didn't read it or the information didn't say it clearly enough but that goop unseals your teeth just as the Zoom! process does. So I'd get up the next day and smoke like normal, eat red pasta sauce, spend all day guzzling down Diet Pepsi. No wonder my teeth seemed WORSE after the Crest Night Effects!

I plunked down my $500 at the dental office. They cleaned & scraped a few of the smile teeth, then got impressions of my upper & lower teeth (for the bleaching trays to come) and then polished me up with pumice.

Next we spent a good 30-45 mins prepping me for the chair-side whitening. This is the blue gunk that goes onto your gums & hardens under light to protect your gums from the UV light. Then she packed so much gauze in there it almost started to hurt. The sunscreen stuff she put on my lips was kind of unpleasant as well - like a tingly-burning feeling before the light even came on. It was especially painful (about a 2 or 3) when the plastic lip stretcher would rub or pinch.

By the time the prep was done, I was starting to get some prickly sensations in my gums. It almost felt like I was getting a tattoo on them (though I've never had one.)

Next we lathered on the bleaching gel & setup the UV light almost directly on top of my teeth. (Think when you get dental x-rays, it was that close.) I think I accidentally got some of that bleaching crud on my tongue at a couple of points. Gotta say: ICK!

At first she told me it would be 3 15 min sessions. Turned out, it was 2 20 min sessions. This was their new "Zoom 2" process. It seems like everything was pre-packaged for the tech.

After a while, the pricklies became so constant that I started feeling numb to them which was good.

After the first session, we scraped off all the bleaching gel and she checked the blue gum protector stuff, fixing in a few spots. More gauze, some suction and a new coat of bleaching gel went on - under the light for another 20 mins and then we were all done.

Some clean-up after that - lip spreader out, wipe down of teeth, gauze & blue gunk out - a couple of rinse & suction pass-throughs and I was done. Then she busted out a tiny brush and some Vitamin E oil/balm that she (per the package instructions) "applied liberally." I left it on until it wore off / soaked in. My lips are fine today, though maybe feeling a little chapped but nothing horrible.

At about 15 mins into the second session, it felt like someone had just kicked one of my lower teeth. The pain was pretty intense but it was very short-lived and didn't happen again while under the light so I blew it off.

After the clean-up, while talking to the Tech who'd done it for me, the dentist came in & I mentioned the sharp pains I'd been having every five minutes or so. "Oh, yeah, that's normal" he told me.

There was a little bit along three teeth where the blue gunk didn't fully seal away the bleaching goop. When I was all rinsed off, the tech told me there would be little white lines where the bleach seeped through and they'd go away by the next day. Sure enough there were the little white spots on my gums over those three teeth (barely noticeable unless you're looking for them) and as promised, this morning they're gone.

I must have had another half dozen of those sucker-punches-to-individual-teeth on the drive home and wow, is it difficult to drive through blinding pain!

They had told me there would be sensitivity to hot and cold for a few days afterward but even an hour afterward, I was able to eat my chicken & rice dinner (white, non-staining food!) just fine. In fact, the excruciating pains never happened when I had food or beverage in my mouth. They always came when it was saliva-only which I thought was strange.

Luckily my appointment was for later in the day. I didn't get out of the dental office until about 7:15 pm. I say this was lucky because I was able to sleep through most of the pains. As I say, they were sharp and horrible and blinding and would stop you in your tracks until they passed but they were also very short-lived. I popped two Ibuprofens (since my beloved Naproxen was on the no-no list as a photoreactive drug) and I slept just fine.

Today, some 17-18 hours after the procedure, the blinding sporadic pains have stopped (haven't had one that I know about since about 15 hrs ago) but the teeth overall feel like I just got my braces tightened - sensitive, I'm aware that my teeth are in there. (Haven't had braces in 20 yrs but you get the idea.)

The tech did a good job of explaining that teeth are tubular and the bleach was opening up the tubes to extract the stains. The dentist did make a point of warning me that it would take about 48 hrs for those tubes to seal back up so avoid anything with pigment or I'd be back with pink, purple or brown teeth & they'd have to do it all over again. (I assume it would be another $500, heh.)

For me the hardest part is not smoking for two work days. With the amount of stress in my job, I'm REALLY looking forward to Thursday night when I can once again light up & Friday when I can once again have some Diet Pepsi to wake up!

Some people have said they'd rather go through childbirth again than deal with the pains from Zoom. I've never gone through childbirth or a root canal or any of the other comparisons I've seen made. I did have an open wound at one point that had me screaming in agony in the hospital's emergency room. At 9am, they gave me a Valium, a shot of Toradol and told me I'd be asleep within the hour. I was awake til 11pm and the meds barely took the edge off the pain.

With that experience as a 10 on the pain scale, I would say the Zoom pricklies were about 2-3 and the blinding ones were about 7-8 and the dull ache now is about 1 - annoying but not interfering with anything at all.

My teeth haven't been this white since I was a kid. It's wonderful! I will probably never again have this done though. I'm 36 now so even if I get another 25 years worth of smoke & soda & tea build-up, at 61, I don't know that I'll care as much as I do now! LOL

I'm also glad I did this 10 days before the family reunion. I would not be a happy camper with blinding pain on an airplane or even this dull roar at the party.

While I do have some pretty incredible before & after pictures, they're not on this computer and I haven't uploaded them anywhere yet.  {edited - please post images on this review} Pretty remarkable the results!

Dr. Paul Weyman's office

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