Who: Dr. Jennifer Jablow
What: Zoom 2 Chairside teeth whitening, a 45 minute procedure that promises to whiten teeth up to 8 shades. A light-catalyzed peroxide gel is applied to the teeth and activated by the Zoom lamp for 3 sets of 15 minutes.
Where: Park 56 Dental in New York, NY
When: Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm
Why: Last Thursday, I left work at about 4:45pm. By 6:15, I was at The Standard sipping champagne. In between, I got my teeth whitened. In a 35 minute procedure, my teeth were transformed to (literally) off the charts white. It was one of the most amazing and oddly, enjoyable dental procedures I’ve ever experienced.
When I walked into Dr. Jablow’s office, I was terrified. A quick Google search will reveal why; apparently, the Internet is filled with hundreds of comments warning prospective Zoom clients about how painful the procedure can be – with some even likening it to childbirth or torture. Luckily, I’ve never experienced either and wasn’t all that eager to test my pain tolerance so I told Dr. Jablow that the second anything felt wrong I was going to call it quits. Dr. Jablow and her assistant set me up with a guard that covered my lips and gums and sealed off the remainder of the gum that was still exposed with an airtight solution. The Zoom gel was applied to my teeth and then the Zoom lamp was moved in front of my mouth. The entire prep period took about 10 minutes.
The first 15 minutes went by quickly and uneventfully as I watched CNN from the corner of my eye. The lamp generated very little heat in my mouth, but did cause a little bit of an odd pulsating sensation. I didn’t feel any pain – not even mild sensitivity. The gel was then suctioned off and then re-applied for Round 2. The lamp was once again placed in front of my teeth and I let it do its job while catching myself up with the latest goings on of the Octomom. Fifteen minute later, I still felt pretty good. Nerves in tact. No shooting pains. Now I was up for the last fifteen minute segment, but Dr Jablow let me know that I only really needed five more to finish the job. Once again, new gel was applied to my teeth and the lamp turned back on. The sessions are followed by a five minute fluoride treatment, which helps relieve sensitivity that may occur during the procedure. However, I’m completely honest when I say that I experienced less sensitivity during the Zoom treatment in Dr Jablow’s capable hands than I did applying Crest White Strips at home.
So why did I have such a positive experience when hundreds of Internet posters swear they would never recommend this procedure to anyone? The key is having a good dentist! Dr. Jablow is one of the leading cosmetic dentists in the city and an expert at procedures such as Zoom. If your dentist doesn’t seal your gums the right way, the whitening gel could seep through and leave you with a very painful case of blisters. Also, Dr. Jablow told me to prep my teeth for two weeks by brushing with Sensodyne. It’s astounding how many dentists just forget to mention that little detail, and the Sensodyne is really the key to a painless whitening procedure.
For those of you on the fence about professional teeth whitening, I’m here to assure you that it’s a quick and amazingly easy and effective procedure. Just make sure to do research on your dentist before attempting. Zoom 2 whitening usually starts at $500.