- Oral Health
The Intense Pain of Zoom Whitening for Teeth
Or as they say 'OUCH! OUCH!'
In researching my recent hub on teeth whitening scams I came across something called zoom teeth whitening. For the uninformed or just plain uninterested, zoom teeth whitening is effectively a brand of cosmetic teeth whitening procedure. As with a number of other procedures, the main ingredient (so to speak) is hydrogen peroxide - bleach to you and me.
What apparently makes the zoom teeth whitening method so special is the use of the ‘Zoom!’ lamp, which I’m guessing is some kind of UV lamp to activate the oxidation process which is supposedly more effective. As you may have guessed there is little or no scientific evidence to back up this claim.
In fact, it is worse that that. Using UV light is actually dangerous to your gums, skin and eyes. A UV lamp gives four times as much radiation exposure as sunbathing outdoors.
All of this is bad new if you’re looking to upgrade your off-whites to pearly-whites. However, what really catches the eye is the number of reports of intense pain following the procedure.
Now as a quick and lazy legal disclaimer in these lawsuit-riven times I am (probably) obliged to say that I have never used zoom teeth whitening (and never intend to) and therefore I am merely reporting the alleged pain experienced by hundreds of people following their experiences with zoom.
Anyway, internet reports have described this pain as being ‘extreme’, ‘intense’ and lasting anywhere up to 24 hours. This hilarious thread gives a few choice quotes, my favourite of which are:
‘If you were thinking of having your dentist whiten your teeth using the Zoom System—don't do it!’
‘BUT - I have to say that the shooting pain is the worst!... There is no warning and it takes me by surprise and the reflex is that my whole body jerks in pain’
‘I'm just afraid to put anything in my mouth now!’
‘The pain actually makes me tear up and freeze in pain’ (sic)
‘The pain is ridiculous. Don't do it please.’
‘I don't cry often at all, and this has definatly (sic) gotten me weeping in pain.’
‘I was starved as I cooked my meal HERE CAME THE DREADFUL SHARP PAINS! ALL I CAN SAY IS OUCH!OUCH!’ (sic)
Of course, a number of these people also go on to state something along the lines of ‘it was totally worth it!!!’, so perhaps take the quotes with a pinch of salt.
The point about the intense pain of this procedure having been made, I just want to take some time to sneer at the claims made by zoom, the most ridiculous of which is that that this product will make your teeth an average of 8 shades whiter. How many shades of white are there? Maybe its because I’m a guy but I’d say you’ve got white, a bit less white and not really that white and that’s pretty much it. After that I would say that you’re definitely into grey, possibly light grey.
Funnily enough, some quote-unquote ‘satisfied customers’ go out of their way to claim 9 or even 10 shades of white improvement as though this actually means something.
The main message of this admittedly fairly ramshackle hub is that teeth bleaching is silly, teeth whitening using UV light is actually dangerous and that there are tons of reports that zoom whitening in particular is intensely painful, as in major-surgery-without-anaesthetic-and-conducted-by-a-drunk-man-with-a-hacksaw-and-wire-clothes-hanger-painful (that may be an exaggeration).
If you really want whiter teeth, get a decent toothpaste, cut down on the cigarettes, coffee and red wine. That’s all folks.