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Arnold, MD Teeth Whitening

woman's teeth before and after whitening

Teeth whitening has gone pro! You don’t have to deal with a dizzying array of drugstore products anymore, trying to guess which kinds of whitening toothpaste or gel treatments might work best for you—or IF they will.

Here at Chesapeake Dental Arts, Dr. Esposito usually recommends Zoom whitening—a highly effective concentrated treatment that is delivered in a single appointment. Your teeth will be whiter than they’ve ever been at the end of your visit.

Zoom Whitening: What Is It?

Did you know that our in-office Zoom whitening procedure can lighten your teeth three to eight shades in only one appointment?

Some patients ask how effective over-the-counter whitening systems are. Toothpastes can only remove superficial stains from surface enamel and won’t do anything to affect stains that have absorbed into your tooth structure. Some over-the-counter products will provide gels that penetrate the tooth somewhat, but they have to limit the strength of the whitening gels in order to sell them over the counter. Some OTC kits may even contain acids that etch the tooth surface. While they provide short-term whitening, the etching of your teeth will make them more susceptible to stain over time.

Zoom whitening is one of the fastest, most effective ways to bleach your teeth. A light is applied to a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel to enhance the whitening process. This system allows free elemental oxygen to be released inside your tooth, oxidizing the stain and even whitening the natural pigments.

Dr. Esposito may recommend teeth whitening treatments before placing crowns or veneers in your mouth. Crowns and veneers can’t be lightened if you decide to bleach your natural teeth later, so bleaching first and then matching the color of your dental work to your new bleached color is the way to go.

What to Expect During the Zoom Whitening Procedure

The Zoom teeth whitening procedure we use here at Chesapeake Dental Arts is completed in about an hour but may require follow-up at home with the additional gel trays we provide. Be advised that you may experience tooth sensitivity for the first day or so after your in-office treatment. Lingering tooth sensitivity to gel treatments may indicate tooth decay, leaky fillings, or other problems, which is why we always perform a thorough dental exam and repair any urgent tooth issues prior to your first teeth whitening session. Finally, periodic touchups at home with your Zoom gel trays are recommended to maintain your dazzling smile for years to come.

The Zoom Procedure

Here is the step-by-step procedure:

Photo of a patient's mouth prepped for whitening gel treatment with retracted lips and a protective towel.

First, your gums and tooth root surfaces will be covered with a protective barrier to ensure your safety.


Photo of a dental tech applying retractors to a patient's mouth.

Next, a thin plastic device known as a retractor will hold your lips and cheeks away from your teeth as a professional-strength hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to the teeth.


Photo of gel light activation step during a patient's teeth whitening treatment.

The gel is then activated by a blue LED light, and the gel will be left on for about 15 minutes.
The bleaching process is then repeated with two more sessions on the same day.

Photo of happy patient admiring her teeth whitening results in a mirror following her treatment.

Finished. Enjoy your new smile!




Follow-Up Home Whitening

A personalized home-whitening kit is usually prescribed by Dr. Esposito as a follow-up to your in-office treatment to ensure the best possible results. A mold of your teeth is made and then two thin, flexible plastic mouth trays are custom-made for you to keep—one for the top teeth and one for the bottom. You fill the trays with the whitening gel we provide and place the trays over your teeth. The trays need to be left in for at least 20 minutes at a time. Continue that for as long as you have been instructed. You can extend the use of these home whitening trays if you want to whiten your teeth even further. And you can repeat this at-home whitening for annual touch-ups to keep your teeth at their maximum whiteness.

Take-Home Whitening 

Another option for you is to do at-home treatment instead of the in-office appointment. For this, you skip the in-office treatment and go directly to the take-home trays. You will put whitening gel into the trays and place them over your teeth. Leave them in for at least 20 minutes, and repeat this daily for a couple of weeks, or until you have achieved the level of whiteness you desire.

Is Zoom for You?

Dr. Esposito will examine your teeth and determine if you are a good candidate for our professional Zoom teeth whitening procedure. Together you can decide if the powerful in-office treatment alone or the more convenient at-home treatment is your best choice for optimal results. If you’re interested in a Zoom teeth whitening consultation, call us or fill out the appointment request form.

Caring for Your Whitened Smile

While Zoom whitening permanently removes stains and bleaches the natural pigment in your teeth, your teeth continue to be susceptible to new stains. To keep your teeth their whitest, first of all, please maintain your usual, conscientious routine of brushing and flossing every day, and keep up with your regular schedule of professional cleanings at the dental office. Additionally, you may want to avoid foods and beverages that stain, including red wine, tea, coffee, cola drinks, and highly pigmented berries. If you smoke, your newly whitened teeth may give you an incentive to quit!