Professional tooth whitening information -

Teeth Whitening - BriteSmile® vs Zoom!™

Considering professional tooth whitening? We did a head-to-head comparison of the two most popular chairside (dentist's office) teeth-whitening procedures - BriteSmile and Zoom!™.

Professional light-activated whitening has become a popular choice due to it's speed and effectiveness. Published studies also indicate that it produces significantly fewer problems with post-treatment discomfort than dentist-administered take home treatments. Both BriteSmile and Zoom! are patented processes involving a light-activated peroxide solution and exposure to a special light.

The original Zoom! method has been replaced by an improved technology, Zoom 2. We've noted where there are major changes in the improved process.

Tried either of these tooth whitening treatments? Rate them here!

# of shades whitened 9.3 shades or more (average) using the standard dental Vita-Pan guide. Up to a maximum of 14 shades. 8 shades (avg) on the VitaPan guide (Zoom! 2 only). Most patients achieve 6-10 shades.
How long does it take? about 1 hour about 1 hour

How long does it last?

BriteSmile whitening can last for years. Use of after care products is advised for maximum effect. With proper aftercare and occasional home touch-ups, the whitening effects can last for years.
Solution ingredients 15% peroxide buffered at a near-neutral pH in a gel engineered to respond to the blue wavelength of the BriteSmile light. Glycerin and highly purified water prevent tooth dehydration. A light-activated and PH balanced, 20% Hydrogen Peroxide gel.

BriteSmile's blue wavelength light is not a laser. It is a mercury vapor plasma arc lamp, which emits virtually no heat, no harmful UV (ultraviolet) light and is clinically proven safe for tooth enamel, skin, gums, and other soft tissues.

The light is specially shaped to evenly shine on just your smile line (teeth visible when you smile).

A mercury, metal halide lamp which is filtered to emit light in the 350nm to 450nm range. The light uses an infrared filter to reduce heat at the tooth surface, and, per a study by the University Health Research Group Inc., Zoom's light emits small but not significant amounts of UVB (ultra-violet).

Guides placed in your mouth insure that the light is aligned properly.

What you'll experience

To prepare for the process, a substance which hardens to form a protective shield is first painted onto your gums and lips.

Next the whitening gel is applied to your teeth and the lamp is positioned and turned on for 20 minutes. During this time, you need to remain still but can listen to music, watch TV or sleep.

The application of the whitener followed by the light is repeated 2 more times.

At the end of the process, the protective material is removed and you're done.

First, a clinician applies protective substances to insure that all soft tissue in and around your mouth (gums, lips, etc.) are isolated and protected.You are also given a face bib to protect your skin and protective eyewear to wear. Guides are placed in the mouth in order to precisely align the Zoom light.

Following the preparation period, the bleaching solution is applied, the light is turned on, and the actual whitening occurs. This is done 3 times for 20 minutes each. During this time the patient can listen to music, some even fall asleep.

A 5 minute flouride treatment follows the procedure.

Not intended for: Children age 13 and under, pregnant or lactating women. Children age 13 and under, pregnant or lactating women.
Additional Precautions None.

Light sensitive individuals including those undergoing PUVA (Psoralen+UV Radiation) therapy or other photo-chemotherapy, as well as patients with melanoma, should not have the Zoom! In-Office procedure.

Additionally, if you are taking any drugs which can cause light-sensitivity (over the counter, herbal or prescription) you should first consult with your physician.

Safety studies

Independent safety studies by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, reviewed by senior researchers at NYU, concluded that BriteSmile's professional teeth whitening treatment is safe.

A recently published study on BriteSmile in JADA (Journal of the American Dental Association) validated that it was safe and effective with lasting results.


About 20% of those undergoing the procedure experience a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity. This only lasts 1-2 days, and most people find relief using over-the-counter medications (Advil®, Tylenol® ...). Your dentist can prescribe stronger medication if necessary.


About 20% of those undergoing this process will experience increased tooth sensitivity, including sharp pains or a persistant mild to moderate ache, which can last for a comple of days. Your dentist can prescribe medication if needed.

Zoom2 claims to produce 67% less sensitivity in patients than those treated with the original Zoom! system

Cost (Approximate)


$499 - $599, but $299-$399 during seasonal sales and promos.

$400-$600. No price is given on the manufacturer's website, price quotes we found on participating dentist's sites were around $500.


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