• General Questions

    What is Zoom Whitening?
     Zoom Whitening is one of the most popular and established teeth whitening systems. The company was recently acquired by Philips and is a very reliable and safe way to whiten your teeth.

    Will teeth whitening damage my teeth?
    No. Teeth whitening is a very controlled, safe way to bleach your teeth and will not permanently damage your teeth.

    How long is the treatment?
     Total, less than about 60 minutes. Each session is 15 minutes long, and typically 3 sessions are needed to achieve the optimum goal.

    Is Zoom Whitening painful?
     No, but patients can experience some sensitivity and discomfort. However, if the enamel layers have previously been damaged, it could cause tooth pain. If this condition occurs, we recommend patients to take medication such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain. Sensitivity usually stabilizes in a day.

    Does this really work?
    Yes. Although how much we can lighten varies, we generally lighten the shade by 7 shade levels and the difference is obvious.

    Is there anything I need to do after the Zoom Whitening?
    Immediately after whitening, the surface of your teeth is porous and easily absorbs colors. It is recommended not to have coffee, tomato sauce, soy sauce, saffron, curry, wine, or any other foods and beverages that easily stain teeth for a few days.

    Is the treatment permanent?
    No. Once you whiten your teeth, the surface of the teeth will start to receive new layers of stains. Over a long period, the teeth will start to get darker again, but usually it does not go back to its former shade for a very, very long time. Many patients choose to do “touch up” work time to time. We offer “touch up” sessions at a special rate.

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    It all depends on the patients and teeth. Some patients will do touch up once a year and some do it every 6 months. You can also do home bleaching time to time as a “touch up”.

    What is the difference between Zoom Whitening and the home bleaching?
     For home bleaching, you will place bleaching gel in a tray that fits your teeth and wear them for few hours to overnight, whereas Zoom Bleaching takes only 1 hour to get the same effect. Generally, home bleaching has more control than Zoom Whitening as far as how much you want to lighten, because you control the frequency and the duration of treatment. Ideally, you would start with Zoom Whitening and follow up with home bleaching to reach your desired shade more easily.


    Dental Implants FAQ

    What is a dental implant?
    A dental implant is an artificial root that is inserted into the bone of the jaw to replace your missing root.

    What is an “implant specialist”?
     Implant treatment is not an ADA (American Dental Association) recognized specialty. Implants can be placed by any licensed dentists. However, implant surgery is currently performed by the following groups of dentists at the specialist level: oral surgeons, periodontists and implantologists. Implantologists also have training in the creation of the tooth portion of implant treatment. They are the true implant specialists. Dr. Itoh, an implant specialist himself, has 4 years of full-time post-graduate training in oral implantology. 

    How reliable are implant treatments?
     The success rate of implant treatments over a 20 year period in US is about 95-98%. This is a very high number considering implants are a surgical procedure.

    I know implants are expensive, but lately I see advertisements for very cheap implants. Are they just as good as high-priced implants?
     In short, no. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has very strict regulations about the medical devices that go inside your body. To get FDA approval, manufacturers spend millions of dollars, and thus the cost of devices naturally increases. There are generic implant systems with expired patent designs that are manufactured in the third world and sell for cheap. These companies may be non- existent 5 years from now. Patients need to be aware that cheap is not always in their best interest. 

    I am allergic to metal. Does this mean I can’t receive dental implants?
    Most people who are allergic to “metal” are allergic to nickel. These people usually say, “I can’t wear cheap earrings.” or “I can only wear gold or pure silver.” The majority of implants are made out of titanium. Titanium has a very high biocompatibility; more so than gold metals. Although it’s possible, it is extremely rare that someone is allergic to titanium.

    I heard implant treatment can take as long as a year before you can have your tooth. Why so long?
    Most implant treatments are done in 3 months. However, when a patient has lost a good portion of their alveolar bone (jaw bone), the bone has be restored prior to the placement of bone. This can take an extra 3 to 4 months. There are several well-established techniques that allow us to restore the teeth much faster nowadays.

    What are factors contributing to the failure of an implant?
    Implants are made of titanium metal so the tooth will never have cavities, but implant teeth can get gum disease that can lead to losing the implant. Good oral hygiene and periodical maintenance of teeth will play an important role in keeping healthy implant teeth.

    How do temporary dentures work?
    While your implants are being made, patients are given temporary dentures, which can be fixed or removable. Fixed ones are just like bridges and removable ones are like dentures, except they are temporary and use different materials than the final prostheses. They are meant to be worn for a short period of time; in some cases, several months, while permanent implants are being made. 

    Do you have any advice on how to maintain temporary dentures?
     Don’t eat hard or sticky food as it can lift out the temporary bridge or fracture the temporary denture.