Do I need sedation for Zoom?

 / Do I need sedation for Zoom?

Do I need sedation for Zoom?

My teeth are very, very sensitive! But I have been wanting to whiten my teeth for awhile and I am finally moving forward with getting Zoom! Since I have never had a cavity filled or really any other dental issue (aside from sensitivity) I don’t have anything to compare it to. I’m kind of freaking out about having the Zoom done because I’m afraid it will hurt my super sensitive teeth. I’ve read about people having sensitivity after the procedure so I think mine will be intense. I also had a friend that had Zoom whitening and she said she has never been in so much pain before! Do you think the dentist would do sedation dentistry for me since my teeth are already sensitive?

– Trisha in California


Sensitivity is not uncommon after professional teeth whitening techniques, like Zoom whitening. That said, it is virtually unheard of for a dentist to use sedation dentistry for this type of procedure. Sedation is more commonly used for restorative work like crowns or root canal treatments, that sort of thing. There are people that use sedation if they have had a bad experience in the past and they are particularly fearful. So although it’s not out of the question, it probably wouldn’t be recommended.

Oral sedation will make you indifferent to what is going on and will actually feel like you were asleep during the procedure. But it really is unnecessary for a non-painful procedure like Zoom whitening. Your sensitivity may be heightened for a couple days following the procedure, but it shouldn’t be painful. You may feel a couple zings or unique sensations, but nothing too bothersome. You can talk to your dentist about any recommendations like fluoride treatments or fluoride mouthwash that may help with desensitizing the teeth after the procedure. The cosmetic dentist may actually be able to prescribe a stronger fluoride formulation than you could get over the counter. So be upfront with your dentist about your concern. And if you feel any discomfort during the procedure, tell your dentist right away. The use of the Zoom light can be limited or discontinued if necessary.

Try not to get yourself worked up! It won’t hurt and you will have a beautiful, white smile when it’s all said and done.


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