Zoom Zoom!

Posted on 19 Feb 2009 at 10:11am
By Howard Lewis Russell

Whiter teeth enter the sci-fi realm


WHITE BRIGHT: Park Cities dentist Kyle Keeter uses the Zoom teeth whitening system for his patients. PHOTO BY ARNOLD WAYNE JONES

There’s a proverb that says, "Be true to your teeth or your teeth will be false to you." And in the sparkle-bright world we live in, a white smile can make all the difference.

For those, Zoom has fortuitously arrived.

Everyone knows that coffee, tea, colas, red wines, tobacco and even certain fruits and vegetables can stain teeth. The buildup of plaque, due to inadequate brushing or flossing, is also a major contributor of dingy choppers, and certain diseases and conditions (and even their treatments, from chemotherapy to tetracycline) can affect color. Throw in age, genetics, environment (excessive fluoride levels in water), too much sugar, stress and trauma, and teeth discoloration eventually becomes a given.

Clint Herzog is at the cutting edge of the latest options in whitening advances. As a technician at Floss, his free-standing dental haven across from the West Village, states, "Zoom achieves superior bleaching results in one hour of what it would take trays a week or longer."

Most people do not have the patience, to say nothing of desire, to wear trays in their mouths all night while sleeping (the traditional whitening route). Zoom bridges the sighing void between perseverance and prompt results. (To quote Carrie Fisher’s adroit assessment, "Immediate gratification takes too long.")

Happily, Zoom is a relatively simple procedure to complete. Mary Carmen, assistant to Dr. Kyle G. Keeter’s Cosmetic and Restorative Care practice on Preston Road, offers every comfort possible during the three, 15-minute successive intervals one is in her care: massage chair, optional nitrous oxide gas, iTouch music of one’s choice, a suspended-ceiling TV…. or just take a nap and relax — at least as much as possible while wearing a plastic retractor to keep your mouth forced open with teeth slathered in hydrogen peroxide gel are zapped by an ultraviolet laser light strong enough to leach bleaching oxygen molecules into granite-porous dentin enamel. (Take the nitrous.)

To retain the maximum benefits of your new sparkle-bright investment, it’s crucial to avoid dark-staining substances for at least 48 hours after treatment.

Temporary increased tooth sensitivity is a side effect to Zoom that even the healthiest teeth will experience immediately following the procedure. Symptoms disappear within 24 hours, but to avoid any sensitivity issues altogether it’s advisable to brush with a heavily-fluoridated toothpaste such as Sensodyne one week prior to your Zoom appointment.

As for Zoom’s cost, individual dentists set what they charge for a teeth-whitening session, with the average price usually ranging somewhere in between a family of four’s outing to Six Flags to a built-in kitchen appliance: Pricing is affected by such variables as whether they include take-home whitening kits for touchups, whether the dentist requires a paid first visit to assess your teeth, whether teeth tray molds are cast for individual whitening maintenance between Zoom-ings (most people usually re-Zoom every two to three years) and how many uses of carbamide peroxide gel are included in the kits.

In the buoyant anthem of a Civil War slave preacher’s words, "We ain’t where we wanna be, we ain’t where we oughta be and we ain’t where we’re gonna be, but, thank God, we ain’t where we was."

One’s teeth will feel that way about Zoom: Thank God, they ain’t where they was.
Clint Herzog’s Floss, 3131 Lemmon Ave. 214-978-0101. Flossdental.com.

Kyle G. Keeter’s Cosmetic and Restorative Care, 8201 Preston Road, Suite 255. 214-360-0055. DrKeeter.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 20, 2009.

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