Local dentist first to offer new tooth whitening process

By Jennifer Lassiter
star staff
Dr. Armstrong's is the first dental office in Elizabethton, and one of the few in the Tri-Cities area, to offer Zoom, a new tooth whitening process which gives patients instant results. The new process is for patients who want fast results, without the hassle of time-consuming whitening trays.
Tammy Daniel, a registered dental hygienist, and Missy Stanton, a registered dental assistant at Armstrong's office, are responsible for getting Zoom products in Elizabethton. Their idea was spurred from ABC's TV show "Extreme Makeover," which is now in its second season.
"Extreme Makeover" is a TV series which gathers average citizens out of casting crews set up all over the country, and transforms them, physically. The "extreme team" is made up of plastic surgeons, eye surgeons, make-up artist, stylist and cosmetic dentists.
Each episode features two people who are seen in their "before" phase and dramatically transformed into their "after" phase. The reality TV show's purpose is to change the lives of people by transforming their looks.
Traditional whitening methods such as Crest whitening strips professional strength and Opalescence trays are still being offered, but Daniel and Stanton felt the need to offer patients a faster option for whitening their teeth.
The new Zoom whitening process, a product of Discus Dental, requires a total of only two hours an in office procedure, compared to the trays. The Opalescence trays have to be worn for 17 hours a day for at least a month to gain maximum results.
So far, Stanton and Daniel have whitened five patients' teeth, ranging in age and gender. Patients' reactions have all been positive. According to Stanton, patients leave confident. Stanton said, "If you have prettier teeth, you're going to smile more."
The whitening process is a bleach and light process. Bleach is rubbed on in thick gel form to the teeth and then exposed to light. Three rounds of this process are completed, and 48 hours after, the whitening process is complete. Patients have the option to have more rounds performed. Patients are informed not to eat anything dark for the time period following their visit.
Patients are required to have a dental cleaning within the last six months before engaging in the whitening process to get the maximum results.
"This day and time nobody really has time for the trays," said Stanton. Since they started around three weeks ago, they've had five patients ranging in age and gender. This process is for anyone who wants a "brighter" smile, said Daniel. "The whitening process lightens teeth to an average of eight shades lighter," said Daniel.
Sensitivity is the only drawback. A patient's gums can tingle after the process, and gums can temporarily turn a lighter color. To ease the pain, patients are given fluoride, which soothes sensitive teeth. There is no defacing or destruction of the structure of the teeth.