Why are my teeth darker after Zoom whitening?

I got Zoom whitening in June, but now my teeth are not as white as they were at first. My dentist gave me the impression that my teeth would stay white. I am concerned that I paid for treatment that is not going to last. Is this normal? And if so, how often will I need to repeat the treatment? Thank you. Jade

Jade –

When you receive in-office Zoom Whitening, your teeth will be ultra-bright–much brighter than in the following days. In a week or so, after your teeth rehydrate, the color might be a few shades darker than when you first received the treatment, but that’s normal. In-office Zoom treatment jumpstarts the process. But you may need to follow up with another in-office whitening session or take-home whitening.

Photo of upper and lower teeth whitening trays in a blue case; for information on free teeth whitening from the office Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Custom teeth whitening trays for home use keep your smile bright

Your dentist probably gave you a take-home whitening kit to use after in-office treatment. When you use the kit as directed by your dentist, your teeth will continue to whiten. But do not use the take-home kit more than directed by your dentist. It is possible to over-bleach your teeth. When that happens, teeth can get brittle and turn dark.

If you follow your dentist’s instructions for at-home treatment but want your teeth even whiter, speak with our dentist about it. They will explain how to safely whiten your teeth without causing a lot of sensitivity or damaging your tooth structure.

Miranda Lacy, DDS of Plano, TX, sponsors this post. Dr. Lacy offers free whitening to patients to maintain regular dental cleaning and exam appointments.

Do cracks in teeth show up on x-rays?

Last month, I was a passenger in a car that was involved in an acceded. The airbag did not go off. My entire face hit the dashboard very hard. My teeth were hurting, but I couldn’t see any damage. My dentist x-rayed my teeth and didn’t see any damage. She referred me to an endodontist who also did an x-ray. The endodontist said I need a root canal for two teeth that are cracked. I am wondering if I need to get a third opinion and another x-ray. Should a crack in a tooth show up in an x-ray? I cannot afford root canal treatment. – Jennifer from TN

Jennifer- A crack in a tooth will show up only if the x-ray is taken at the correct angle—the exact angle of the crack. So, it is difficult to see on an x-ray that a tooth is cracked.

Although a general dentist may not detect a crack, endodontists are more skilled at reading x-rays. Even if the endodontist could not detect a crack on the x-ray, he likely saw evidence in your tooth that it is cracked.

You may seek another opinion, but it is unlikely that another x-ray will reveal the problem with your teeth.

If you cannot afford root canal treatment, ask the endodontist how long you have before you risk losing your tooth. A crack can progress, lead to infection, and result in tooth loss if it is not treated.

You may have time to save money for treatment. Another possibility to ask the endodontist about financing or payment plans. Low- or no-interest financing is available through CareCredit and other companies to help you pay for dental treatment.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, a female Plano, TX dentist, sponsors this post.