Is it safe to take advantage of a new patient Zoom whitening special?

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I like my dentist. I have been seeing him ever since I moved to Virginia, nearly 12 years ago. I don’t have any problems and love the practice. But I have been wanting to get my teeth whitened for awhile now but haven’t been able to save up for it. I got an ad in the mail for a new patient special that is offering Zoom whitening for free. Is this a red flag? Is it somehow unethical? I feel kind of guilty and wouldn’t want to harm my teeth. But it’s a tempting to get the whitening done.

-Paula in Virginia


That is a good question. You shouldn’t feel guilty by any means, but it would be wise to proceed with caution. Here’s the scoop. There are many variations of Zoom whitening. So from an ad, it is difficult to see what is actually provided free of charge. Often times when a practice is trying to establish themselves in a new market, they will offer take-home trays and not the Zoom you may be interested in. Zoom takes one visit in the office, while take-home trays require weeks of patient cooperation. So that is one thing to get clarification on.

Also, you need to examine what exactly is free. If this is an offer accompanied with trying to gain new patients, it may require paying for a cleaning, x-rays, and exam. So, you may end up paying for all those services and then get the teeth whitening for free. Some dental insurance companies have limitations on how many cleanings and x-rays you receive in a calendar year. So it’s important to get a breakdown of the costs and expectations from both the dentist office and your insurance company, if you have it.

Have you considered discussing the teeth whitening with your current dentist? It would be good to identify what the actual costs are and also have them determine if you are indeed a candidate.

Hopefully, this will help you determine if you want to take advantage of the special. Or possibly make a plan with your current dentist. They may work with you on costs or set up a payment plan for you. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.