Saturday, September 10, 2011

Regulatory and Scope of Practice Aspects of Bleaching Treatment

Presently, all extracoronal tooth bleaching products remain unclassified by the FDA. This includes all peroxide-based products used in the in-office, dentist-dispensed products for at-home use, OTC (patient-purchased) products, as well as products used in non-dental settings.
In the early 1990s, the FDA proposed regulating the peroxide-based bleaching materials as drugs and sent warning letters to manufacturers.
Tooth whitening products are developed and marketed according to U.S. ―cosmetic‖ regulations. These regulations are more limited than those for drugs or medical devices. This may lead to the perception that the products are innocuous, though they have the potential to cause harm and may result in undesirable effects to the teeth or oral mucosa.
The recent appearance of tooth-bleaching businesses in non-dental settings has led to state dental board decisions, attorney general opinions, and legislation in some states. Some jurisdictions have taken recent action to better limit patient risks associated with tooth bleaching. These include: Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Concerns regarding tooth bleaching in non-dental settings have been raised. Non-dental personnel are not educated in the use of disease screening or diagnostic tests (such as radiographs), and are not licensed or qualified to provide dental examinations. Dental and other healthcare workers receive required education and training in infection control procedures to protect patients and themselves from infectious diseases that may be spread by blood or saliva. The staff in non-dental facilities are not licensed and the level of education and training in infection control or other important emergency and safety procedures is unknown.
Tooth bleaching in the United Kingdom (U.K.) emerged in conflict with existing regulations that applied to hairdressers and the use of hydrogen peroxide. Steps toward resolution of this conflict are underway, including an extensive review of tooth bleaching safety data. As noted previously, the Scientific Committee for Consumer Products (SCCP) in Europe supported the safety of tooth bleaching materials containing up to 6.0% hydrogen peroxide for use by dental professionals.
38 The FDA’s position was challenged legally, and in alignment with court decisions, the FDA suspended attempts to classify the bleaching materials. To date, the FDA has taken no further action to classify tooth bleaching products. 3 Such adverse effects are generally related to low pH and poor product quality. 13,23 It is expected that this SCCP recommendation will eventually be ratified by the European Council and by the U.K. government. The timeline for these actions is unclear at present.

Safety Concerns with Tooth Bleaching Materials

Concerns regarding the safety of all bleaching treatments and products have long existed, but were heightened since the introduction of at-home bleaching.5-8 Discussions in this section focus on peroxides and their use as active ingredients in tooth bleaching materials. Important concerns related to patient examination and diagnoses are addressed elsewhere in this report.

A variety of peroxide compounds, including carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate and calcium peroxide, have been used as active ingredients for bleaching materials; however, essentially all extracoronal bleaching materials currently available for whitening of vital teeth in the United States contain carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide. Recently, products containing chlorine dioxide were introduced in the United Kingdom, but there is no evidence that tooth bleaching products using chlorine dioxide as the active ingredient are safer than peroxide-based materials. In fact, safety concerns have been documented with chlorine dioxide and its use for tooth bleaching treatment due to the low pH of the material and resultant tooth etching.9
Most OTC bleaching products are hydrogen peroxide-based, although some contain carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide decomposes to release hydrogen peroxide in an aqueous medium: ten percent carbamide peroxide yields roughly 3.5% hydrogen peroxide. In-office bleaching materials contain high hydrogen peroxide concentrations (typically 15-38%), while the hydrogen peroxide content in at-home bleaching products usually ranges from 3% to 10%; however, there have been home-use products containing up to 15% hydrogen peroxide. Safety issues have been raised regarding the effects of bleaching on the tooth structure, pulp tissues, and the mucosal tissues of the mouth, as well as systemic ingestion. Regarding mucosal tissues, safety concerns relate to the potential toxicological effects of free radicals produced by the peroxides used in bleaching products. Free radicals are known to be capable of reacting with proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, causing cellular damage. Because of the potential of hydrogen peroxide to interact with DNA, concerns with carcinogenicity and co-carcinogenicity of hydrogen peroxide have been raised, although these concerns so far have not been substantiated through research.5,10,11 However, studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide is an irritant and also cytotoxic. It is known that at concentrations of 10% hydrogen peroxide or higher, © 2009 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. 3
the chemical is potentially corrosive to mucous membranes or skin, and can cause a burning sensation and tissue damage.5,12,13 The amount of products applied during office bleaching treatment and other formulation variables can change the potential to cause damage. However, severe mucosal damage can occur if gingival protection is inadequate with high strength tooth whitening products. Clinical studies have also observed a higher prevalence of gingival irritation in patients using bleaching materials with higher peroxide concentrations.14,15
Data accumulated over the last 20 years, including some long-term clinical study follow up16,17, indicate no significant, long-term oral or systemic health risks associated with professional at-home tooth bleaching materials containing 10% carbamide peroxide (3.5% hydrogen peroxide). However, these data were collected from studies which include examinations by dental professionals, and there is no safety evidence on bleaching materials that do not involve such examinations by dental professionals, regardless of hydrogen peroxide concentration or application venue. Additionally, consumers are not generally aware of how to report adverse events through FDA’s Medwatch system. If a licensed dental professional is not consulted when patients use OTC bleaching products, adverse effects due to product abuse may go unreported.
Regarding hard tissues, transient mild to moderate tooth sensitivity can occur in up to two-thirds of users during early stages of bleaching treatment.18 Sensitivity is generally related to the peroxide concentration of the material and the contact time; it is most likely the result of the easy passage of the peroxide through intact enamel and dentin to the pulp during a five- to 15-minute exposure interval. However, there have been no reported long-term adverse pulpal sequellae when proper techniques are employed. The incidence and severity of tooth sensitivity may depend on the quality of the bleaching material, the techniques used, and an individual’s response to the bleaching treatment methods and materials. To date, there is little published evidence documenting adverse effects of dentist-monitored, at-home whiteners on enamel, but two clinical cases of significant enamel damage have been reported, apparently associated with the use of OTC whitening products.19,20 This damage may be related to the low pH of the products and/or overuse.
In vitro
To address the safety of bleaching materials, the ADA convened a panel of experts in 1993. The ADA subsequently published its first set of guidelines for evaluating peroxide-containing tooth whiteners.22 These guidelines have been revised periodically.
In March 2005, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) concluded the following: ―The proper use of tooth whitening products containing >0.1 to 6.0% hydrogen peroxide (or equivalent for hydrogen peroxide-releasing substances) is considered safe after consultation with and approval of the consumer's dentist.‖13 The © 2009 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. 4
SCCP, in January 2008, again recommended that up to 6% hydrogen peroxide is a safe limit to use for at-home tooth bleaching; however, it did not recommend use of such products without dental consultation.23
In summary, available data indicate that extracoronal bleaching treatment in the dental office or at home may cause short-term tooth sensitivity and/or gingival irritation. More severe mucosal damage is possible with high hydrogen peroxide concentrations. While available evidence supports the safety of using bleaching materials of 10% carbamide peroxide (3.5% hydrogen peroxide) by dental professionals, there are concerns with the use of at-home bleaching materials with high hydrogen peroxide concentrations. Studies designed specifically to assess the long-term safety of high hydrogen peroxide concentration in at-home bleaching materials are needed, especially for repeated use of these products. There appears to be insufficient evidence to support unsupervised use of peroxide-based bleaching materials.
Similar to other dental and medical interventions, questions have been raised about the safety of tooth whitening treatments during pregnancy. In the absence of such evidence, clinicians may consider recommending that tooth whitening be deferred during pregnancy.
The safety of tooth bleaching for children and adolescents is also a consideration. More research is needed to establish appropriate use and limitations for these patients. However, bleaching is a conservative approach compared with restorative options when tooth discoloration causes significant concern. If possible, delaying treatment until after permanent teeth have erupted is recommended, as is use of a custom-fabricated bleaching tray to limit the amount of bleaching gel.24 Close professional and parental/guardian supervision are needed to maximize benefits and minimize adverse effects and overuse.
studies suggest that dental restorative materials may be affected by tooth bleaching agents.1,21 These findings relate to possible physical and/or chemical changes in the materials, such as increased surface roughness, crack development, marginal breakdown, release of metallic ions, and decreases in tooth-to-restoration bond strength. Such findings have not appeared in clinical reports or studies.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Should you be whitening your teeth?

Teeth whitening is not for everyone. Before choosing to whiten your teeth it is important to see your dentist to determine if your teeth are suitable for the treatment. Teeth whitening is not recommended for everyone because of various issues relating to gum and tooth sensitivity, the natural colour of a person’s teeth and presence of fillings, crowns and veneers. Unlike many untrained operators offering teeth whitening treatments, only dentists can assess a person’s suitability for the treatment. Without a proper assessment it is not possible to rule out any permanent side effects or other risks associated with the process. If administered by untrained individuals, whitening procedures can cause discoloured teeth, heightened tooth sensitivity and gum problems. When assessing your teeth for whitening, your dentist will:

whitening commence
Ensure your mouth is healthy before
Diagnose the cause of any
whiten your teeth
Discuss with you the best method to
influence the whitening process (e.g.
antibiotic staining)
Advise if there are factors which may
and veneers need replacement (as
these won’t change colour)
Assess whether your fillings, crowns
Identify areas of gum recession
how it may be managed.
Teeth whitening should only be carried
out on people who have their adult teeth,
unless otherwise advised by a dentist.
Discuss possible tooth sensitivity and
Some considerations
There are a couple of easy and cost
effective ways to keep your teeth looking
whiter and brighter, naturally.
Chairman of the ADA’s Oral Health
Committee, Dr Peter Alldritt says the best
way to keep a healthy white smile is to
maintain good oral health.
“Practising good oral hygiene is a basic
way to assist in making your teeth look
whiter naturally.”
“Brushing and flossing your teeth daily
assists in removing surface stains on
your teeth,” Dr Alldritt says.
For healthier and better looking teeth,
you should:
minutes using a fluoride toothpaste
Brush your teeth twice a day for two
Floss your teeth daily
Drink water throughout the day
Consume a sensible diet
professional clean
Visit your dentist regularly for a
What to avoid:
found on the surface of the tooth,
which are caused by dental plaque,
tars (in tobacco), tannins, coloured
foods and frequent use of certain
Extrinsic stains are superficial stains
stain teeth include herbal and black
tea, coffee, red wine and spicy foods
like curries. Smoking cigarettes also
causes unsightly stains on teeth, which
can be extremely difficult to remove.
Common foods and beverages that
surface can be removed by a dentist
performing a professional scale and
Extrinsic stains on the tooth’s


Are there any Side Effects?
There are side effects associated with whitening but, over the last 20 – 30 years, they have been proven to be transient
and fully reversible, depending on what whitening system is being used. It should be noted that the whitening
materials have been in use for more than 50 years. The side effects are usually some mild sensitivity to cold and also
some gum soreness. Approximately 60-70 per cent of patients have very mild side effects that are easily managed.
Will the Colour Fade?
The colour change is usually not permanent. On average, there is a some colour rebound in the first 2 weeks, then a
slow regression of colour over 2-3 years. This is why the at home system is essential, to balance this rebound and to
reduce the regression of the colour. The good news, however, is that to maintain the colour costs approximately $40
every 6 – 12 months if only the at home gels are used for maintenance. This is a very easy and successful way of
maintaining the colour. As with any cosmetic procedure, appropriate maintenance is necessary.
Will the Structure of the Teeth be Affected?
The materials do affect the structure of the teeth slightly. Many studies have likened the effects of the whitening
materials to drinking a can of soft drink, which is rapidly reversed by the body’s natural repair systems (saliva).
What About My Existing Fillings?
Unfortunately, filling materials and materials used in crown and bridgework will not change colour. It is therefore
necessary that teeth whitening be carried out prior to any other cosmetic treatment in order to achieve the best possible
overall look of the teeth for years to come. However, teeth whitening tends to brighten the teeth as well so the old
crown and bridgework colour tends to blend through better after whitening

Teeth Whitening Procedure

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth

Cosmetic teeth whitening training video

Mechanism of tooth bleaching

Bleaching is a decolourisation or whitening process that can occur in solution or on a surface. The colour producing materials in solution or on a surface are typically organic compounds that possess extended conjugated chains of alternating single or double bonds and often include
heteroatoms, carbonyl, and phenyl rings in the conjugated
system and are often referred to as a chromophore.
Bleaching and decolourisation of the chromophore can
occur by destroying one or more of the double bonds in
the conjugated chain, by cleaving the conjugated chain, or by
oxidation of other chemical moieties in the conjugated
chain. Hydrogen peroxide oxidises a wide variety of
organic and inorganic compounds

The mechanisms of
these reactions are varied and dependent on the substrate,
the reaction environment, and catalysis. In general, the
mechanism of bleaching by hydrogen peroxide is not well
understood and it can form a number of different activeoxygen species depending on reaction conditions, including
temperature, pH, light and presence of transition metals.
Under alkaline conditions, hydrogen peroxide bleaching
generally proceeds via the perhydroxyl anion (HO2
). Other
conditions can give rise to free radical formation, for
example, by homolytic cleavage of either an O–H bond or
the O–O bond in hydrogen peroxide to give H + OOH and
2 OH (hydroxyl radical), respectively. Under photochemically
initiated reactions using light or lasers, the formation
of hydroxyl radicals from hydrogen peroxide has been
shown to increase.
The mechanism by which teeth are whitened by oxidising
materials such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide
are currently not fully understood. Considering the
available literature, evidence points towards the initial
diffusion of peroxide into and through the enamel to reach
the enamel dentine junction and dentine regions. Indeed, in
vitro experiments by a number of authors have demonstrated
the penetration of low levels of peroxide into the pulp
chambers of extracted teeth after exposure times of 15–
30 min from a range of peroxide products and solutions.
The levels of peroxide measured in these experiments is
considerably much lower than that needed to produce pulpal
enzyme inactivation.
As peroxide diffuses into the tooth, it can react with organic
coloured materials found within the tooth structures leading
to a reduction in colour. This is particularly evident within
dentine as demonstrated by McCaslin et al.who showed,
using hemi-sectioned human teeth mounted on glass slides,
that following external bleaching with carbamide peroxide,
colour changes occurred throughout the dentine. Indeed, the
treatment of dentine specimens with 10% carbamide peroxide,
5.3% and 6% hydrogen peroxide has been shown to give
a significant reduction in yellowness and an increase in
whiteness.35,36 In addition, Sulieman et al. showed using
sectioned extracted teeth stained internally with black tea
chromophores that significant bleaching occurred within the
dentine, particularly on the buccal surface where a 35%
hydrogen peroxide gel had been applied.
For tetracycline stained teeth, the colour is derived from
photo-oxidation of tetracycline molecules bound within the
tooth structures. In some cases, it is possible to bleach these
teeth to give significant and long lasting tooth whitening.
The mechanism by which peroxide affects the tetracycline
stain is considered to be by chemical degradation of the
unsaturated quinone type structures found in tetracycline
leading to less coloured molecules. However, in contrast
there appears to be a paucity of information available in the
literature regarding the nature and chemical composition of
the coloured materials naturally found within the dental hard
tissues and the mechanistic effects of peroxide on these
structures. Thus, this is clearly an area that requires further
research if the chemical mechanistic aspects of tooth
bleaching are to be significantly resolved.


When professional vital tooth bleaching using trays for athome use was first introduced to the profession, there were concerns over adverse reactions and patient complaints. The adverse reactions and patient complaints included: taste of bleaching gel, gingival irritation, uneven tooth bleaching, splotchy appearance of the teeth during the initial stages of bleaching, and tooth hypersensitivity while bleaching. These issues have been investigated and research has provided a better understanding. Manufacturers of tooth bleaching products have made changes in technique recommendations and product components to address these issues. Clinician and patient complaints concerning issues of taste have been addressed with an expanded selection of better flavors for improved patient acceptance. 

Gingival irritation has occurred with trays that were poorly fabricated either because of inaccuracy of casts or the need for scalloping the tray for higher concentrations of hydrogen and carbamide peroxide bleaching gels (22). During the initial bleaching, especially with higher concentrations of tray bleaching gels, patients have reported a splotchy appearance of the teeth during the first week (22). This uneven coloration of the teeth being bleached disappears after the first week of bleaching. Tooth sensitivity during bleaching has been the highest reported adverse reaction. In clinical research studies, tooth sensitivity during bleaching has been reported in a
range of 18%–78% of patients, either with at-home tray delivery or in-office procedures (23–25). The sensitivity due to tooth bleaching in clinical observations suggests that it
is transient, with no long-term effects (26). Some clinicians believed that this transient sensitivity was due to gingival recession. However, it has been shown that gingival recession is not a factor in the occurrence of tooth hypersensitivity when bleaching (27). There was no significant difference in reported sensitivity while bleaching based on the presence or absence of gingival recession. To minimize tooth sensitivity during vital tooth bleaching, the clinician can recommend that the patient decrease the time the tray is worn the first week, to no more than 1 hour a day for carbamide peroxide products or for higher concentration hydrogen peroxides, as little as 15 minutes a day or use lower concentrations of peroxide. Five Percent potassium nitrate (KNO3) formulation has been shown to be an effective desensitizer in toothpastes (FF, use three others). Noting this effectiveness, a number of manufacturers have added a 5% KNO3 desensitizing agents to their bleaching gels. The addition of KNO3 to bleaching gels does not provide the sensitivity relief that is seen with KNO3 in extended use with desensitizing toothpastes (23, 28). Two effect strategies using a KNO3- desensitizing toothpaste that have been clinically evaluated are brushing with the desensitizing toothpaste for 2 weeks before
initiating bleaching (23) and having the patient place a sensitivity toothpaste containing a 5% KNO3 1 week before initiating bleaching in the tray that will be used for bleaching for 30 minutes a day (29). Both strategies take into account the mechanism for desensitizing that KNO3 provides. Another strategy is to have a patient use a professionally dispensed desensitizing gel with 5% KNO3 for use with bleaching (30). Amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) has been shown to be an effective desensitizer (31, 32). Recent research has shown that a paste (Prospec MI Paste, GC America) containing Recaldent®, a casein phosphopeptide- amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), has been effective in reducing tooth sensitivity due to bleaching (29,33). One manufacturer, Discus Dental, has introduced bleaching products that contain ACP. A research study evaluating these ACP-containing bleaching gels demonstrated that ACP could be added to a 16% carbamide peroxide bleaching gel with significant reduction in clinical measures of dentinal hypersensitivity both during and after treatment (34). Over the years, there has been controversy about what
tray is best. When tray bleaching was introduced, the trays

were fabricated from thin and thick flexible vacuum-forming materials and thin rigid plastic materials. Some manufacturers created a foam-lined tray, believing it would hold the bleach on the teeth more effectively. From the current research that has evaluated a wide variety of tray configurations and types, and duration of wearing the tray, one can conclude the following:
• Thin flexible vacuum-formed materials are the standard
• Spacers on the stone model to create reservoirs is not
necessary, but using reservoirs results in the patient swallowing less bleaching gel (35, 36)
• Scalloping the tray to follow the gingival contours is not
necessary when using a 10% carbamide peroxide, but should be done for higher concentrations of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide equivalents. Overtrimming the tray leaving a portion of the tooth uncovered is not a problem because the bleach will penetrate beyond the tray (37)
• Custom-fitted trays provide improved bleaching geltooth 
contact (36)
• Most companies provide bleaching gel for a 2-week
• Higher concentrations of carbamide peroxide bleach
worn in a tray show faster initial improvements, but over a 6 week period comparing 10% carbamide peroxide to higher concentrations, there is no difference in the final result (38, 39)
• The concept of teeth lightening to a final certain level
has been termed as the “inherent lightness potential” of a tooth; there is an endpoint to how much lighter teeth will get (39)
• In most cases, moderate and dark tetracycline staining
can be treated with bleaching over an extended time of 3–6 months (40, 41)
• Concern over the effectiveness of the bleaching potential with overnight wearing of a tray has been addressed; wearing a tray overnight with a bleaching gel has demonstrated a degradation in peroxide concentration over time, but the bleaching agent is still effective. Hydrogen peroxide has a greater than 50% degradation within 30 minutes, whereas carbamide peroxide bleaching gels can be used overnight (21)
• 10% at-home carbamide peroxide bleaching gels are clinically safe when exposed to enamel, dentin, root surfaces, ceramics, cast metal, and composite resins (10); there is one case report of greening of amalgam during bleaching. At-home tray bleaching requires a number of steps to achieve success, which include accurate study casts that need to be trimmed to allow for a vacuum-down, thin, flexible mouthguard to be fabricated. The mouthguard can be trimmed to be scalloped (for the higher concentrations of bleaching peroxides) or with a 0.5–1 mm extension from the free gingival margin. The patient should be instructed on the how to place the bleaching gel in the trays and how to remove any excess gel after insertion. Although there are variations in the duration for wearing the tray, for most patients 2 weeks at least 1 hour a day will provide up to 90% of the whitening effect. Research has shown that a bleaching endpoint will be reached at 6 weeks independent of the concentration and type of peroxide used (Figure 2). Table 1 has a partial listing of at-home professionally

what is Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth. Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

In-Office Whitening
Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This
protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by the dental assistant after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 8 minute intervals that add up to an hour (at most). Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions, or may be asked to continue with a home-use whitening system.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
Take-home kits incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for 30-90 minutes. The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

costs of teeth whitening

The standard fee for teeth whitening and teeth bleaching procedures is about $500 in most cases. Costs can vary depending upon the area of the country you live in and the type of whitening treatment you undergo. Laser teeth whitening is typically over $1000. for example. In-home tray bleaching can cost between $50. and $100. dollars for a total teeth whitening system. Store-bought whitening strips can cost as little as $25. for a total treatment whitening system. Teeth whitening stores, stands and kiosks typically cost between $50. and $150. dollars per treatment

Generally speaking, the price of teeth whitening increases with the number of in-office treatments required by the patient. Dental insurance does not typically cover the cost of the teeth whitening procedure.

Factors influencing tooth whitening

Type of bleach
The majority of contemporary tooth whitening studies involve
the use of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
This latter material is an adduct of urea and hydrogen
peroxide which on contact with water breaks down to urea
and hydrogen peroxide. For example, a 10% (w/w) carbamide
peroxide gel would yield a maximum of 3.6% (w/w) hydrogen
peroxide. In general, the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide
containing products are approximately the same when
compared with carbamide peroxide containing products with
equivalent or similar hydrogen peroxide content and delivered
using similar format and formulations, either tested in vitro
or in vivo. For example, Nathoo et al. demonstrated in a
clinical study that a once a day application of either a 25%
carbamide peroxide gel or a 8.7% hydrogen peroxide gel both
gave a statistically significant tooth shade lightening after 2
weeks use compared to baseline, but found no statistically
significant differences between products.
An alternative source of hydrogen peroxide is sodium
percarbonate and this has been used in a silicone polymer
containing product that is painted onto the teeth forming a
durable film for overnight bleaching procedures. The
peroxide is slowly released for up to 4 h and gave significant
tooth colour improvement after 2 weeks versus baseline.
However, the relative clinical or in vitro efficacy of sodium
percarbonate versus hydrogen peroxide tested in the same
product format and conditions has not been reported.
A tooth bleaching system based on sodium chlorite
applied to the tooth surface and activated under acidic
conditions has been described in the literature, however,
no efficacy data has been reported to date. Similarly, other
potential vital tooth bleaching systems have been outlined in
the literature with limited supporting evidence for their
efficacy. These include sodium perborate, peroxymonosulphate, peroxide plus metal catalysts and oxireductase
enzymes. The long-term acceptability and relative
efficacy of these alternative tooth bleaching systems requires  
significant further research

Concentration and time
 Two of the key factors in determining overall tooth whitening
efficacy from peroxide containing products are the concentration
of the peroxide and duration of application. For
example, Sulieman et al. compared the in vitro tooth
bleaching efficacy of gels containing 5–35% hydrogen peroxide
and found that the higher the concentration, the lower the
number of gel applications required to produce uniform
bleaching. Similar results were found by Leonard et al. who
compared the in vitro tooth bleaching efficacy of 5%, 10% and
16% carbamide peroxide gels and found the whitening was
initially faster for the 16% and 10% than the 5% concentration.
However, the efficacy of the 5% approached the higher
concentrations when the treatment time was extended. In a
clinical study using custom made bleaching trays, Kihn et al.
showed that a 15% carbamide peroxide gel gave significantly
more tooth whitening than a 10% carbamide gel after 2 weeks
use. This result was confirmed in another clinical study
reported by Matis et al. However, in this latter study, by
extending treatment time to 6 weeks, the differences in
tooth lightness were no longer of statistical significance. The
initial faster rate of bleaching for higher concentrations of
carbamide peroxide has also been observed when bleaching
tetracycline stained teeth in vivo over a 6 months period.85systems. Typically, an image of the anterior teeth is
captured under controlled lighting conditions by a digital
camera together with suitable calibration tiles or standards
and then subsequently analysed via computer software to
determine the colour of the individual teeth, often expressing
them in terms of CIE Lab values. For example, after 14 days use
of a 10% carbamide peroxide tray-based system, the mean
change from baseline in L* and b* were 2.07 and 1.67,

Heat and light     

The rate of chemical reactions can be increased by increasing
the temperature, where a  8C rise can double the rate of
reaction. The use of high-intensity light, for raising the
temperature of the hydrogen peroxide and accelerating the
rate of chemical bleaching of teeth was reported in 1918 by
Abbot.Other approaches for heating the peroxide have
historically been described to accelerate tooth bleaching, such
as heated dental instruments.However, excessive heating
can cause irreversible damage to the dental pulp.Contemporary
approaches and literature has focussed on accelerating
peroxide bleaching with simultaneous illumination of
the anterior teeth with various sources having a range of
wavelengths and spectral power, for examples, halogen curing
lights, plasma arc lamps, lasers and light-emitting diodes.
For some light sources, significant increases in pulpal
temperatures have been measured using in vitro models
during tooth bleaching.The light source can activate
peroxide to accelerate the chemical redox reactions of the
bleaching process. In addition, it has been speculated that
the light source can energise the tooth stain to aid the overall
acceleration of the bleaching process. Some products that
are used in light activated bleaching procedures contain
ingredients that claim to aid the energy transfer from the light
to the peroxide gel and are often coloured materials, for
examples, carotene and manganese sulphate.
Case studies have demonstrated the efficacy of light
activated peroxide tooth bleaching systems. However,
the literature evidence from in vitro and clinical studies
for the actual effect of light on tooth bleaching versus a
suitable non-light control is limited and controversial. An in
vitro study using naturally coloured extracted human teeth
showed that the application of various light sources significantly
improved the whitening efficacy of some bleach
materials, but not for others. Other in vitro studies have
clearly shown significant tooth whitening benefits for peroxide
plus light versus suitable control conditions
However, these studies artificially stained the tooth specimens
with, for examples, black tea, coffee, tobacco and red
wine, i.e. ingredients commonly found to promote extrinsic
stains. These chromophores are likely to be different to that
which may be found naturally inside the tooth.
Tavares et al. conducted a tooth whitening clinical study
to compare 15% hydrogen peroxide gel illuminated with a gas
plasma light source versus 15% peroxide alone versus placebo
gel plus light, all treatments lasting 1 h. The change in Vita
shade from baseline for peroxide plus light, peroxide alone
and placebo plus light were 8.35, 5.88 and 4.93, respectively,
with peroxide plus light being significantly different to the
other two groups. In contrast, Hein et al.demonstrated no
additional effect of any of the three light sources tested over
the bleaching gel alone for three commercial products in asplit mouth clinical design. Thus, further work is clearly
required in order to unequivocally demonstrate the additional
efficacy benefit of light activated tooth whitening systems
versus their non-light activated controls.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Treatment Considerations for Dentists and Their Patients

Over the past two decades, tooth whitening or bleaching has become one of the most popular esthetic dental treatments  The tooth whitening market has evolved into four categories: professionally applied (in the dental office); dentist-prescribed/dispensed (patient home-use); consumer-purchased/over-the-counter (OTC) (applied by patients); and other non-dental options. Additionally, dentist-dispensed bleaching materials are sometimes used at home after dental office bleaching to maintain or improve whitening results.  Consumer whitening products available today for home use include gels, rinses, chewing gums, toothpastes, paint-on films and strips.

The latest tooth whitening trend is the availability of whitening treatments or kits in non-dental retail settings, such as mall kiosks, salons, spas and, more recently, aboard passenger cruise ships. Non-dental whitening venues have come under scrutiny in several states and jurisdictions, resulting in actions to reserve the delivery of this service to dentists or appropriately supervised allied dental personnel.
Current tooth bleaching materials are based primarily on either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both may change the inherent color of the teeth, but have different considerations for safety and efficacy. In general, most in-office and dentist-prescribed, at-home bleaching techniques have been shown to be effective, although results may vary depending on such factors as type of stain, age of patient, concentration of the active agent, and treatment time and frequency. However, concerns have remained about the long-term safety of unsupervised bleaching procedures, due to abuse and possible undiagnosed or underlying oral health problems.  Although published studies tend to suggest that bleaching is a relatively safe procedure, investigators continue to report adverse effects on hard tissue, soft tissue, and restorative materials.
(Note: this paper uses the terms "whitening" and “bleaching," interchangeably). Since the 1800s, the initial focus of dentists in this area was on in-office bleaching of non-vital teeth that had discolored as a result of trauma to the tooth or from endodontic treatment. By the late 1980s, the field of tooth whitening dramatically changed with the development of dentist-prescribed, home-applied bleaching (tray bleaching) and other products and techniques for vital tooth bleaching that could be applied both in the dental office and at home. 1-3 The rate of adverse events from use or abuse of home-use OTC products is also unclear because consumers rarely report problems through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Medwatch system. Based on these factors, the American Dental Association (ADA) has advised patients to consult with their dentists to determine the most appropriate whitening treatment, particularly for those  with tooth sensitivity, dental restorations, extremely dark stains, and single dark teeth.
The purpose of this report is to outline treatment considerations for dentists and their patients prior to tooth whitening/bleaching procedures so that the potential for adverse effects can be minimized. This report does not address agents used for non-vital intracoronal bleaching procedures.
4 Additionally, a patient’s tooth discoloration may be caused by a specific problem that either will not be affected by whitening agents and/or may be a sign of a disease or condition that requires dental therapy.


The increase in the number of over-the-counter products that claim to have "tooth-whitening" properties, and the emergence of new treatment methods directly available to the public, give rise to a number of questions. 

cosmetic product’ shall mean any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition." 
This definition, given in the European Council Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC, equates with the claims of a range of tooth bleaching products. The Directive defines the composition, labelling and packaging regulations applicable to cosmetics, and very clearly distinguishes cosmetics from medical devices.
Annex III of the Directive provides the “list of substances that cosmetic products
It is these rules that the United Kingdom puts forward to forbid the importation, selling or distribution on its market of any products that contain or may release
must not contain except subject to the restrictions and conditions laid down” for each category of product. The list includes "hydrogen peroxide, and other compounds or mixtures that release hydrogen peroxide, including carbamide peroxide and zinc peroxide”. The maximum hydrogen peroxide concentration currently authorised for cosmetics is "0.1% of H2O2, present or released". There are no requirements for specific conditions for use or particular warnings to be printed on the label. more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, which the UK refuses to recognise as medical devices. However, the local authorities (Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health) seek amendments to Directive 76/768/EEC so that British practitioners may meet their patients' demands (Morris, 2003). 
Cosmetic products
As for the few products that do contain a bleaching agent, the limited active compound concentrations imposed by law make their therapeutic efficacy questionable. It is impossible from the documentation provided to have a clear view on this matter, as there are always many significant biases (patient selection criteria, absence of test group, objectivity of measures...).
that claim to have tooth-whitening properties, including certain toothpastes (Table 5), rarely contain hydrogen peroxide or one of its precursors, or even for that matter any other kind of bleaching agent. Their main whitening effect results from the action of the abrasive elements they contain, which remove superficial extrinsic stains. Some manufacturers take the precaution of reassuring their customers on the safety of their products and insist on their low abrasiveness. Unfortunately, this point is difficult to prove from the various documents available, as the abrasive power of the products in question is rarely indicated. "New generation" toothpastes do however seem to contain cleaning agents that do not increase their abrasiveness. Nevertheless, in view of the lack of information available, it is advisable to use these toothpastes in alternation with less abrasive ones, as the regular use of a highly abrasive toothpaste may cause a roughening of the tooth surface that will encourage the deposition of new pigments (Clergeau-Guérithault et al., 2002).

Teeth Whitening information

Teeth whitening is a highly effective way of lightening
the natural colour of your teeth without removing
any of the tooth surface.

Why whiten my teeth?
White teeth look great- attractive, youthful and clean. Few people have
naturally white teeth, and teeth can become darker with age. Smoking
and drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine will also progressively
darken the teeth.
What does teeth whitening involve?
Teeth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration and
removes stains from within the enamel of the teeth.
During your consultation the procedure will be discussed with you to
determine if tooth whitening is suitable in your case. Teeth whitening
does not affect the colour of artificial teeth, crowns, veneers or
An impression of your teeth is taken with a dental compound. This is
used to make thin, clear trays, which fit snugly over your teeth. You are
given syringes of gel that contain a 15% carbamide peroxide bleaching
agent. You simply place some of the gel in the tray and fit it over your
teeth for a few hours daily for one to three weeks. You need to wear
the tray for at least three hours each day- or overnight if you prefer.
We will see you again to review progress after two weeks.
Is the process safe?
Yes. Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with
carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide under the supervision
of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums.
How much does it cost?
Teeth whitening at Studental costs £198. This includes: impressions,
upper and lower whitening trays, storage case, six syringes of whitening
gel (usually enough for about three weeks of whitening if necessary), a
follow-up appointment and advice.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The effects of whitening normally last for many years, although this
will vary from person to person. Inevitably with time the teeth will
start to darken again due to drinks and food (and more rapidly if you
are a smoker). Most people like to maintain their whitening effect
by using the gel for one or two nights every three to six months.
Additional syringes of gel can be purchased for £15 each.
Is teeth whitening OK for everyone?
Teeth whitening can only lighten the existing colour of your natural
teeth. It will not work on any types of ‘false’ teeth such as crowns,
veneers or dentures. These may need replacing if they are stained or
are the wrong colour. If you have white fillings, these will not change
and may also need to be replaced to match your whitened teeth.
What if I am pregnant?
To date, there has been no testing done on the effects of teeth whitening
while pregnant or breast-feeding. To be cautious we recommend that
you do not have your teeth whitened during pregnancy

Are there any side effects?
Most people find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during the
treatment. This lessens after a few days, but you may find you need to
have a break from whitening for a day or so or use a toothpaste such
as “Sensodyne” to reduce the effect. If you have natural white flecks in
your enamel these will become more apparent during treatment but
will fade following treatment.
Are there other methods?
Yes: “Zoom”, “power whitening” and “laser whitening” are all
techniques which are completed at a single visit in the surgery. They
use extra strong gels kept on the teeth for an hour and activated
using bright lights. There are some disadvantages to this technique: it is
more expensive (typically £450-600), can be painful and can produce
a less long-term shade change of the teeth; largely due to dehydration
of the enamel.
What about whitening toothpastes?
Whitening toothpastes do not affect the natural colour of your teeth.
They may be effective at removing staining and may help maintain the
effect of professional whitening.
What about home kits?
Home kits are cheap, but are usually not very effective. Over-thecounter
kits sold in the UK are not recommended as they contain
only a very small concentration of peroxide (the whitening agent). To
be effective gels need to have at least 3.6%. Many home kits contain
mild acids and/or abrasives. Acid or abrasives used on the teeth will
ultimately make the teeth even yellower with time by damaging the
enamel of your teeth.

Teeth whitening is not available as NHS treatment

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Get the Facts on Tooth Whitening

We all want a whiter smile, and today, it can be accomplished safely, quickly, and effectively. While tooth whitening is the quickest and most cost-effective way of improving a healthy smile, there are so many options available for getting teeth their whitest, that it can be confusing to choose the best method.

The Basics
The most important and first step in any whitening procedure is to seek the advice of an oral health care professional for a thorough examination, assessment, and recommendation. A visit with your dental hygienist will result in the whitest teeth possible by making sure your teeth and mouth are healthy and that any oral health problems are addressed before you begin a whitening program.Additionally, surface stains and deposits that have collected on the teeth will be removed allowing for the best possible whitening. Finally, your dental hygienist will advise you of strategies that will help you maintain your new whiter smile once you have it. Basic tooth whitening involves two different types of whitening techniques: peroxide-based whitening and non-peroxidebased surface stain removal. Peroxide-based whitening products work deep within the tooth to remove discoloration resulting from years of accumulated stain and aging. In addition, peroxidebased products will slightly lighten hardto- reach surface stains.When the peroxide agent contacts the teeth it breaks down, and the resulting oxidation action “dissolves” internal and surface stains and makes the teeth appear whiter and brighter.

Professional Treatment Options
There are two types of professional whitening procedures your oral health professional can recommend—in-office treatments and professional whitening products for use at home. Professionally applied inoffice procedures give you immediately visible results with few negative side effects. With this type of treatment, the whitening agent is applied carefully to your teeth by the oral health professional and may be enhanced with a light or laser source.With
this type of procedure, your smile can be whitened up to five shades or more in as little
as one hour. Professionally dispensed options for home use also include specially designed
trays that are custom-fitted to your mouth and are worn for a certain amount of time during the day or overnight. These will whiten your teeth up to six shades or more over time in as few as two weeks. Either method—in-office procedures, or a professional product used at home—can
provide optimal whitening. The oral health care professional’s recommendation about which method is right for you will depend on your personal needs, such as time, cost, and the type of fillings or dental work, including tooth colored fillings or crowns you have. Those with tooth colored dental work in the front of the mouth need professional advice prior to whitening since
only natural teeth respond to whitening agents. Your dental hygienist will discuss options to provide uniform whitening for the best possible result.

Over-the-Counter Options
There are a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) peroxide-based products available and you may be tempted to use them to speed up the process. However, many of these product especially those advertised on television or over the Internet—are not safe, reliable, or effective. Some products may be runny or acidic and may be swallowed easily, or may damage your tooth enamel. Others use unproven means to deliver the whitening substance with uncomfortable, universal “boil-and-bite” mouth trays. Many of these products have not undergone the vigorous testing of professionally dispensed products. Other OTC peroxide-based products, such as whitening strips and paint-on solutions are safe for maintaining professionally delivered results or if you want to see if whitening is right for you; however, these products will not achieve the dramatic improvement available with professional options and should not be used if you have
tooth colored fillings that can be seen when you smile. In addition to procedures and products
designed specifically to whiten teeth, manufacturers have responded to the almost universal desire to have a whiter smile by including whitening agents in everyday products like toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, and chewing gum. These may be useful for maintaining professionally whitened teeth and work by removing slight surface stains through physical-mechanical action, not unlike cleaning any surface with a cleaning agent. However, the shade improvement will be far less dramatic than with peroxidebased, professionally administered and supervised services.

A Final Word
Tooth whitening will continue to provide an excellent safe and cost-effective way to improve your smile. Your oral health care professional is pivotal in determining which teeth will whiten and the best product for your individual needs. Most important to having an attractive and healthy smile: See your dental hygienist on a regular basis to maintain your newly whitened smile and to maximize your oral health. Your dental hygienist will advise you on the best way to maintain your oral health as part of your total health, enhance your teeth cosmetically, keep your breath fresh, and assure a lifelong healthy smile.

Monday, September 5, 2011

teeth whitening

Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. A child's deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications (like tetracycline) can also cause teeth stains or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel.

There are many methods to whiten teeth:bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, laser bleaching, and natural bleaching. Dentures can also be whitened using denture cleaners Traditionally, at-home whitening involves applying bleaching gel to the teeth using thin guard trays. At-home whitening can also be done by applying small strips that go over the front teeth. Oxidizing agents such as carbamide peroxide are used to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and oxidizes interprismatic stain deposits; over a period of time, the dentin layer, lying underneath the enamel, is also bleached. Power bleaching uses light energy to accelerate the process of bleaching in a dental office. The effects of bleaching can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient. Factors that decrease whitening include smoking and the ingestion of dark colored liquids like coffee, tea and red wine.

Internal staining of dentine can discolor the teeth from inside out. Internal bleaching can remedy this. If heavy staining or tetracycline damage is present on a patient's teeth, and whitening is ineffective, there are other methods of whitening teeth. Bonding, when a thin coating of composite material is applied to the front of a person's teeth and then cured with a blue light can be performed to mask the staining. A veneer can also mask tooth discoloration.


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