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J Esthet Restor Dent. 2009;21(5):336-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1708-8240.2009.00287.x.

Clinical trial assessing light enhancement of in-office tooth whitening.

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Associate dean for research, professor, Department of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.



Evaluate a light-enhanced in-office tooth whitening system in order to assess tooth color and safety.


Thirty-three adults were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. Professional treatment involved application of a 25% H(2)O(2) gel (Discus Dental ZOOM!) with light enhancement, H(2)O(2) gel alone, or the light alone with no peroxide. The 12 anterior teeth were treated three times for 20 minutes each. Efficacy was measured objectively as L*a*b* color change using digital images, tooth shade was measured, and safety was evaluated immediately after treatment and at posttreatment days 7 and 30.


After adjusting for baseline and age, immediate (end-of-treatment) means (SE) for Deltab* (yellowness) were -3.1 (0.25) for the gel + light, -2.0 (0.25) for the gel-only group, and -2.4 (0.25) for the light-only group. Significant (p < 0.05) color rebound was evident at posttreatment day 7. By day 30, adjusted means (SE)for Deltab* were -1.7 (0.20) for the gel + light group, -1.1 (0.20) for the gel-only group, and -0.5 (0.20) for the light-only group. Both peroxide groups differed significantly (p < 0.05) from light alone on Deltab* and DeltaL*. In the gel + light group, 91% of subjects experienced tooth sensitivity, the majority of which was moderate or severe. Adverse events were low in the light-only group.


Use of light enhancement for in-office whitening leads to immediate color change, after which there was significant color and shade rebound within 7 days as well as moderate-to-severe tooth sensitivity during and after treatment. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE Increased tooth sensitivity during treatment and appreciable short-term color rebound after treatment may impact the utility of in-office tooth whitening with peroxide and light as a stand-alone esthetic procedure. (J Esthet Restor Dent 21:336-347, 2009).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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