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Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed. 2010;120(4):306-20.

Bleaching of nonvital teeth. A clinically relevant literature review.

[Article in English, German]

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Klinik für Zahnerhaltung, Präventiv- und Kinderzahnmedizin, Zahnmedizinische Kliniken, Universität Bern.


Today, the bleaching of nonvital, discolored teeth is a low-risk routine treatment for improving esthetics. This review article focuses on the etiology of tooth discolorations, different treatment techniques, and risks of bleaching procedures. Some tooth discolorations in endodontically treated teeth are caused by dental treatments. The three most popular techniques for nonvital tooth bleaching are the walking bleach technique, inside/outside bleaching, and in-office bleaching. The walking bleach technique is a relatively reliable, fairly simple technique for dentists and patients. Inside/outside bleaching can be used additionally when internal and external bleaching must be combined. In-office bleaching seems to be a short-term solution, the effects of which can largely be attributed to dehydration of the teeth. There are still some open questions concerning the bleaching agents. Improved safety seems desirable with regard to adding thiourea as a scavenger of radicals or newer materials such as sodium percarbonate. The thermocatalytic technique, insufficient cervical sealing, and high concentrations of bleaching agents should be avoided, as this can increase the risk of cervical root resorptions. Patients should be informed about the low predictability of bleaching success and the risk of recurrent discoloration. The risk of cervical root resorption should be discussed with the patient. There is a strong correlation between root resorption and dental trauma.

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