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J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Jul;144(7):799-807.

In vitro demineralization of tooth enamel subjected to two whitening regimens.

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Department of Clinical Cariology, School of Dentistry, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.



The resistance of bleached enamel to demineralization has not been elucidated fully. In this study, the authors aimed to examine the level of in vitro demineralization of human tooth enamel after bleaching by using two common bleaching regimens: home bleaching (HB) and office bleaching (OB) with photoirradiation.


The authors bleached teeth to equivalent levels by means of the two bleaching regimens. They used fluorescence spectroscopy to measure the reduction in enamel density and the release of calcium into solution after storing the treated teeth in a demineralizing solution for two weeks. They also visualized and quantified mineral distribution in demineralized bleached enamel over time by using a desktop microcomputed-tomographic analyzer.


Enamel subjected to HB or to photoirradiation without bleaching showed increased demineralization. In contrast, enamel treated with OB was more resistant to demineralization. This resistance to demineralization in teeth treated with OB presumably is due to peroxide's permeating to deeper layers of enamel before being activated by photoirradiation, which enhances mineralization.


The mineral distribution pattern of enamel after treatment plays a critical role in providing resistance to demineralization in whitened teeth.


OB confers to enamel significant resistance to in vitro demineralization. Dentists should supervise the nightguard HB process.


Tooth; bleach; demineralization; enamel; fluorescence spectroscopy; microcomputed tomography

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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