The journal of contemporary dental practice

A comparative study of different bleaching agents on the morphology of human enamel: an in vitro SEM study.

PMID 23403998


The purpose of the study was to compare two different commercial bleaching agents, Opalescence with Colgate Platinum, and 30% phosphoric acid used as aggressive agent on the morphology of human enamel. Ten freshly extracted, noncarious, human maxillary central incisors extracted for periodontal reasons were used in this study. The labial surface of the disinfected teeth were polished using a polishing paste with the help of rubber cup and a slow speed handpiece. Each tooth was sectioned at cement-enamel junction and the crown was separated into four specimens, all taken from labial surface. Group 1 was treated with Colgate Platinum for 7 hours, group 2 with Opalescence for 7 hours, group 3 was treated with 30% phosphoric acid for 30 seconds and group 4 was untreated and used as control. After the treatment period, the specimens were washed with normal saline and stored in sterile bottle and sealed. Photomicrographs obtained from the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) after surface treatments were examined for no alteration, slight alteration, moderate alteration and severe alterations. The specimens treated with commercial bleaching agents revealed no enamel surface morphologic alterations compared to control group. The specimen treated with phosphoric acid showed severe alterations. Ten percent carbamide peroxide evaluated in this study does not etch tooth enamel or alter enamel surface morphology as do conventional etching techniques. Carbamine peroxide is a safe and effective tooth whitening agent even when used for extended period of time. The enamel surface remains smooth which reduces caries due to plaque collection.