Bleaching strips effective on tetracycline stains

Hydrogen peroxide bleaching strips are effective in reducing the staining effects from tetracycline, according to a study in the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry (October 2011, Vol. 32:8, pp. 50-56).

Researchers from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine evaluated the clinical response following extended daily use of a trayless 6.5% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) tooth bleaching gel in patients with tetracycline stains.

For this clinical trial, they assigned a bleaching strip product to 30 participants following screening for tetracycline staining. The subjects used the product for six months, with clinical safety and efficacy measurements assessed at the end of each month. The strips were used for 30 minutes twice daily (maxillary arch only). Treatment efficacy was determined by the tooth color change from baseline using an expanded Vita shade guide.

By the sixth month, 65% of the study participants had reached B1 color, the researchers reported. Mild and transient tooth sensitivity (46.7%) and oral discomfort (43.3%) were the most common adverse events associated with daily bleaching, yet neither affected study participation, they noted.

"When used daily for six months, a 6.5% H2O2 bleaching strip can be effective in whitening tetracycline stains," the study authors wrote. "This extended use provides additional evidence of clinical safety associated with the use of this product for vital bleaching."

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