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Dental Materials Restorative Dentistry

Comparing whitening agents: which is more effective?


This summary is based on the article published in the Dental News: Comparison of short-term effectiveness of four different tooth whitening systems (September 2012)

teeth whiteningContext

Popular media has had an impact on swaying people’s opinion about teeth whitening. It is increasingly considered that whiter teeth are healthier and more pleasing. As a consequence, there has been large demand for such procedure accompanied by a proliferation of tooth-whitening materials and methods.


The study aims at:

  1. Reporting and comparing the short-term effectiveness and major side effects of four (4) different whitening systems (Opalescence 20%; BRITESMILE 2000; ZOOM; and ZOOM3 in combination with Day White 9.5%).
  2. Investigating if combination treatments yield better bleaching effects. 
  3. Assessing the patient satisfaction level of the whitening treatments. 


  • All whitening systems tested were effective (short term) with no significant difference.
  • Tooth and gingival sensitivity is increased following the whitening procedure. However, this is a transient effect. 
  • The combination of the home+in-office whitening procedure is more effective than each procedure alone. 
  • Patient satisfaction with the whitening procedure was high.


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  1. Paul Hew August 13, 2013

    I find it interesting that in office + home is more effective than one of them alone. It is the same material is it not?

  2. Terry Shaw August 14, 2013

    I would not agree that the result is better when both in office and home bleaching are done versus just one. In office bleaching is the equivalent of several hours of home bleaching depending on the strength of the bleach you are using. The cost to the patient is not worth the money. Why do all in office systems give the patient a home bleaching kit?? To do the job. In office is not good value for the patient when home bleaching will give the same results at much less cost.

  3. David Tessier August 17, 2013

    This research has to be placed into context,mainly what exactly is considered “short term”?
    Was the tinting effects of diet/smoking equally taken into consideration equally in each category?
    We all know that smokers will have the shortest effect of whitening(I will not bleach a smoker…My stance over the years actually was a contributing factor for 2 patients to quit so they could get professional bleaching in my office!)
    I may not be in the most recent loop on the LONG term effects of take-home vs in-office/super bleach research ,but several years ago,it was shown that the in-office system had the shortest effect of stabilized colour .

  4. Loren Martin August 27, 2015

    The in-office is much more powerful, and should be very controlled. The at-home whiteners are good for maintaining the level of whiteness. Whether using either or both home and office treatments, the real key is avoiding stain producing elements such as smoking, coffee, tea and red wine. And at least cleaning your teeth right after consuming such things.


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