Effect of tray-based and trayless tooth whitening systems on microhardness of enamel surface and subsurface

Erica C.N. Teixeira, André V. Ritter, Jeffrey Y. Thompson, Ralph H. Leonard, Edward J. Swift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of tray-based and trayless tooth whitening systems on surface and subsurface microhardness of human enamel. Enamel slabs were obtained from recently extracted human third molars. Specimens were randomly assigned to six groups according to tooth whitening treatment (n=10): 6.0% hydrogen peroxide (HP) (Crest Whitestrips), 6.5% HP (Crest Professional Whitestrips), 7.5% HP (Day White Excel 3), 9.5% HP (Day White Excel 3), 10% carbamide peroxide (Opalescence), and a control group (untreated). Specimens were treated for 14 days following manufacturers' recommended protocols, and were immersed in artificial saliva between treatments. Enamel surface Knoop microhardness (KHN) was measured immediately before treatment, and at days 1, 7, and 14 of treatment. After treatment, subsurface microhardness was measured at depths of 50-500 um. Data were analyzed for statistical significance using analysis of variance. Differences in microhardness for treated vs. untreated enamel surface were not statistically significant at any time interval. For 6.5% and 9.5% HP, there was a decrease in surface microhardness values during treatment, but at the end of treatment the microhardness values were not statistically different from the baseline values. For the enamel subsurface values, no differences were observed between treated vs. untreated specimens at each depth. Trayless and tray-based tooth whitening treatments do not significantly affect surface or subsurface enamel microhardness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-436
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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