Effect of 10% Carbamide Peroxide Bleaching Gel on Enamel Microhardness, Microstructure, and Mineral Content

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The effect of 10% carbamide peroxide on human enamel subsurface layers was examined. Microhardness, microstructure, and mineral content were studied in such a manner that control and test side were located on the same tooth. Longitudinally sectioned samples were obtained from six teeth and Vickers microhardness of the enamel was measured. Enamel microstructure was analyzed using a scanning electron microscope and subjected to electron probe microanalysis for chemical analysis of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P). The concentration of Ca in the bleaching gel was measured spectrophotometrically and the concentration of P was measured photometrically. Results showed that a bleaching gel of 10% carbamide peroxide did not significantly affect the microhardness of the enamel. Scanning electron microscopic analysis showed local changes in enamel microstructure similar to those of initial caries. Electron probe microanalysis showed lowered concentrations of Ca and P; in addition the Ca:P ratio was lowered. There was some Ca and P in the bleaching gel after use. It is concluded that 10% carbamide peroxide causes local microstructural and chemical changes in enamel that are likely not clinically significant.

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