Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 435–444 | Cite as

Pre-operative use of dexamethasone does not reduce incidence or intensity of bleaching-induced tooth sensitivity. A triple-blind, parallel-design, randomized clinical trial

  • Luiz Augusto da Costa Poubel
  • Cresus Vinicius Deppes de Gouvea
  • Fernanda Signorelli Calazans
  • Etyene Castro Dip
  • Wesley Veltri Alves
  • Stella Soares Marins
  • Roberta Barcelos
  • Marcos Oliveira BarceleiroEmail author
Original Article



This study evaluated the effect of the administration of pre-operative dexamethasone on tooth sensitivity stemming from in-office bleaching.

Materials and methods

A triple-blind, parallel-design, randomized clinical trial was conducted on 70 volunteers who received dexamethasone or placebo capsules. The drugs were administered in a protocol of three daily 8-mg doses of the drug, starting 48 h before the in-office bleaching treatment. Two bleaching sessions with 37.5% hydrogen peroxide gel were performed with a 1-week interval. Tooth sensitivity (TS) was recorded on visual analog scales (VAS) and numeric rating scales (NRS) in different periods up to 48 h after bleaching. The color evaluations were also performed. The absolute risk of TS and its intensity were evaluated by using Fisher’s exact test. Comparisons of the TS intensity (NRS and VAS data) were performed by using the Mann-Whitney U test and a two-way repeated measures ANOVA and Tukey’s test, respectively.


In both groups, a high risk of TS (Dexa 80% x Placebo 94%) was detected. No significant difference was observed in terms of TS intensity. A whitening of approximately 3 shade guide units of the VITA Classical was detected in both groups, which were statistically similar.


It was concluded that the administration pre-operatively of dexamethasone, in the proposed protocol, does not reduce the incidence or intensity of bleaching-induced tooth sensitivity.

Clinical relevance

The use of dexamethasone drug before in-office bleaching treatment does not reduce incidence or intensity of tooth sensitivity.

Clinical trial registration number



Dentin sensitivity Dental bleaching Hydrogen peroxide Dexamethasone 



The authors thank SDI Dental Limited for the donation of the bleaching gel used, and Bem Viver laboratory Ltda. for the donation of dexamethasone capsules and the gel placebo in this investigation.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.


This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq IC 166520) and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (CAPES), in Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luiz Augusto da Costa Poubel
    • 1
  • Cresus Vinicius Deppes de Gouvea
    • 2
  • Fernanda Signorelli Calazans
    • 1
  • Etyene Castro Dip
    • 1
  • Wesley Veltri Alves
    • 1
  • Stella Soares Marins
    • 1
  • Roberta Barcelos
    • 1
  • Marcos Oliveira Barceleiro
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Fluminense Federal University / School of DentistryNova FriburgoBrazil
  2. 2.Fluminense Federal University / School of DentistryNiteróiBrazil

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