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Influence of treatment duration on the efficacy of at-home bleaching with daytime application: a randomized clinical trial



The aim of this study is to determine whether prolonging the daytime at-home bleaching treatment by 1 week increases the bleaching effect without causing more side effects.

Materials and methods

Fifty participants were randomly divided into two groups, (A) with a 14-day treatment and (B) with a 21-day treatment. A gel with 10% carbamide peroxide was applied for 2 h a day in custom trays. Color measurement was performed using a dental spectrophotometer on the right maxillary central incisor and the canine at baseline, at the end of treatment, and 1 and 6 months afterwards. Daily, participants recorded their tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation.


At the end of the treatment, the ΔE00 of group B (5.77 ± 2.15) was significantly higher than the ΔE00 of group A (4.74 ± 1.94) (p = 0.005 (95% CI: − 2.13 to − 0.39)). After 6 months, tooth color was more stable in group B. The ΔSGU values between the different appointment times were higher in the 3-week group. Participants from group B reported more side effects, but statistically, there were no differences compared with group A (p = 0.225 for tooth sensitivity and p = 0.758 for gingival irritation).


Daytime application of at-home bleaching for 3 weeks achieves greater bleaching results than for 2 weeks, immediately after treatment and 1 and 6 months afterwards. However, slightly more side effects could occur.

Clinical relevance

When daytime application of at-home bleaching is required, the treatment duration should be prolonged from 2 to 3 weeks to achieve greater and more stable results.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Iria L. Darriba.

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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 Ethics Committee of the University of Santiago de Compostela and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration. The protocol of this randomized clinical trial was approved by the Ethics Committee of the SERGAS (2015-581).

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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L. Darriba, I., Cabirta Melón, P., García Sartal, A. et al. Influence of treatment duration on the efficacy of at-home bleaching with daytime application: a randomized clinical trial. Clin Oral Invest 23, 3229–3237 (2019).

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  • At-home bleaching
  • Tooth bleaching
  • Tooth whitening
  • Carbamide peroxide
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Esthetic dentistry