Teaching nightguard bleaching and other tooth-whitening procedures in North American dental schools.

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8 Scopus citations


Tooth-whitening using carbamide peroxide delivered in a custom-fitted tray (nightguard bleaching) is a relatively new procedure, yet it is currently one of the most commonly used types of esthetic dental treatment in private practice. This study determined the extent that nightguard bleaching (NGB) has been included in dental school curricula. All sixty-five dental schools in North America were surveyed about curriculum content and treatment protocol for the use of nightguard and other bleaching procedures, generating an 82 percent response. The survey covered eighteen subject areas related to NGB ranging from clinical requirements and indications to products and recall intervals used. The most commonly taught tooth-whitening procedure was NGB, which was most often taught by operative and restorative faculty. Although no schools had clinical requirements for NGB, 92 percent taught it. The most common indications for NGB were esthetic shade change and pre-restorative lightening of teeth. Unrestored caries, defective restorations, and pre-existing sensitivity were common contraindications. Most schools do not use a specific NGB consent form, but most use written patient instructions. Most schools use at least two different NGB products, bleach for two to four weeks, and use reservoired and scalloped trays. An average of 25 percent of NGB patients were estimated to develop sensitivity, for which treatment recommendations include fluoride, desensitizing toothpaste, and reduced exposure time. Curriculum time and safety concerns were reasons for not teaching NGB (8 percent schools). Most schools indicated that the relative importance of NGB in the curriculum was increasing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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