Book Review: Tooth Whitening: An Evidence-Based Perspective

Book Review

2016, Springer, price £117 pp 268 ISBN 9783319388472 | ISBN: 978-3-3193-8847-2

Demand for tooth whitening has been reflected in the various products and methods available. Social media widely publicises supposedly innovative techniques to improve the appearance of teeth. Patients deservedly ask many questions about what a dentist or dental care professional can achieve. Jorge Perdigão (editor) has elicited the knowledge and expertise of a number of internationally acclaimed clinicians and researchers. Compiling the breadth of evidence-based information on dental whitening aims to improve the clinician's knowledge and understanding, thereby optimising treatment results.

The book is divided into four parts. A concise chronology on the history of tooth whitening together with an overview of current techniques is a welcoming introduction to engage the reader. The aetiology of extrinsic and intrinsic discolourations are summarised and the mechanisms of peroxides in action explained in detail. The safety of peroxides and potential complications are well documented. Clinical evidence surrounding the use of peroxides to whiten teeth is then examined in part two. Separate chapters discuss a wide range of issues associated with at-home tooth whitening, in-office whitening and intracoronal whitening of the endodontically treated tooth. While the predominant focus of the book up to part two explores bleaching, the third part looks at the role of enamel etching techniques. These include enamel microabrasion for the removal of superficial discolouration and surface texture defects, and resin infiltration. The fourth and concluding part demonstrates how combining techniques can help manage various clinical situations involving discoloured teeth. A series of well-illustrated case studies support these.

Chapters begin with an abstract which stipulates the authors' aims and objectives. Topics are appropriately divided and presented in a logical order. Throughout the authors' commentary, the internal and external validity of the cited research articles is concisely appraised. Highlighted boxes succinctly summarise the evidence discussed and provide the reader with clinically-relevant tips, all within a couple of sentences. Clinical techniques are well explained and illustrated through sequential photographs. Incorporating a series of frequently asked questions to chapters six and seven thoughtfully provides clinicians with model answers to address patient concerns.

A note of caution must be expressed with regard to some of the authors' clinical recommendations, which reflect the international audience the book is marketed towards. Clinicians practising tooth whitening in the UK should ensure they are familiar with the appropriate regulations and follow the advice of their defence organisations where necessary. Overall, this textbook provides a logical and up-to-date account of the evidence base surrounding tooth whitening. Clinicians pursuing postgraduate studies, specialists, general dental practitioners and dental care professionals interested in tooth whitening would most likely benefit from the breadth and depth of the information discussed.

Available to buy from the BDA shop: https://shop.bda.org

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Fenton, G. Book Review: Tooth Whitening: An Evidence-Based Perspective. Br Dent J 223, 626 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.953

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