Bleaching of discolored root-filled teeth

By Holmstrup G, Palm AM, Lambjerg-Hansen H

Date: 01/1988
Journal: Dental Traumatology


To evaluate the effectiveness of sodium perborate in a walking bleach procedure


N= 95 bluish grey or bluish black previously treated teeth in 86 patients

Radiographs and clinical photos taken, tooth accessed, gutta percha/zinc oxide eugenol removed 2-3 mm and sealed with white cavit, sodium perborate placed in the chamber and condensed with water-moistened cotton pellet and underfilled with cavit. 14 days later, recorded pain since treatment and took a clinical photo. Teeth were evaluated according to the following criteria

  • Good– teeth same color as adjacent teeth
  • Acceptable– only minor whitish or greyish difference in color as adjacent teeth (and the result was acceptable to the patient)
  • Unacceptable- Persistent significant dark or greyish difference in color as compared to adjacent teeth or the result was not acceptable to the patient

Unacceptable or acceptable, procedure was continued (14 day intervals) until a good result was obtained or no further whitening was observed. Chamber was filled with pink cavit and restored with composite resin (Silar)


  • 60 % of teeth were good or acceptable at one or two visits; remaining teeth treated over 3- 9 visits (avg 4.3)
  • 10 unacceptable cases were lighter than before bleaching
  • 73 % were seen for 3 year follow-up. 79.7 % (55) still had good or acceptable result, 20.3 % reverted to unacceptable (but still better than before treatment)
  • Pain of short duration noted in 3 teeth; no fracture, root resorption, or apical periodontitis noted

Clinical Significance:

Sodium perborate effectively lightens discolored non-vital teeth with less time clinically than other reported methods, though some rediscoloration is seen