Efficacy of do-it-yourself whitening as compared to conventional tooth whitening modalities: an in vitro study

Oper Dent. 2015 Jan-Feb;40(1):E21-7. doi: 10.2341/13-333-LR. Epub 2014 Oct 3.


Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening as compared to conventional tooth whitening modalities using different shade assessment tools.

Methods and materials: Extracted human molars (120) were randomly distributed to six groups (n=20). Whitening was performed according to manufacturer's directions for over-the-counter, dentist-dispensed for home use, and in-office whitening. DIY whitening consisted of a strawberry and baking soda mix. Additionally, negative and positive controls were used. Two evaluators used the Vita Classical (VC) and Vita Bleachedguide 3D-Master with interpolated numbers (BGi) for visual assessment at baseline and one-week, one-month, and three-month postwhitening. Instrumental measurements were performed with a spectrophotometer. Kruskal-Wallis procedure was used to assess color changes among groups and intraclass correlation (ICC) to evaluate agreement between evaluators.

Results: DIY exhibited lower color change (ΔSGUVC, ΔSGUBGi, ΔE*, where SGU = shade guide unit and E = overall color change) compared to other whitening groups at all time points (p<0.05). ICC demonstrated very good agreement between evaluators with VC and BGi at each time point. Both shade guides were related with each other and strongly related to instrumental measurements (p<0.05).

Conclusions: DIY whitening was the least effective whitening modality. Both VC and BGi are related with each other and have good correlation with instrumental measurements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Color
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Nonprescription Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Self Care* / methods
  • Tooth Bleaching / methods*
  • Tooth Bleaching Agents / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Tooth Bleaching Agents