Many dental bleaching techniques are now available, several of them using a laser source. However, the literature on the exact role of coherent light in the biochemical reaction of the whitening process is very discordant. The aims of this in vitro study were: (1) to compare two different laser sources, a KTP laser with a wavelength of 532 nm and a diode laser with a wavelength of 808 nm, during dental bleaching, and (2) to investigate the relationships among changes in gel temperature, tooth shade and hydrogen peroxide (HP) concentration during laser irradiation. Altogether, 116 bovine teeth were bleached using a 30% HP gel, some of them with gel only and others with gel plus one of the two lasers (532 or 808 nm) at two different powers (2 and 4 W). The KTP laser produced a significant shade variation with a minimal temperature increase. The diode laser led to a higher temperature increase with a greater reduction in HP concentration, but the change in shade was only statistically significant with a power of 4 W. At a power of 2 W, the KTP laser caused a greater change in shade than the diode laser. No significant correlations were found among temperature, HP concentration and shade variation. The KTP laser appears to provide better results with less dangerous thermal increases than the diode laser. This might call into question most of the literature affirming that the action of laser bleaching is by increasing the gel temperature and, consequently, the speed of the redox reaction. Further study is required to investigate the correlations between the parameters investigated and efficacy of the bleaching process.
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