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Quantitative analysis of the diffusion of hydrogen peroxide through teeth


Dental whitening is a rapidly expanding cosmetic industry. However, due to lack of quantitative analysis regarding the mass transport of hydrogen peroxide through teeth, clinical parameters like application time remain largely empirical, and little is known regarding the extent to which whitening should be supplemented with heat, light, or other activators. This study presents an experimental method fit to a mathematical model that can be used to determine the physical parameters of peroxide transport in teeth for various external conditions, sufficiently general to extend to platforms other than dental whitening. Using these methods, the diffusivity of hydrogen peroxide through bovine enamel at room temperature was determined to be 5.83×10^(-8) ± 0.50×10^(-8) cm2/s, with thermal activation energy of 48.30 ± 1.34 kJ/mol. These results, in combination with clinical studies, can be used to optimize clinical whitening parameters and serve as a basis for additional studies aimed at controlling peroxide diffusion, ultimately minimizing harmful side-effects while maintaining whitening efficacy.

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