Clinical Relevance

Charcoal based-powders are not effective for dental bleaching.


Charcoal-based dentifrices for dental whitening are a novelty in the market. Manufacturers claim that such charcoal-based products have whitening, remineralization, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties of charcoal in such products. However, there is no substantial scientific evidence for these claims. This laboratory randomized study was designed to evaluate the whitening properties of a charcoal-based toothpowder. A total of 45 bovine dental enamel discs were randomly distributed into three groups (n=15): group 1, mechanical brushing with a 1450-ppm F toothpaste (control group); group 2, mechanical brushing with an activated charcoal-based powder; group 3, bleaching per the standard protocol using 10% carbamide peroxide. The surface roughness and color of each specimen were analyzed at baseline and after 14 days of experiment. The surface of one randomly selected specimen from each group was examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare groups at a significance level of 5%. Only group 3 promoted a statistically significant effect on ΔE compared with groups 1 and 2 (p<0.001 and p=0.003, respectively). No statistically significant difference was found between groups for surface roughness (p>0.05). SEM revealed a more irregular surface in group 1 specimens compared with group 2 and 3 specimens. The charcoal-based powder did not seem to have any bleaching effect.

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