The pursuit of white teeth is a tale as old as time. Decades ago, Hydrogen Peroxide was found to be effective for teeth whitening. To date, it remains the only chemical compound that has stood the test of time, proving itself to be clinically effective with the hundreds of research papers available on the subject. This makes hydrogen peroxide the gold standard treatment (An Overview of Tooth-Bleaching Techniques: Chemistry, Safety and Efficacy | Health & Environmental Research Online (HERO) | US EPA, n.d.) for teeth whitening.
In the past couple of years, however, new kids on the block by the names of PAP (Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid) and Titanium Dioxide have made claims that they are the first “non-peroxide” based chemicals to be as effective as hydrogen peroxide, without potential side effects such as tooth sensitivity. Titanium dioxide has only proven to be effective when used in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide (Bleaching Effectiveness and Tooth Sensitivity of Inoffice Hydrogen Peroxide Containing Titanium Dioxide Based Bleaching Agent: A Systematic Review, 2011), while no clinical trials have been conducted on PAP yet.
As non-peroxide based compounds, they circumvent Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) legislature (https://www.hsa.gov.sg/consumer-safety/articles/online-diy-teeth-whitening-kit-pain), granting beauty salons a loophole to use them for treatment. A quick Google search of “Teeth Whitening Singapore” turns up with otherworldly claims by beauty salons of immediate results in 1 hour without the use of hydrogen peroxide (which has since been the only clinically proven compound to be able to produce visible results in 1 hour).
Searching for PAP or Titanium Dioxide on Google also brings up articles with dazzling claims on the efficacy of the compound for dental teeth whitening. However, the truth begins to rear its ugly head upon closer inspection of these articles. The discerning reader would soon realize that front page articles on PAP are heavily influenced by a particular US-based company that produces PAP based whitening products. This bias severely diminishes the credibility of these articles and of PAP itself.
As professional clinicians, we practice “evidence-based” dentistry, only treating our patients with clinically proven techniques. Patients are people after all, not guinea pigs.
A search on the research directory of the National Institutes of Health, PubMed, yielded a grand total of zero meta analyses or controlled clinical studies exploring the effectiveness of PAP or Titanium Dioxide alone for teeth whitening. This glaring lack of research for a product with such groundbreaking claims further diminishes our trust in the claims made in favour of PAP or Titanium Dioxide.
At Brightside Dental, we believe in the tried and true method of dental whitening with Hydrogen Peroxide. Just as you would not go to your lawyer for a leaky pipe, we believe that you should only visit the dentist for dental treatments like teeth whitening. Don’t sign up to be guinea pigs, believe in the tried, tested and true.