Introduction: Oxidant bleaching agents may induce several alterations on mineralized teeth tissues. Our aim is to study, at the ultrastructural level, mechanical modifications induced on dentin after exposure to different bleaching agents. Methods: Nanoindentation performed with atomic force microscopy was used to measure changes in dentin stiffness as well as the adhesion force between the tip and the tissue both in intertubular and peritubular dentin. For each specimen, dentin localization, and bleaching agent, 100 independent nanoindentations were performed. Carbamide peroxide (30%) and hydrogen peroxide (35%) were used as bleaching agents. Results: A significant reduction of both stiffness and adhesion force was found for both carbamide and hydrogen peroxide in peritubular and intertubular dentin. Conclusions: The use of bleaching agents led to a significant reduction in dentin local (at the nanoscale) mechanical properties.
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