Conservative approach to treating severe tetracycline staining: a 12-month follow-up

Gen Dent. 2021 Jul-Aug;69(4):41-44.


Severe tetracycline staining may affect the esthetics of teeth and the self-esteem of patients. This case report describes minimally invasive treatment with dental bleaching and direct restorations to improve the esthetics of tetracycline-stained teeth in a 44-year-old woman. All of the patient's teeth were affected by grayish brown staining, and the maxillary central incisors demonstrated incisal wear. The buccal angulation of the anterior teeth and the patient's Class II skeletal profile hindered the use of direct or indirect veneer restorations. The proposed treatment was home bleaching with 10% carbamide peroxide applied in a soft vinyl tray, which was worn overnight for the first 3 months and 2 hours daily for the next 3 months (total treatment time of 6 months). Afterward, a single session of in-office bleaching with 37% hydrogen peroxide was performed over resistant bands of staining observed at the cervical thirds of the teeth. Fourteen days after the in-office bleaching treatment, composite resin restorations were placed at the incisal areas of the maxillary central incisors and the cervical areas of the central incisors, lateral incisors, and canines to treat the incisal wear and mask the remaining dental discoloration. In some cases, minimally invasive treatment with tooth bleaching might be indicated for the esthetic treatment of teeth severely stained by tetracycline, although this approach presents limitations. In the present case, the patient was satisfied with her smile after the treatment protocol was completed, and the results remained stable after 12 months. The patient reported an improved quality of life after treatment.

Keywords: dental bleaching; dental esthetics; dental restoration; tetracycline.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Tetracyclines
  • Tooth Bleaching*
  • Tooth Discoloration* / drug therapy


  • Tetracyclines