Tooth Discoloration Follow-up

Updated: Sep 07, 2015
  • Author: Dharti N Patel, DMD, FDS, RCSEd, FICOI; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Further Outpatient Care

Patients who undergo dental procedures (eg, bleaching, restorations) for tooth discoloration should be monitored periodically.

In addition to routine dental and periodontal evaluation, some patients may require additional bleaching treatments to maintain aesthetic results.



Clinicians can help in preventing fluorosis by teaching parents about fluoride use and good toothbrushing habits for children.

Changes in dietary and toothbrushing habits and professional cleaning and treatment may help in preventing tooth discoloration (see Medical Care).

See Pathophysiology and Causes.



All irreversible dental treatments have the potential to cause complications.

Bleaching (eg, home bleaching) and restorative procedures are safe if performed by or under the supervision of a dentist with appropriate training and experience.

  • Vital bleaching causes short-term tooth sensitivity (1-4 d) in two thirds of patients (see Medical Care).

  • Patients with preexisting restorations, cervical erosions, enamel cracks, large pulp chambers, or sensitive teeth before treatment are at higher risk for postbleaching sensitivity.

  • The use of a mild bleaching agent, shortened application time and frequency, and topical fluoride therapy can reverse this sensitivity. [34]

  • Allergic reactions to bleaching agents are rare.

Restorative procedures, including bonding and the use of laminate veneers and fixed prostheses (eg, crowns and bridges), can result in pulpal or periodontal complications; however, careful treatment planning and therapy can minimize these complications.

Depending on the anatomic site, the proximity to vascular and neurologic vessels, and the oral and systemic condition of the host, oral surgical procedures infrequently can cause sequelae such as hemorrhage; pain; swelling; infection; and motor, nerve, or sensory deficits.



The prognosis is excellent if an etiology is identified and if the appropriate dental and medical care providers are involved in the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the condition.


Patient Education

Educate patients about the necessity of daily oral hygiene and about the medications implicated in dental discoloration.

Educate patients who are treated for medical disorders associated with dental discoloration about the risks of tooth-related disorders.