External bleaching of tetracycline stained teeth in dogs

By Walton RE, O'Dell NL, Myers DL, Lake FT, Shimp RG

Date: 01/1982
Journal: JOE


This study was designed to examine three different treatment techniques (etching, bleaching, or etching with bleaching) to determine the most effective technique(s) for decreasing the amount of tetracycline staining; and the effects of each treatment technique immediately after, and up to four weeks after treatment to determine the permanence of the results of each of these techniques.


  • N= 7 mongrel puppies that received tetracycline pre and post partum. Canines and third lateral from 4 quads used. 56 teeth
  • Group A: Etched-only teeth. The labial surface was soaked with 50% phosphoric acid for one minute.
  • Group B: Bleached-only teeth. Hydrogen peroxide-soaked cotton pellets were applied to the labial surface for 20 minutes. Heat (125 F) was applied to the cotton pellet.
  • Group C: Etched and bleached teeth. Combination of group a followed by group b protocol.
  • Group D: Control

The teeth were treated twice one week apart from each other and teeth were photographed at certain intervals.


The three treatment methods did have a statistically significant immediate effect on shade change.

  • Least effective: bleach alone or etching alone
  • Most effective: the combination of the two.
  • After one week, the shades returned to pretreatment levels for all groups.

Clinical Significance:

Vital Bleach for tetracyline stain is not effective