Bleaching, microabrasion and composite restoration

There are several causes and types of teeth discolorations and each of them need careful diagnosis and examination in order to select the proper treatment. Using home bleaching and microabrasion techniques can be considered one minimal invasive approach for the treatment of these discolorations. The aim of this article is to show how to achieve success through the combination of bleaching, microabrasion and direct restorative bonding, to reestablish the natural appearance of discolored teeth and to improve our patients’ self-esteem.

Smile with discoloured incisor

A 23-year-old male patient visited our dental clinic complaining about the brown discolouration on his central incisor, asking for a solution to have a brighter smile.

brown spot on upper central incisor

Upper dental arch of the patient: a big brownish spot on tooth 11. Although brown discolorations respond well to bleaching alone, microabrasion and direct restorations might occasionally be combined with bleaching, depending on the entity of the discoloration. Both treatments are considered minimally invasive, thus being viable options for the treatment of discoloration. When a combined treatment is needed, there are no guidelines about which procedure should be carried out first. Although both techniques are designed to improve the appearance of teeth, it is known that their action mechanism is different. The microabrasion technique removes stain from the affected enamel, while bleaching involves the application of an oxidizing agent that penetrates the enamel and dentin resulting in teeth whitening. After discussing the treatment plan with the patient we decided to start with a home bleaching treatment.

white dental beauty home bleaching gel with trays

One or two gel syringes should be delivered to the patient, so that the treatment can be done for a week. The patient should be instructed to report any abnormal change of the teeth and gingival tissue The selected bleaching agent was Carbamide Peroxide 16%, to be used for 2-3 weeks (White Dental Beauty Teeth Whitening gels) from 2-4 h as long as no sensitivity is reported.

style italiano styleitaliano dentistry

The upper and lower teeth showed significantly brighter color after the bleaching with Carbamide Peroxide 16% (White Dental Beauty Teeth Whitening gels). The brownish spot decreased in size and color saturation.

before and after bleaching

After three weeks , the teeth become brighter and no sensitivity was reported.

brown spot before infiltration treatment

As the spot decreased in size and became more localized, we decided to perform the microabrasion treatment as a minimally invasive procedure to remove the superficial enamel lesion and smoothen the surface irregularities.

rubber dam isolation and floss ligatures

Absolute isolation with rubber dam for application of microabrasive products based on hydrochloric acid to provide excellent protection of gums, tongue and lips, and ensure perfect sealing after infiltration.

brown spot area on central incisor

Closer view of the lesion.

microabrasive paste on central and lateral incisor

The products used for microabrasion based on hydrochloric acid and abrasive silica particles should be placed on the labial surface of affected teeth. A contra angle and a silicone point for polishing resin composite can be used at low speed to firmly rub the labial surface from 10 to 20 second and then completely removed. After each application, the result of the procedure should be evaluated with the teeth moistened to simulate their natural appearance.

side view after microabrasion

Side view, after the first application, The lesion began to fade.

tooth after microabrasion of brown spot

Side view after the second microabrasion cycle.

incisor and rubber dam after finishing microabrasion

Side view after the third application.

style italiano styleitaliano dentistry

After multiple applications the lesions are completely removed, resulting in a slight concavity in the enamel surface. So we need to use composite resin to restore the buccal surface of the tooth.

acid etching gel on central incisor

Enamel etching for 30 seconds.

microbrush with adhesive on enamel

Multiple coats of bonding agent are applied and air-blown after 20 seconds for 5 seconds to let the solvent evaporate, and to thin the adhesive layer. Light curing for 30 seconds.

composite enamel layer on central incisor

Application of a thin layer of WE Filtek Z350 XT and light curing.

after microabrasion and restoration of upper incisor

After finishing and polishing , minimally invasive removal of the entire lesion.

restored central incisor

Side view, after finishing and polishing.

one week after microabrasion treatment.

One week follow up.

close up on central incisor

Close-up view, complete removal of the lesion.

smile after brown spot restoration

One week follow up.

before and after minimally invasive brown spot removal

Before and after bleaching and micro-abrasion.

smile before and after white spot removal.

Before and after, final result.


The combined treatment, including home bleaching and microabrasion, is often more effective as a minimal invasive approach for the treatment of tooth discoloration than other invasive procedures.


1. Joiner A. The bleaching of teeth: a review of the literature, J Dent. 2006 Aug;34(7):412-9.
2. Croll TP, Helpin ML. Enamel microabrasion: a new approach. J Esthet Dent. 2000;12(2):64-71.
3. Huckabee TM. Combining microabrasion with tooth whitening to treat enamel defects. Dent Today. 2001 May;20(5):98-101.
4. Bezerra-Júnior DM, Silva LM, Martins Lde M, Cohen-Carneiro F, Pontes DG. Esthetic rehabilitation with tooth bleaching, enamel microabrasion, and direct adhesive restorations. Gen Dent. 2016 Mar-Apr;64(2):60-4
5. Benbachir N, Ardu S, Krejci I.Indications and limits of the microabrasion technique. Quintessence Int. 2007 Nov-Dec;38(10):811-5.


style italiano styleitaliano direct anterior restoration class IV restoration class 4 composite restoration single shade direct restoration

Class IV using just a single shade: dream or reality?

Explore the masterful craftsmanship of Dr. Edoardo Yang Fossati as he creates stunning Class IV anterior composite restorations using only a single shade.