Worn down dentition, or more simply put worn down teeth, is a condition where which a patient experiences progressive loss of a tooth’s surface due to actions beyond those which cause tooth decay or dental trauma. It is most commonly the result of abrasion, attrition, and erosion.
Abrasion is typically associated with an improper brushing technique, but it is also evident in individuals who have the bad habit of using their teeth to bite and/or chew items that are not meant to be chewed/bitten (i.e. pens, fingernails, etc.). Attrition on the other hand, is predominantly linked to mastication or teeth clenching/grinding, which is why people suffering from bruxism exhibit worn down teeth. Lastly, erosion is common in patients who suffer from gastrooesophageal reflux disease (GORD or GERD) or eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Erosion is also evident in people with dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia) given that reduced salivary flow increases acid content in the mouth and results in worn down dentition.
While you can nip the potential for future abrasion, attrition, and erosion by taking corrective action on your own where viable, this article is for those of you who already exhibit worn down teeth to the point that treatment and repair is necessary. Let’s find out how you can correct this aesthetically displeasing condition and functional impediment with specialized dental care.
Treatment and Repair Options for Patients Suffering from Worn Down Teeth
Preventative Steps to Stopping Further Attrition / Abrasion / Erosion
Your specialist will be able to identify whether or not teeth grinding is the cause of your worn down teeth. If diagnosed with bruxism, treatment for the disorder can begin immediately. While there are over-the-counter mouth appliances available to treat teeth grinding (and thus attrition) they offer poor retention which forces wearers to clench the appliance in place which negatively impacts sleep. As a preferred alternative, your specialist will take an impression of your teeth to manufacture a custom night guard that will serve to protect your teeth and relieve pressure on your Tempromandibular Joint. Learn more about bruxism treatment available at our Vancouver clinic.
If abrasion from poor brushing techniques and bad habits is the culprit, your specialist will help you uncover these reasons, while providing guidance on how to correct your behavior. All that some of your may require is a refresher course on optimal oral hygiene, along with subscription to weekly updates on oral health care.
Your specialist will also help you identify a more concerning underlying condition that may need to be addressed by other health professionals. For instance, if after identifying the symptoms our clinic suspects that you are suffering from gastrooesophageal reflux disease, it will be recommended that you seek help from your family doctor who can make lifestyle change (eating habits, etc.) suggestions and may prescribe over-the-counter medicines. In some scenarios (medicine doesn’t work or causes significant side effects) your physician may recommend surgery. However, if you are suffering from an eating disorder, your specialist will refer you to local resources where you can turn to for help.
Again, the above preventative steps will help prevent future wear and tear (where applicable) but for answers about repairing your appearance and restoring function, keep reading.
Direct Composite Bonding
The composite bonding process is one where which a specialist applies natural tooth-colored composites to build up the worn-down edges of your teeth. The lower cost procedure is completed within the clinic, within one session, using adhesives and a high-intensity curing light. View more about the process here. If time and cost are your most important considerations, bonding may be the worn down teeth repair solution you’re looking for. However, if you are seeking a more effective and long term option, please read ahead.
Dental crowns are a restorative solution for severely worn down teeth. Simply put, the more you’re missing from your tooth structure, the more likely you will need a dental crown.
A crown is a tooth-colored cap that surrounds the entire tooth and therefore restores and improves upon appearance and functionality. Unlike direct dental bonding which is completed in just one-session, this procedure will require more than one appointment at our clinic. It all begins with making an impression of the tooth or teeth in need. This impression is then sent to the lab for manufacturing. In the time being (depending upon severity) you may need to wear a temporary crow to protect the targeted teeth as any further wear and tear can render the up and coming crown/s (which have been sent to the lab for preparation) a poor fit. Because the process is more involved, the initial cost is higher, however the end result is superior given that with proper care, crowns tend to last much longer and are far more durable. Learn more about dental crowns available at our Vancouver clinic.
Our clinic is here to help you identify the cause of worn down teeth, provide a preventative course of action, and will work with you to come up with the best possible restorative option based on your unique needs. When applied by a specialist, both bonding and crowns are effective ways to restore the appearance and function of worn down teeth. However, your recommended solution will be determined after an in-clinic consultation completed by an examination and x-rays. It all begins with you taking the next important step – contacting our Vancouver clinic today. Call us at 604-336-0958.