Treatment Options for Worn Teeth
Some degree of dental wear and tear is normal over the years. However, some patients experience excessive erosion, which can result in a number of oral health problems, including decay, bite issues, sensitivity, and more.
Our dentists at Ridgewood Dental Associates offer restorative treatment options for worn teeth. In this blog post, we will discuss reasons why dental erosion occurs, the types of tooth wear, and the solutions we offer at our Ridgewood, NJ, practice, also serving the greater Bergen County, NJ, area.
Why Are My Teeth Worn?
Several different factors can contribute to tooth wear and tear. By identifying the cause, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate treatment option. Some of the most common reasons for dental erosion include:
- Bruxism: Excessive teeth grinding or clenching can wear the teeth down over time.
- Bad habits: Chewing on pens, pencils, or your fingernails can cause tooth enamel to erode prematurely. Tooth wear can also occur from aggressive brushing.
- Acidic foods and drinks: Things like sodas, tomato sauce, and citrus fruits can weaken your enamel. As a result, dental erosion can occur.
Treatments for Worn Teeth
Your dentist will recommend treatment according to your specific needs. The three most common treatment options for worn teeth include dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and crowns. We will explore these procedures in more detail below.
Using composite bonding, your dentist can rebuild the worn edges of your teeth. The material is custom-matched to your natural tooth enamel. Once applied, your dentist molds and shapes the material, then cures it with a special light. Finally, the tooth is polished for natural-looking results. Dental bonding can be completed in just one office visit. It is often considered the most affordable option.
Veneers can also be used to conceal the effects of dental erosion. These custom-made shells of ceramic adhere to the front tooth surfaces. If the teeth appear short or boxy, veneers can alter their size and shape for optimal aesthetics and balance. Veneer placement can usually be completed in two office visits.
To place veneers, your dentist must remove small amounts of enamel. Therefore, if you have already lost sufficient enamel, then you may be better suited to alternative treatments.
Teeth that are badly worn may require dental crowns. These restorations fit over the tooth structure to provide additional strength and protection.
First, your dentist preps the tooth by removing small amounts of enamel. Next, impressions are taken so that your new crowns can be fabricated. Once they are ready, the crowns are bonded permanently in place with dental cement.
Reducing the Risk of Future Damage
If you decide to undergo treatment for worn teeth, it is important to protect your investment. Your dentist may recommend wearing a night guard to reduce the risk of damage, particularly if tooth wear was initially caused by bruxism. A custom oral appliance can protect the teeth by cushioning them and keeping them slightly apart.
Preventing Dental Erosion
While we can treat worn teeth, it is best to prevent issues altogether. Here are some tips for preventing erosion and protecting your smile:
- Use a soft toothbrush and a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
- Rinse your mouth out with water after every meal and snack.
- Reduce your intake of acidic, sugary foods and drinks.
- Use a straw when drinking sugary or acidic beverages to reduce the time that the liquid comes in contact with the teeth.
- Stay hydrated, especially if you are prone to dry mouth.
Contact Our Practice Today
Have you noticed areas of wear and tear on your teeth? If so, you may require treatment. To learn more about your options, schedule a consultation at our Ridgewood dental practice. Contact us online or call our office at (201) 383-5181.