Treatment Solutions for Tooth Wear
9.27.16 in General
Healthy Mouth Sounds- Treatment Solutions for Tooth Wear
We have been talking about tooth wear, and even some different types of wear. I know you will expect this answer but, our first order of business when determining how to treat tooth wear is to identify the cause.
Is tooth structure being lost because one “rubs” their teeth together? Is it from an acidic chemical? Maybe most importantly, why is wear occurring?
Often times my patients relate a story of being aware of clenching or grinding their teeth as a stress relief mechanism. It is possible that drift of teeth or inadvertent malpositioning of teeth has placed them in a damaging position. It becomes quickly obvious that merely replacing lost tooth structure with some material may not solve the causal problem. And likewise, just by undoing the causes, does not “bring back” lost tooth structure. What then makes sense as a solution?
Once a cause of wear is identified, the plan to either eliminate the cause or consequences of the cause should be enacted.
If the stresses of 21st century life are causing you to grind your teeth, while it may be nice to eliminate the stress, it is not easily done. However, if I can place your teeth in the most perfect position to withstand the grinding, even though I have not eliminated your life stresses, I have protected your teeth from further damage. Often times the first order of business is to assure that teeth are in a proper position. Once that is achieved, restoring lost tooth structure can follow.
Likewise, eliminating sources of acid in erosion of tooth cases, would be step one, whether this is stomach acid or acid from a drink or food. Then restoring the lost tooth structure to appropriate function and esthetics would be predictably successful.
So a number of disciplines are involved in correcting “occlusal disease”. Proper diagnosis, eliminating damaging factors, tooth reshaping, repositioning, and restoration of teeth are a few “tools” available to help people have comfortable, functioning, beautiful teeth for a lifetime.
Specific materials, or processes are probably not as important to success as proper diagnosis and management of the problems. And sadly, here is an important “take home”.
Wearing of tooth structure will not improve- given time. As a matter of fact, it will not even stay the same! It will progress! Next blog we will talk about the consequences of doing nothing.
So, stay tuned in and keep smiling. Dr. W.