dental care


Treatment for worn teeth

by Bob, answer by the Dentist

Treatment for worn teeth can be both a question of saving the last bit for your worn teeth as much as it is a question about estetics and function. Recently a question was posted about this:

Due to my incorrect bite caused by my bottom teeth, I have worn the dentin off the back of the front four top teeth. I have been told the best solution to "save" the teeth is to have these four teeth crowned. Is there any other recommended solution? Of course, I could also get the orthodontic work to correct the problem with the bottom teeth but since the wear has already occurred, this does not seem to be the solution to correct the already existing wear. What is your recommentation?

Dear Bob,
Thank you for your question about treatment for worn teeth. A lot of people experience problems related to worn teeth. Teeth will normally wear due to physiological changes caused by the fact that we use our teeth to bite and chew a lot of different foods during our lives. This kind of wear usually does not need any treatment. Sometimes, however, the teeth can be worn in a pathological way, that is, worn too much regarding the age of the person. This is sometimes called bruxism. Grinding or tooth wear can be a problem if it leads to excessive loss a tooth substance which again can lead to a change in the way you bite or the way your jaws are related. It can also lead to, as in Bob’s case, wear of dentin. This is the ”tooth bone” inside of the enamel, and this is much more weak than enamel due to its lower mineral content. When all the enamel is gone, the dentin is exposed, and if one keeps on grinding also the dentin, a lot of tooth substance is lost and in the worst case the pulp is exposed and one has to do a root canal treatment.

Anyhow, to have the grinded teeth crowned may be a good idea, but this really depends on the situation and how serious it is. Sometimes a splint used during night can stop the grinding even though it cannot reverse what is already lost of tooth substance. My best advise is to not do anything irreversible (crown your teeth) if it’s not absolutely the best treatment. A good alternative to crowns can be ordinary fillings (with composite) which is a more gentle, though not so lasting, alternative to a crown. Your dentist should advise in choosing between the different treatment alternatives for your teeth before you make a decision.
Good luck with your treatment for worn teeth!

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