The outermost layer of your teeth is known as enamel. While enamel is one of the strongest substances in the human body, it is by no means indestructible. Chips or cracks are the two most common types of damage that can occur to tooth enamel. However enamel is also prone to wear, especially in cases where an individual is affected by dry mouth, bruxism, or medical conditions that cause acidity in the mouth. While dry mouth and acidity wear down enamel by slowly eroding its surface, bruxism wears down enamel through the constant pressure being exerted on the enamel.
Regardless of the exact cause of enamel wear, the results are generally tooth sensitivity and teeth that appear yellow in color. This is because as the enamel thins, there is less protection for the underlying dentin layer. Not only does exposed dentin cause tooth sensitivity, but it makes teeth appear yellow because dentin itself has a yellow tone. Worn enamel can also increase the risk of developing tooth decay since there is less protection.
For these reasons, dentists recommend treating cases of excessively worn enamel. There are certain cosmetic dental treatments your dentist may recommend due to their ability to restore both function and aesthetics to your smile. Some of the best cosmetic dental treatments for worn enamel include:
Cosmetic bonding layers tooth-colored composite resin over worn enamel in order to build up a protective layer. Not only does this protect the underlying dentin in order to prevent tooth sensitivity and tooth decay, but it can improve the color of your teeth. This is because composite resin can be customized in terms of color to make your smile brighter and whiter. Cosmetic bonding can be completed during a single dental appointment and the results generally last about 5-7 years.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over the entire visible portion of the tooth. They are made by a variety of dental materials that can all act as a protective layer for your tooth. This helps to prevent tooth sensitivity while decreasing the risk of tooth decay. Not only that, but these dental materials are highly durable and aesthetically pleasing. This will protect the underlying tooth from further damage while also improving the color of your tooth. Dental crowns usually require two dental appointments for placement and they last about 10-15 years.
Veneers are thin shells that are applied to the front side of visible teeth. In most cases veneers are fabricated from porcelain, however there are also cases where composite resin may be used. Veneers are often recommended in cases where the worn enamel exists primarily on one side of the tooth, specifically the front. Unlike dental crowns, veneers only require the preparation of the front of the tooth rather than the entire tooth surface. This ultimately preserves more of the natural tooth structure. However, they may require the removal of a thin layer of enamel in order to fit properly. Like dental crowns, veneers are also placed over the course of two dental appointments and last about 10-15 years.
Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.