Reverse tooth wear: a Mini Makeover
Ready for a smile makeover? Getting a new smile might not just be for looking better. We are seeing an alarming amount of young people with excessive tooth wear in our offices that is really disturbing! Excessive tooth wear is a destructive process and leads to loss of tooth structure that have devasting long term effects on a persons' bite and smile. This really means that our teeth are ageing at a much faster accelerated rate comparing to our biological chronological age.
The disturbing factor is that tooth wear seldom involves one or 2 teeth and normally involves a full arch or both arches of the mouth. This can make treatment so much more complex and dare I say it, difficult for the general dentist. Once generalised wear have taken place, the vertical height of the bite is reduced and therfore facial and soft tissue changes start to take place.
Say 'NO' to that soda!
Tooth wear are generally caused by attrision, erosion, abrasion and abfraction. Erosion happens when acid erodes the enamel on the teeth and plays a big part in tooth wear in young adults due to excessive consumption of acidic drinks. Most of the soft drinks like Coke, Fanta, Sprite or tonic to name a few are very acidic and lead to erosion of enamel. Frequent consumption of acidic drinks(pH below 5.5) will result in demineralistation of enamel that results in softening of the teeth. This looks like little yellow islands(see photo below) that appear on the teeth due to eroding of the surrounding enamel and can often be very sensitive to touch and temperature changes. The problem with restoring these teeth is very complex as space for the restoring material is very limited.
The Big Problem to Restore eroded teeth
Erosion ussually erode a group of teeth or even a whole arch and this leads to loss of the vertical dimention of the bite. In order to restore these teeth the dentist must now add 'enamel' back on the biting surfaces to replace the lost enamel and cover the exposed area. Ussually there is just not enough space to just 'add on' as the opposing teeth will be biting exactely on this eroded and often sensitive surface. The dentist is now forced to remove even more tooth structure to go 'deeper' so he can have the necessary space to add filling material back on to cover this sensitive eroded area. This is completely counter productive and aggressive as the risk now increases to irreversably damage these teeth. With the latest treatment options we now have some great solutions!
How to repair erosive areas and look years younger
The correct way to repair these worned out areas of enamel erosion is to just 'add-on' where needed. A thorough analysis and consultation are needed to decide where to add on and how this will change the bite and aestetics of the smile.
A tooth wear consultation is made where we will make use of Digital Smile Design(DSD) and special record taking. As no tooth structure is removed and material just added on, the bite will now be opened. Opening the bite and adding material back on can change and transform your bite and smile to give you back a new youthful smile.
A Real Case
The following are before and after photos of our patient showing how the front upper 6 teeth were build up with porcelain veneers to restore years of acid erosion behind his upper 6 teeth. The erosion had given him a 'reverse smile' and made him look older for his years. With this ONE day mini makover we restored his vertical dimention, soft tissue problems and sensitivity. All done in ONE visit. To learn more about our ONE DAY dentistry and makeovers, click here.