3 Dental Treatments For Tooth Attrition

Posted on: 27 April 2016

Tooth attrition is the gradual erosion of tooth structures due to physical friction with other teeth. The damage can happen due to habitual teeth grinding, which is often a side effect of stress, or due to forceful grinding during routine chewing. Potential damage includes wearing through the enamel, cracking or breaking the dentin, and opening the tooth up for more frequent and severe cavities.

Here are some of the potential treatments for tooth attrition available from your family dentist's office.

Mouth Guard and Physical Therapy

If the attrition is due to teeth grinding, the first stage of your treatment will likely involve methods for preventing future grinding damage once the current damage is fixed. Your dentist might have you fitted with a mouth guard, which typically only needs to be worn at night, but might have to be worn throughout the day if you grind at all hours.

Your dentist might also recommend meetings with a physical therapist to learn stretches and relaxation techniques that can minimize the stress buildups that can lead to nighttime grinding.

Dental Crown

Once you are at less risk of grinding your teeth, the actual treatments can begin. If you have significant cracks or breaks, your dentist might recommend covering affected teeth with dental crowns.

The porcelain, metal, or combination material crowns are hollowed out and fit down over your existing tooth without the need for significant filing down to help bonding adhere. The crown can cover damage in any area of the tooth as well as intrinsic staining, which isn't fixable with traditional dental whitening procedures.

You might still need to wear a mouth guard at night over the crowns to ensure you don't do any grinding damage. Porcelain is the weakest but most natural-looking of the materials, but your dentist might recommend porcelain and metal for added strength if grinding is still a significant concern.

Veneer or Bond

Does the tooth have cosmetic issues mostly confined to the front of the tooth? Is there a significant loss of dentin that would make a crown difficult to bond to the existing tooth? Your dentist might recommend veneers or bonds, which are cosmetic treatments that require the natural tooth to be filed down significantly for adhesion and reshaping possibilities.

Bonds are the less expensive and easier-to-apply option, since the resin is molded onto your tooth by the dentist during one office visit. The bonds are hardened into place and can cover cracks, staining, and breaks. But the resin is less stain-resistant than the porcelain of veneers and also can prove less durable.

Porcelain veneers are created in a lab and bonded onto the front of your tooth in a separate office visit. Veneers cost more than bonds but are more durable in general. Both veneers and bonds can be damaged by grinding, however, so it is important to work on stopping the habit and to wear your mouth guard as required. Contact a family dentist like Cassity, Jessica DDS for more info.