Teeth experience some wear and tear over your lifetime, but they are not meant to be severely worn down.
Worn-down teeth are commonly the result of chronic bruxism, also called teeth grinding, which puts unusual pressure on teeth and can cause them to appear shorter or have an unnatural shape.
Fortunately, worn-down teeth can typically be fixed instead of needing to be replaced entirely. And since worn teeth can result in tooth sensitivity, decay, and even issues with your jaw joints, it is important to restore your smile.
So what are your treatment options for worn-down teeth? The following are several ways you may be able to fix your smile with an experienced professional.
Dental bonding is a procedure in which your dentist will use a tooth-colored material, called composite resin, to build up teeth that have been worn down, chipped, or cracked . Dental bonding is most effective for worn-down teeth that have minimal wear.
For example, patients that have one or two short or chipped teeth are typically good candidates for dental bonding. Bonding is only an option when the tooth enamel has not been completely worn away from teeth grinding.
Once the softer layer under enamel, called dentin, is exposed, you will need to consider other restorative options.
Veneers can be a worthy restoration option for worn-down teeth. However, patients who are actively still grinding their teeth are generally not good candidates for this procedure.
Veneers are subject to damage from bruxism, so patients will need to be actively managing or treat their bruxism to qualify .
Dental veneers allow the natural teeth to remain intact while the surface of the tooth is covered with a thin shell of porcelain ceramic. Veneers can dramatically improve the appearance of worn-down and misshapen teeth and can work for patients who have visibly shorter teeth and need a more comprehensive restoration option.
Dental crowns can help restore damaged teeth by covering and protecting them. Dental crowns still allow for the retention of natural teeth, even if they have been severely worn down.
As with veneers, dental crowns will be bonded to your teeth to provide a durable and secure restoration. Crowns may be a good choice for patients with significant wear on their teeth, especially on molars.
In addition, dental crowns can also be used with other treatments for worn-down teeth, such as veneers and onlays, to provide a comprehensive smile restoration .
Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are restorations that are used to restore the worn-down surfaces of teeth, such as grooves and cusps, that give teeth their function and natural shape.
Inlays help restore molars by filling in the damaged portion of the chewing surface of the tooth. Inlays differ from traditional fillings because they protect more of the tooth’s structure rather than removing it.
Onlays are used to restore cusps, or points, of natural teeth that have worn down. Both inlays and onlays can help restore the function and appearance of your smile.
You Can Fix Worn-Down Teeth
If you have worn-down teeth, you do not have to live with the discomfort, embarrassment, and aesthetic issues these teeth can cause. As you can see, there are numerous treatment options for worn-down teeth, so do not wait to speak with your dentist to see how you can repair your teeth for a beautiful and fully functional smile.