Most cases of dental damage are related to tooth decay. However, chronic pressure on the teeth can also be harmful. When tooth enamel weakens or is damaged at the base of the tooth, near the gum line, it is known as a dental abfraction. A dental abfraction looks like a wedge-shaped notch. Advanced dental abfractions make the teeth more vulnerable to damage and can result in heightened tooth sensitivity.
At River City Dental Solutions PLLC, Drs. Joseph Perry and Thomas Shields offer our San Antonio, TX, patients restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild a tooth damaged by an abfraction. The treatment for dental abfractions that is best for each patient will depend on the severity and cause of dental damage. Here, we go over some of the most effective treatments for these dental lesions.
Although a dental abfraction is not a cavity, it is usually treated in the same way. A dental filling can be applied directly to the area of damage to replace tooth enamel that has been destroyed. We use tooth-colored composite to rebuild the tooth so that it blends in seamlessly with the natural tooth enamel.
A composite filling enhances the strength, structure, and appearance of a damaged tooth. Additionally, a dental filling protects the tooth so that the abfraction does not allow bacteria to work its way to the roots system near the base of the tooth.
We are usually able to treat dental abfractions before they become too advanced, but some of our San Antonio patients require more extensive repair than that provided by a dental filling. In these rare cases, a dental crown can be used to repair the tooth. After reshaping the tooth to eliminate damaged enamel, a dental crown will be placed over the core of the tooth. A dental crown completely surrounds the tooth above the gum line to restore its strength and appearance while providing an added layer of protection.
Repairing damage caused by a dental abfraction is only one aspect of treatment. We must also take steps to discourage another abfraction from forming. In most cases, dental abfractions are caused by the excess force and stress of teeth grinding or clenching.
If our dentists suspect that bruxism is the cause of a dental abfraction, we may recommend a custom mouth guard. A mouth guard is worn while a person sleeps. This appliance holds the jaw in proper alignment and prevents the teeth from clenching or grinding against each other.
Misalignment or malocclusion problems are another common cause of dental abfractions for our San Antonio patients. Misalignment throws off the balance of the bite and can cause some teeth to receive more pressure than others, which may result in dental abfractions. If malocclusion problems are the cause of dental abfractions, our dentists will suggest orthodontic treatment to properly align the bite so that we can reduce the risk of additional abfractions.
It is important to treat dental abfractions before they compromise oral strength and increase the risk of dental complications. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about the restorative dentistry treatments offered by Drs. Joseph Perry and Thomas Shields, or call (210) 349-3745 to schedule an appointment.
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.