One of the top priorities at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney is providing our patients with quality dental care that will assist them in maintaining strong, healthy teeth. However, we know that there are many factors that threaten the structure of the teeth and leave patients dealing with oral health problems. Our dentists are happy to offer several restorative dentistry treatments that rebuild tooth strength and repair a wide range of dental problems.
One type of dental damage includes dental abfractions, which are notches that form in the tooth by the gum line. These notches compromise tooth strength and leave the roots of the tooth vulnerable to infection. Fortunately, patients can undergo treatment for dental abfractions at our Charlotte, NC practice. This treatment restores the strength and structure of the tooth while protecting the delicate nerves.
Causes of Dental Abfractions
Our dentists approach oral health problems in two ways. First, we repair dental damage to restore oral strength and health. Second, we address the underlying cause of the issue to ensure the problem doesn’t develop again.
So, what is it that causes dental abfractions? Dental abfractions are notches that form by the gum line, and gradually deepen over time. These notches are a result of excessive pressure and force. The enamel by the gum line tends to be softer, which is why the notches form on this area of the tooth.
The two most common causes of dental abfractions are aggressive tooth brushing (or brushing with a hard-bristled tooth brush) and bruxism, which is the act of clenching and grinding the teeth. Both of these habits expose the softer tissues of the tooth to more wear and tear than they are meant to withstand.
Treating Dental Abfractions
The most common treatment for dental abfractions is a tooth-colored filling, or dental bonding. During this treatment, a tooth-colored dental compound is applied directly to the damaged tooth. Just like a filling “fills” in a cavity formed by decay, this bonding material fills in the notch of a dental abfraction.
When the abfraction has been filled, the compound is shaped to the tooth to restore its natural appearance. Finally, the compound is hardened. While the bonding compound hardens it also forms a bond with the tooth, which improves oral strength. Aside from restoring the strength and structure of the tooth, dental bonding treatment seals off the sensitive roots of the tooth to prevent a root canal infection.
Once a tooth has been restored, we will provide any necessary treatment to prevent another abfraction from forming. If aggressive tooth brushing is a concern, we will discuss proper tooth brushing techniques and recommend a toothbrush that is not likely to cause dental damage.
More commonly, a patient is in need of a dental mouth guard. A dental mouth guard is worn over a patient’s teeth while they sleep to prevent the grinding and clenching that can cause dental abfractions and other oral damage.
Schedule an Appointment
A dental abfraction compromises tooth strength and increases the risk of other dental complications, so it is important to treat one as soon as possible. To learn how restorative dentistry treatment can improve the health and strength of your smile, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney at your earliest convenience.