Worn Teeth

also on this page (see below):

  • Discolorization
  • Crooks & Crowds
  • Lost Teeth

What can you do?

Several treatment options are available for people who have chipped, cracked, or worn teeth. The most commonly used correction methods include veneers and bonding. These options present durable, cost effective alternatives to crowns and provide healthier smiles. Both of these procedures involve bonding a porcelain or resin material to a damaged tooth, then sculpting and polishing it to the desired shape.

These procedures can be done to fill in cracks, even out chips, or build up worn down teeth. They can also be used to close gaps or disguise discolored teeth that do not respond well to whitening procedures.

Bonding is a relatively simple procedure that can usually be accomplished in a single visit.

Veneers are custom made and thus stronger and longer lasting, but the process requires more time and more than one appointment.

Caring for either bonded teeth or veneers will still require good oral hygiene at home and regular check-ups.

Crooked or Crowded Teeth

People who want to straighten their crowded or crooked teeth have many options available to them. (See: Before / After Photo)

Orthodontics can be used to reposition or straighten crowded or crooked teeth, or to close gaps between them. This is usually done with braces, whether they’re traditional “invisible” clear‚ acrylic‚ or “removable” ones used to reposition only one or two teeth.

Dentists can often help relieve crowding or crookedness by pulling one or more select teeth. Minor changes can also be accomplished through porcelain veneers and bonding. With these two procedures, thin layers of tooth-colored-porcelain or resin are bonded directly to the teeth for maximum esthetic results and minimum tooth reduction.

This can then result in a straightened or aligned dental appearance without the use of braces.

A dentist should review the whole range of treatment options available with each patient. This review should include details of the scope and length of the treatment, costs and insurance coverage, and answers to any questions.

“Before and after” photographs can provide an idea of the appearance changes.

Discolored Teeth

Why do teeth become discolored? If a tooth is traumatized during some type of accident, blood vessels in the tooth’s pulp will rupture and impart a dark coloration to the natural appearance of the crown.

Also, discoloration can be caused if a silver amalgam restoration, or filling, is placed in the tooth. Tobacco, certain foods, and drinks such as coffee, tea, and red wine can also stain teeth. Cut down on the consumption of these items and brush regularly to prevent most discoloration.

Severely stained teeth may need to be bleached in order to restore whiteness. Bleaching is a procedure most effectively done by a dentist, in which a solution is applied to the enamel of the teeth, whitening any surface discoloration. Bleaching kits may be provided by your dentist to whiten your teeth at home.

Be sure to understand the complete instructions before use.

Internal discoloration caused by fillings or broken blood vessels may need to be corrected with veneers. Veneers are coverings applied to tooth surfaces that are specifically created to match the original color and shape of your existing teeth.

Lost Teeth

A tooth can be lost for a number of reasons, including dental decay, periodontal disease, injuries, and accidents. Though some my think that a missing tooth is only a cosmetic problem, losing a tooth can be a psychological and physical difficulty.

When a permanent tooth is lost, the neighboring teeth are also affected. The support and chewing forces are altered when a tooth is missing and the remaining teeth will begin to shift. The tooth above or below the one that was lost will begin to move up and out of its socket.

This accelerates periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease, and causes further breakdown in the dental tooth arch. If the missing tooth is not replaced, more teeth will eventually be lost, due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.

Crowns and bridges are the most common methods for correcting major functional or structural problems with individual teeth, missing teeth, or general bite dysfunction.

High quality porcelain and ceramic materials are available to replace missing or severely chipped teeth, making the replacement virtually undetectable.

Dental implants are also being used to successfully replace teeth for people in all age groups.