Tooth enamel is a clear layer that protects your teeth from chewing, biting and clenching. It’s the hardest tissue in your body, but can wear down due to poor oral care and acidic foods and drinks.
You can repair erosion by brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drink and using a mouth guard if you grind your teeth.
Tooth enamel is the super thin, but super strong outer covering of a tooth. Its main job is to protect teeth, but it can be damaged by acid erosion and microfractures that lead to sensitivity and thinning of the tooth. Because the enamel doesn’t have living cells, it can’t repair itself if it is compromised in this way. This makes it important to take steps to prevent and treat tooth enamel damage.
Enamel bonding is one method that can be used to repair milder cases of erosion. In this cosmetic procedure, a resin tinted to match your natural teeth is applied to the eroded area of the tooth and hardened with special light. The bonding repairs the weakened area and helps strengthen your existing teeth for better overall oral health.
A remineralization process called CPIC has been developed to replace lost enamel through epitaxial growth of hydroxyapatite (HAP). This approach may offer an alternative to conventional restorative treatments that use acid etching and bonding agents.
The remineralized HAP layer grows onto and integrates with the native enamel, forming a cohesive structure that improves mechanical properties such as hardness. It also has a lower coefficient of friction than the etched native enamel, which indicates superior antiwear properties. The regenerated enamel is also less susceptible to fractures. This improvement in the tribological characteristics of enamel can help prevent long-term problems such as misalignment of the upper and lower teeth that can result in jaw disorders like TMJ.
Veneers are a popular tooth enamel repair treatment because they provide a quick fix for many cosmetic problems. Veneers are thin coverings that go over the front-facing part of a tooth and can hide flaws like chips, discoloration or small teeth. According to Healthline, veneers are a less invasive option for tooth enamel repair than crowns. They also require fewer visits to the dentist.
Before starting the veneers process, the dentist will talk with the patient about the problem they want to solve and their expectations. They will then use a local anesthetic to numb the area, making the procedure pain-free. They will then reshape the tooth and remove a small amount of enamel to prepare it for the veneers. Then, they will make a mold or digital image of the tooth that gets sent to a lab to construct the veneers.
Once they receive the custom veneers, they will set up a time to come in and bond them to the patient’s tooth. They will make sure the veneers are positioned correctly and look natural before cementing them.
After the veneers are bonded, they will need to be maintained with excellent oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day, as well as regular dental cleanings. If a person skips these steps, the veneers may develop rough patches or become discolored over time.
Although tooth enamel can’t grow back once it has been worn down or destroyed, there are methods of repair. Your dentist might recommend a dental bonding procedure or veneers to restore the look of teeth with damaged enamel and protect it. However, more severe cases of erosion might require a crown to cover the whole tooth and prevent further damage from occurring.
The main component of enamel is calcium phosphate, commonly called hydroxyapatite. Products with high concentrations of this substance can help to repair and remineralize enamel that has been eroded, especially when used in conjunction with proper oral hygiene practices and good diet habits.
Enamel erosion is easy to identify as the enamel becomes discoloured, sensitivity increases to hot or cold foods and chips or breaks easily. It is usually caused by a combination of factors, including poor dental care, certain foods and drinks, clenching/grinding and medications.
Dental crowns, also known as caps, cover a whole tooth and can be made from porcelain, ceramic or metal. They are a common option to repair broken and cracked teeth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns are visually appealing as they are very similar to natural teeth, while metal crowns are able to resist fractures. They are also sometimes used for cosmetic reasons to improve the appearance of misshapen or crooked teeth.
A root canal is used when the tooth enamel becomes damaged and exposes the soft inner tissue of a tooth, called pulp. This tissue contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that help grow the tooth during development. When a tooth sustains damage from oral trauma or tooth decay, bacteria enter the pulp and cause an infection within the tooth. A root canal is the only way to treat this condition and save the tooth.
During a root canal procedure, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth being worked on. X-rays will be taken to visualize the tooth and its roots. An access hole will be drilled into the tooth and the infection, bacteria and decayed pulp will be removed using small files. The inside of the tooth and each of its canals will be cleaned out using germ-killing medicine. The tooth is then filled with a rubber-like material.
Once the tooth has been treated, it should be capped with a filling or crowned to protect it from biting pressure and to prevent future infections. Practicing good oral hygiene is also important, such as brushing twice daily and flossing at least once per day. With proper care, a tooth treated with a root canal can last a lifetime.