Restore Your Oral Health with Treatment for Dental Abfractions
Dental damage describes any situation in which the enamel of a tooth has become weak, worn down, or deteriorated. While many cases of dental damage are caused by tooth decay (a condition in which bacteria damage healthy tooth enamel), there are many other types of dental damage.
A dental abfraction describes a small section of damage that occurs near the base of a tooth, close to the tooth’s roots. These notches expose the delicate tissues and nerves at the center of a tooth and increase the risk of infection and tooth loss. Restorative dentistry treatments rebuild damaged tooth enamel to improve the strength of a damaged tooth and restore its protective layer.
At his dental practice, Dr. Byron J. Nordhus offers restorative treatment for dental abfractions so his Wichita, KS patients can enjoy a strong, healthy smile. He also offers treatment for any condition that may have caused the abfraction to form.
What Causes Dental Abfractions?
Dental abfractions are unique because they are not caused by bacteria, plaque, tartar, or acids. Instead, abfractions form when the teeth are exposed to too much force. One common cause of dental abfractions is overly aggressive brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. The tooth enamel near the roots of the tooth tends to be softer and is more susceptible to damage from excessive wear and tear.
Bruxism, or grinding and clenching, is another common cause of dental abfractions. This habit exposes the teeth to continual force and pressure, which can wear down enamel at the base of the tooth.
Finally, dental abfractions may be caused by malocclusion problems. When the teeth and bite are not properly aligned, the force of a bite may not be distributed and absorbed properly. This can result in some teeth being subject to an excessive amount of force.
Treating Dental Abfractions
There are two steps to treating dental abfractions. First, it is important to address the cause of a dental abfraction so that further damage does not develop. This may include any of the following:
- Teaching proper brushing techniques and having the patient switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Providing the patient with a custom-fit dental mouth guard that can be worn at night to prevent teeth grinding and clenching
- Orthodontic treatment to improve the position of the teeth and correct the bite
Even if the cause of a dental abfraction is addressed, additional treatment will be needed. Dental abfractions do not heal naturally, so the second phase of abfraction treatment is rebuilding the tooth through restorative dentistry treatment. The most common treatment for a dental abfraction is a tooth-colored filling. During treatment, Dr. Nordhus applies a tooth-colored dental compound to the area of damage to fill in the notch that has formed. Once this material is shaped to the tooth, it is hardened with a special dental light. The filling strengthens the tooth and seals off its roots and nerves to prevent further dental complications.
Schedule an Appointment
A dental abfraction compromises the strength of the tooth and increases the risk of oral health problems, so it is important to treat the condition as soon as possible. Dr. Byron J. Nordhus is happy to offer a comprehensive range of restorative dentistry treatments that address all manners of dental decay, including abfractions. To learn more about these services, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nordhus at your earliest convenience.