Many adults, with healthy teeth and gums, are now becoming aware that their front six teeth are becoming worn and flattened, usually from mid- thirties onwards, sometimes even earlier. This is often due initially to wearing of the canine teeth which then stop protecting the four front incisor teeth, allowing them to wear also. In fact this wear at the front of the mouth is usually caused by the teeth at the back of the mouth not fitting together correctly and comfortably. Patients with worn front teeth can often suffer with a combination of regularly breaking back teeth and fillings, clicking or locking jaws, tooth clenching or grinding, headaches and migraine. All of these in combination or isolation are indications of disharmony in the masticatory system as a whole.

Many adults, with healthy teeth and gums, are now becoming aware that their front six teeth are becoming worn and flattened, usually from mid- thirties onwards, sometimes even earlier. This is often due initially to wearing of the canine teeth which then stop protecting the four front incisor teeth, allowing them to wear also. In fact this wear at the front of the mouth is usually caused by the teeth at the back of the mouth not fitting together correctly and comfortably. Patients with worn front teeth can often suffer with a combination of regularly breaking back teeth and fillings, clicking or locking jaws, tooth clenching or grinding, headaches and migraine. All of these in combination or isolation are indications of disharmony in the masticatory system as a whole.

Early Diagnosis

If diagnosed early, treatment can often be limited to gentle reshaping of the back teeth and fillings so that they fit together correctly, then simply replacing the worn tips of the canine teeth by bonding white filling material straight onto the tooth. This is simple and requires no tooth preparation.

If the upper incisor teeth have already worn at the tips, these can be rebuilt by bonding on white filling material or by placing ultra- thin porcelain veneers, often with no tooth preparation at all.

If Left Untreated

If undiagnosed, or untreated at an early stage, tooth wear can progress to become a much more significant problem, the front teeth becoming very short and worn, and frequently accompanied with regularly breaking teeth and fillings at the back.

Cases like these are reasonably straight forward to treat once diagnosis of the cause of the tooth wear has been established. The key is to first diagnose the cause of the tooth wear, and then meticulously plan required treatment prior to actually starting on the live case. By following the principles of Complete Dentistry through our studies with the Dawson Academy, we are able to achieve the desired end result with the minimum of invasive dentistry, instead of just crowning every tooth. We will not start a case until we know we can achieve a predictable, stable, long lasting and natural looking result.

A Typical Worn Front Teeth Treatment Cycle

Stage 1

Comprehensive Clinical Examination and Records

We undertake a full examination of the masticatory system including the jaw joints and facial musculature. Each tooth is analysed for stability and signs of wear, fracture, decay, along with a thorough assessment of gum health. Great attention is then paid to obtaining a totally accurate record of your teeth and how the jaws actually want relate to one another if your teeth didn’t happen to get in the way of a comfortable life. A full set of clinical photographs are taken along with any appropriate radiographs. The whole process takes about 90 minutes.

Stage 2

Comprehensive Treatment Planning

Once the examination is complete, our highly trained team will construct models of your teeth and mount them on a machine which simulates your own jaws. We take this so seriously that we do not even take a chance on sending this part of your case to a laboratory. We will verify that the mounted models are correct before moving on to the next step. Once the models are mounted and we are happy, the dentist will then study the models, the photographs and radiographs to firstly diagnose the cause of the wear and then methodically plan whatever is necessary to solve your problem.

Stage 3

Case Presentation

We will sit down with you, your models and photographs and help you to understand your tooth wear and what different options there are for providing a successful solution. Every case is different, some may require a little reshaping and white filling build up, others may require restoring most of one or both upper and lower dentitions, some require a little tooth movement as part of the plan. We establish which treatment is immediately essential, which can be deferred and which are simply desirable. Sometimes we can defer a permanent solution of years by the provision of correctly chosen splints and night guards which will halt the destructive tooth wear cycle until a point in time when a more permanent solution is practicable.

Stage 4

Delivery of the Approved Treatment Plan

Once we are all agreed on the best way forward, we will put together a timetable for the treatment required, and if appropriate and possible split the treatments into phases.

For details on some of the advanced cosmetic techniques we may utilise please see our section on smile makeovers.

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Your initial visit will allow you to look around the practice, meet the team, and discuss any concerns you may have with one of our experienced dentists.