Can dental bonding prevent enamel loss? Sure it can. When your dentist applies a bonding agent to your teeth and a composite resin, the resin works as a protective layer for the enamel. Your teeth become structurally stronger unless they have internal decay. The resin can protect your teeth for up to ten years before it needs to be redone or replaced.
Bonding is an inexpensive treatment. It costs up to $400 per tooth. But that cost depends primarily on how much area needs to be bonded. More area means higher costs.
It is also a non-invasive treatment. Your dentist must only etch your enamel with acid to prepare it for the bonding agent. The resin composite is placed on the agent layer. You can go home with all treatments done in one appointment.
What causes enamel loss?
Enamel is the hardest of human tissues. It is also highly mineralized. It consists of crystal rods that give it a tough structure that can last a lifetime in a hostile place like the mouth. There are fluctuations of heat in the mouth. There are minerals, acids, bacteria, and heavy frictions. It may not regenerate or repair itself, but its mechanical properties make it last decades.
However, it still can erode. The following few circumstances may be familiar to you:
- You consume lots of acidic food.
- Your acid reflux is frequent.
- During a previous bonding treatment, your enamel was etched.
- During a previous debonding of resin composite, your enamel was irritated.
- You had to shave off your enamel for veneers or crowns.
- Serious tooth decay is a characteristic of your mouth.
- Your body lacks specific minerals that are important for enamel.
- You grind your teeth often.
- Pregnant? Enamel loss can happen.
- You are into sports beverages.
- An eating disorder is a potential cause.
- You do not consume enough calcium-rich items.
- Certain medications can cause enamel loss.
- Your mouth does not generate enough saliva to keep your enamel healthy.
Can you wear off tooth enamel by brushing your teeth?
Brushing your teeth aggressively for an extended period can certainly impact your tooth enamel. But that impact is only minimal. However, the impact can be more significant if your anti-enamel lifestyle is added. Improper brushing can do the same. However, archaeological evidence proves that enamel loss can happen to your teeth if you brush them rarely.
What happens when teeth lose enamel
When the enamel layer erodes, it does not grow back. The erosion is permanent. The result is the following:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
- Infection in the pulp chamber.
- Gum infection because the enamel has also eroded under the gum, creating pockets for bacteria to grow.
- Bone loss.
- Facial disfiguration.
- Effect on speaking clearly.
- Severe dental pain.
- Gum inflammation.
Some of these are direct results, while some are byproducts. For example, gum infection can cause pulp infection, which, in turn, can spread to the adjacent area and the other parts of the mouth, thus creating a ripple effect.
What does enamel loss look like?
Enamel loss appears with a few visible signs. If you have one of the following, or a combination of two or more, your enamel is wearing off.
- Your teeth appear yellow.
- They look dull but more transparent.
- Your teeth are very sensitive to hot or cold items.
- They look rounded as their edges break down under biting pressure because of being thin and structurally weak.
- They have certain dents on the surface.
- You have tooth decay in your mouth.
Whether you are losing tooth enamel should be left to an experienced dental professional.
Tooth decay can happen for all sorts of problems other than enamel loss. Teeth can look yellow or dull and may grow tiny dents or holes on their surfaces for reasons unrelated to enamel loss.
If only one tooth appears yellow while the others look healthy, that tooth may suffer from a specific dental defect. It is better to leave it to your dentist to create a treatment plan for you.
Can the enamel loss be detected early for treatment?
Unfortunately, enamel loss at its early stages is asymptomatic. Your teeth do not appear yellow. They look yellow only when the loss has happened. Neither do they become soft. The structural defects of the teeth become noticeable only when the enamel loss has become acute. The process can be very slow for some people, but for many, it can be fast if certain eating habits and lifestyles are present.
Why does enamel not grow back?
Eroded tooth enamel does not grow back because, first of all, it is acellular. It is a dead entity.
Secondly, it is generated by a layer of organic content that gets lost during the tooth’s development and maturation. The organic content is called ameloblasts. It is a protein.
Since that protein is removed, scientists do not have enough information regarding how the enamel generation process works.
Not only do scientists not have enough knowledge regarding the formation of enamel, but they also do not fully understand the origin of teeth.
Third, the enamel is not a bone. Bone is living tissue, and those tissues remain active for most of a person’s life.
How can composite bonding help treat enamel loss?
Composite dental bonding does not require the removal of enamel from your teeth, as in the case of veneers or crowns. The process is reversible, unlike crowns and veneers. The rough edges of the teeth will be smoothened, and the tooth surface washed with acid, but that is as invasive as it can get.
After a good wash, your dentist will apply a bonding agent to your teeth. The agent requires activation by light. Nowadays, dentists use LED lights instead of halogen lights to keep the heat under control.
Once the bonding agent is activated fully, your dentist applies composite resin to it. The resin is a filling material cured under the LED light. Once the teeth receive desired thickness and size, they are polished with water.
Bonding does not bring back lost enamel or add a layer of enamel to your teeth. No treatment can do that.
Bonding helps protect the enamel remaining on your teeth so that it does not erode more. It shields the enamel layer from decay, an unexpected force, the demineralizing impact of your saliva, the acid from food or beverages you consume, and exposure to hot or cold items.
Most importantly, you do not need to shave off your enamel layer to make room for the bonding agent.
Composite resin can be customized to your chosen shade. That helps mask the yellow color of your teeth. The dentin of your tooth cannot be seen through the resin layer, making the treatment great.
- Nature Communications
- Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
- The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
- Cell Calcium
- International Journal of Dentistry
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