Dental Abfractions: What Are the Treatments?

Dental Abfractions: What Are the Treatments?

Brooklyn Smile has built a reputation for excellent dental care and patient satisfaction. We offer comprehensive general dentistry services that are designed to help patients smile with confidence, even after suffering from serious dental health issues.

Many people are familiar with tooth decay and tooth fractures, but the concept of dental abfraction is foreign to them. Let’s go over the basics of dental abfraction and explain how we can treat it.

What Are Dental Abfractions?

A dental abfraction refers to cases in which a person loses tooth structure at the gumline. These lesions typically come in the form of angular notches when the gums meet the teeth. Over time, these angular notches can become curved.

The term “abfraction” was originally coined in 1991 to refer to these lesions. They are distinct from tooth decay and dental erosion that you may be familiar with.

The Dangers of Dental Abfractions

When dental abfraction occurs, your teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay, tooth damage, and tooth sensitivity. This is because the tooth enamel has been worn away at a particularly vulnerable part of a tooth. This increases the risk of teeth breaking and chipping, as well as discomfort when having foods and beverages that are hot or cold in temperature.

It’s ideal for dental abfraction to be treated as soon as possible in order to prevent serious dental health problems.

Controversy: What Causes of Dental Abfractions?

There is some controversy in the dental care community about the exact origins of dental abfractions.

Some dentists believe that abfractions are the result of natural pressure that is applied to the teeth on a daily basis. This means that the natural wear and tear to the teeth from biting and chewing results in the lesions appearing and developing.

Other dentists believe that abfractions are the result of mechanical stress exerted on the teeth, such as the pressure of a toothbrush against the teeth. Over time, the enamel wears away at the gumline.

In general, both of these factors play a part in dental abfraction, but the exact cause may be a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. As more research into the causes of dental abfractions occur, we will be sure to share that information with patients.

Common Treatments for Dental Abfractions

There are a few different options to consider when it comes to treating dental abfractions. In the vast majority of cases, the best treatment is the use of a tooth-colored filling or dental bonding. In each of these cases, the filling or bonding material will help rebuild the missing tooth structure and protect this vulnerable part of the tooth from further harm.

In addition to addressing the structural damage to a tooth from abfraction, dentists will also try to target related issues that contribute to abfractions developing. If a patient has crooked teeth or suffers from teeth grinding, various procedures may be recommended to deal with those problems. This helps slow down the progression of abfraction over time.

During a consultation at our practice, we will be more than happy to go over all options for treatment in greater detail.

Contact Brooklyn Smile

For more information about dental abfractions and how they can be treated, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team here at Brooklyn Smile is here to help you improve your dental health and general wellness.

718-745-3456 Book an Appointment