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Is Wear on Patients' Teeth Normal?

Worn DentitionI'd like to take a moment and talk with you about what we should be thinking when we see patients that have wear.

One of the very first things that we have to realize is that wear is not normal.

Patients should not have exposed dentin in their mouth. If a patient has worn away enough enamel to get exposure of the dentin, we have to realize that this is an advanced problem, and something that should be addressed, and something that should be expressing concern for our patients with regard to the wear.

Wear is a great indication of instability within a patient's occlusion. We talk about wear, migration, and mobility when we think of the occlusion and the ways that we will see instability show up into our patients' dentition.

So when you have a patient that comes in, and they're not having any symptoms or any pain or any issues from wear, that patient still deserves the right to have concern expressed for that wear because once dentin gets exposed in the mouth, that problem is only going to accelerate and get worse, and it's a wonderful opportunity for you to sit down with your patient and express a concern for what you're seeing in their mouth.

To learn more about the worn dentition, why it happens, and how to treat it, reserve a spot in the Functional Occlusion - From TMJ to Smile Design course. 

The relationship between TMJ's and Occlusion

Leonard Hess, D.D.S. is a senior faculty member at The Dawson Academy, joining the faculty in 2009. He owns Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he practices full time in addition to teaching continuing education courses all around the world.