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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

Dr. Leonard A. Hess maintains a comprehensive-focused private practice in Monroe, North Carolina. Growing up in the mid-west, Dr. Hess attended Indiana University for his undergraduate education. His doctor of Dental Surgery degree was obtained from Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago, IL. Dr. Hess is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Equilibration Society, ADA, AGD, NCDS, and CDS. Locally, Dr. Hess has served on the peer-review board for his ADA district. He has also served on the Board of Directors of SPCC College in Union Co. As a senior faculty member of the Dawson Academy, Dr. Hess has demonstrated a passion for learning and teaching from the very start of his career. In the past six years Dr. Hess has taught hundreds of hours of hands-on continuing education throughout the country. From study clubs to the AACD national meeting, Dr. Hess has helped thousands of his peers incorporate functional esthetic care into their practices. Dr. Hess currently evaluates and tests new products for manufacturers such as Whip-Mix, Septodont, Heraeus, Kerr, and Dentsply. In addition, Dr. Hess is a frequently featured author in Advanced Esthetics and Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Inside Dentistry, Contemporary Esthetics and Restorative Dentistry, and Vistas. Dr. Hess resides with his wife and son in Weddington, NC. Outside of dentistry he enjoys spending time with his family, golf, aviation, traveling, skiing, and auto racing.