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Is Wear on Patients' Teeth Normal?

I'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.

worn dentition

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.

HubSpot Video

When you have a patient that comes in that does not have any symptoms or any pain or any issues from wear, that patient still deserves the right to have concern expressed for that wear. Once dentin gets exposed in the mouth, that problem is only going to accelerate and get worse. This is 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 dental CE course. 

The relationship between TMJ's and Occlusion

Picture of Dr. Leonard Hess

Leonard A. Hess, DDS is the Clinical Director at The Dawson Academy and joined the faculty in 2009. He owns Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, and practices full time in addition to teaching continuing education courses. He is a member of the editorial board for Inside Dentistry and has had over 17 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. He is also a member of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, AACD, ADA, AES, and NCDS. Dr. Hess began teaching continuing education courses in 2005 on topics including occlusion, smile design, treatment planning, preparation design, and practice integration of Complete Care Dentistry. He’s taught full-day continuing education courses at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s national meeting, The Greater New York Dental Meeting, AACD National Meeting, Pacific Dental Conference, Ontario Dental Association meeting, and The Yankee Dental Conference. Dr. Hess has taught courses in Japan, Germany, Poland, China, and Canada.