The exterior of your teeth is coated in an extremely strong type of calcium made of a substance called hydroxyapatite. This acts as a shield, protecting the underlying portions of each tooth. Although it's strong, it's certainly not unbreakable. Direct trauma to your teeth can result in small cracks and chips. Wear and tear can do the same. When your dental enamel needs assistance, it's a question of whether it needs to have something added or something removed. Does the required restoration mean that your enamel needs to have more added to it or should some be removed?
Assessing Your Dental Enamel
The strength and general health of your dental enamel can usually be assessed with a visual inspection. Your dentist will be able to note areas of concern, along with just how concerning they might be, and what possible complications you might face if the issue is not corrected. When further detail is needed, your dentist might decide to precisely measure the thickness of your dental enamel. This can be achieved with a chemical analysis of the minerals in your enamel. An ultrasound can also be performed. What happens next will usually be one of two cosmetic dental services.
Small chips, cracks, imperfections and irregularities can often be smoothed away. This is only possible when the enamel is still in a good state of health, with adequate thickness, which is why precise measurements can be necessary before treatment. When your enamel is healthy, and the issues are only surface deep, you might be a candidate for enameloplasty. This is when an insignificant amount of dental enamel is removed using a small sanding disc, smoothing out the surfaces of your teeth while still leaving enough protective enamel. The procedure is quick and painless and the results are immediate.
Synthetic Enamel Replacement
When the damage is more than surface deep, and/or when your enamel might not be in the best shape, it's not a case of removing enamel, but rebuilding it. You cannot regrow enamel, so you will need to have a synthetic replacement. This involves dental bonding, which is when a dental composite resin is applied to each tooth. It's tooth-colored, and when it has been smoothed and dried, it looks like an exact replica of your natural dental enamel. Only you and your dentist will know any different.
Correcting the surfaces of your teeth means that enamel might have to be removed or a synthetic replacement might need to be added, depending on your circumstances. Reach out to a cosmetic dentist to learn more.