Tooth wear happens to everyone along the line. Hence it is more common to see advanced tooth wear in older people than young people. The natural wear and tear of the crowns – where the teeth connect with one another when biting down – is 0,1 mm in 10 years. This means that a front tooth is generally 1 mm shorter after a hundred years.
The problem occurs if the wear is more than that.
Tooth wear initially appears in the outer layer, the enamel, which is the hardest substance of the tooth. Once the enamel has been worn down, you reach the inner tissue, called the tooth bone. This tissue is significantly softer and subsequently wears out much faster. In scientific literature, the tooth bone diminishes 8-10 times faster on the tooth bone than in the enamel. It often looks like little cup-shaped crevices on the top of the tooth. They look like cavities, but it usually doesn’t have anything to due with bacteria.
The problem with tooth wear is that the exposed tooth bone can cause hypersensitivity, change the bite, in some cases create cavities; and it can be a cosmetic issue that you get short and stubby front teeth.
The challenge is: how do you know whether the wear is at a regular or alarming pace?
In the past, even up until quite recently, it was incredibly complicated and only possible for scientists to calculate tooth decay. You would have to take many traditional imprints with silicone, which were uncomfortable for the patients. You had to cast plaster models and have a large, delicate measuring device to calculate the decay over a period of time.
This is fortunately in the past for us!
With our advanced 3D scanner, we can make a digital imprint of your teeth at any given date, have a new print made at a later day and precisely calculate whether your teeth wear is within the norm or has to be paid attention to.
And the pace of the decline is exactly what we’re concerned about. It’s also a shift in digital imprints, which can now be used to more than producing products for teeth. It has furthermore become the perfect diagnostics tool for dentists: is this a normal or alarming decline in oral health?
Furthermore, we have the most important question of all: does this case call for invasive procedures, or can we avoid making alterations and treatments of any kind?