Amazing New Cosmetic Dental Procedures Make Dental Frustrations A Thing Of The Past!

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DaVinci Porcelain Veneers


Porcelain Onlays/Inlays

Tooth Whitening

Tooth Shaping




Extreme Makeover

“The eyes are the window to the soul.  A smile is the window to the heart.”

Cosmetic Dentistry Is a beautiful, sparkling smile possible with just one visit to the dentist’s office? Having a bright and white smile doesn’t need to be time consuming or painful. In as little as a day you can be back enjoying life while avoiding anxiety that can accompany a dentistry visit. In fact, Hamblin Dental in Sandy Utah provides a pleasant and friendly environment for all of our patients. We truly are a family business that welcomes all families.Our dentist and expert staff uses only the least invasive techniques with the highest quality materials. Do you have spaces or gaps in your teeth? A chipped tooth? Stained teeth? Veneers improve the appearance of teeth and can also repair damage. Implants are superior to dentures. And teeth-whitening procedures are more effective and easier than ever. Dr. Hamblin is skilled in several different dental surgeries and procedures that will enable you to smile with confidence. We guarantee that brand new, immaculate smile will last, but the pain won’t.

At our office you get the benefit of Dr. Scott Hamblin’s 20 years of experience exclusively in cosmetic, implant, and sedation dentistry. In the world of cosmetic dentistry, there is no one with more certifications, accreditations, and endorsements than Dr. Hamblin. But most importantly, he deeply cares about each patient. Don’t fret over an imperfect smile. Call our Sandy, UT office today, Between Salt lake and Provo, to get the cosmetic dental work you deserve and make Dr Hamblin your Dentist today!

It has been noted by many social studies that the first thing we notice about people is their eyes. The second thing we notice is their smile.

Often, we are judged professionally and socially based on our appearance. A confident smile helps us project a positive image. People who don’t smile naturally, may be seen as timid, lacking confidence, or possibly, even unfriendly. When you have a white smile that is healthy glowing, many benefits follow. When you smile, people around you will smile too!

Nature didn’t give you a perfect smile? Do you wish you could wave a magic wand and have a smile that projects your true personality?
Porcelain Veneers are a breakthrough in cosmetic dentistry. Veneers are a thin, “shell” of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth. Veneers enable us to change the color, shape, and alignment of your teeth in just two visits.

Veneers are more durable than conventional “bonding.” Because they are made of porcelain, they are very strong and are resistant to staining and chipping. An additional advantage of Veneers is that they are a more conservative procedure than crowns.

Veneers are a cosmetic treatment for a variety of dental conditions including:

  • Spaces or gaps
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Stained or discolored teeth-you can have a whiter, brighter smile!
  • Crooked teeth

The change in a person’s appearance after a “smile lift” can be dramatic. When we look good, we feel good, and the people around us take notice. Projecting an image of self-confidence can be life-changing! Dr. Hamblin has been changing the lives of many with veneers for over 20 years. We have had patients get married, land a new job, or get a promotion soon after getting their new smile!

People seek aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry for a variety of reasons. Some people want to look younger, and aesthetic dentistry is like a smile facelift that can quickly “reverse” the natural aging process of the teeth. Others, the majority, have had an unattractive smile their whole lives and have always felt self-conscious because of this. They rarely smile, which covers up a pleasant side of their personality.

What is Aesthetic Dentistry.

What is Aesthetic Dentistry?

DEFINITION OF AESTHETIC — characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste; “that which appeals to the senses” pleasing in appearance. People seek aesthetic dentistry for a variety of reasons. Some people want to look younger, and aesthetic dentistry is like a smile facelift that can quickly “reverse” the natural aging process of the teeth. Others, the majority, have had an unattractive smile their whole lives and have always felt self-conscious because of this. They rarely smile, which covers up a pleasant side of their personality.Modern dentistry offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile. The options range from porcelain veneers, dental implants, porcelain crowns to braces (or invisalign)! In many situations, a combination of these techniques is required to provide the ultimate result.Dr. Scott Hamblin explains the many different techniques available in the field of aesthetic dentistry and shows you the simulated before and after right on the computer screen and sometimes he actually can show you what your new smile could look like when treatment is completed. If you have ever thought about cosmetic dentistry, this appointment with Dr Hamblin can be extremely helpful in understanding what is possible.

Porcelain Veneers

What is the dental science behind porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are the most recent application of the art and science of cosmetic dental bonding. For decades dentists have had available to them materials which can create a durable bond to tooth enamel. Porcelain veneer technique utilizes the bonding capabilities of these materials to securely attach a thin sheet of porcelain (the porcelain veneer) to a tooth. Although porcelain is inherently brittle, when it is firmly bonded to a sturdy substructure (a tooth) it becomes very strong and durable.

What are the advantages of Porcelain Veneers over other types of cosmetic dental bonding?

Two of the greatest advantages of porcelain veneers over other types of cosmetic dental bonding are:

  • Porcelain Veneers create a very life-like tooth appearance.  You might be surprised to learn that while yes, a major component of teeth is enamel, they are not solid enamel. The enamel component of a tooth is actually only an outer shell
  • Porcelain Veneers resist staining

Cosmetic dental bonding materials utilized in the past had the shortcoming of being susceptible to staining and discoloring. This was especially a problem for those people whose teeth had excessive exposure to tea, coffee, red wine, or cigarette smoking.

A significant advantage of porcelain veneers over other types of cosmetic dental bonding is related to the fact that a porcelain veneer’s surface is just that, porcelain. Since porcelain is a ceramic, and therefore glass-like, its surface is extremely smooth and impervious. This means that the surface of a porcelain veneer will not pick up permanent stains.

What are the advantages of Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers (porcelain laminates) can often be an effective method by which to make cosmetic changes in teeth that are chipped, worn, stained, crooked, or discolored. Please note that case selection is an extremely important factor in the success of this technique. Porcelain veneers cannot be utilized in every situation.

Only an examination by your dentist can determine if porcelain veneers are an appropriate method by which to make the changes you desire. Even if you find that porcelain veneers are not appropriate for your circumstances, your dentist will most likely be able to suggest other treatment options that are suitable.

One property of this enamel covering is that it’s translucent. This means that when light strikes a tooth’s surface it is not immediately reflected off, but instead penetrates into the thickness of the enamel. This light will subsequently be reflected off the non-translucent tooth structure that lies beneath the enamel. This property of translucency is an important part of what gives teeth their characteristic appearance.

Historically the cosmetic dental bonding materials dentists have had available to them were only semi-translucent. This means that most of the light striking the tooth did not penetrate into the bonding layer but instead was reflected off the bonding’s outer surface. The net result was that while the bonding did give the tooth an improved appearance, there was no sense of depth projected. No sense of a tooth’s characteristic translucency.

Porcelain veneers, because they are glass-like, have a great advantage over other types of cosmetic dental bonding by the fact that they are translucent. When they are bonded onto a tooth’s surface they mimic the light handling characteristics of enamel.

Light striking a porcelain veneer will penetrate its thickness, and then subsequently be reflected back out once it has reached the opaque cement and tooth structure lying underneath the veneer. This translucency effect provides a sense of depth, and thus a very life-like appearance.
What happens during the procedure?

Patients need three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding.
Diagnosis and treatment planning: It’s critical that you take an active role in the smile design. Spend time in the decision-making and planning of the smile. Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. Have more than one consultation, if necessary, to feel comfortable that your dentist understands your objectives.

Preparation of teeth: This appointment will take from one to two hours. To prepare the teeth for the porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. At this appointment, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This can take about one to two weeks. If the teeth are too unsightly a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost.

Bonding of veneers:   This appointment will take about one or two hours. First, the dentist places the veneers with water or glycerine on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or color. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, view the esthetic results, and pay particular attention to the color. At this point, the color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. The color cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a visible light beam initiates the release of a catalyst to harden the cement.

How about maintenance?

For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your “new” teeth that have been changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily. After one or two weeks, you’ll return for a follow-up appointment.

DaVinci Porcelain Veneers

DaVinci Porcelain Laminate Veneers, or simply “veneers”, are custom-made porcelain wafers that the dentist places over the fronts of the teeth to enhance their appearance and also to repair damage. Veneers can dramatically change a person’s smile and help improve their self-confidence. In the 1920’s and 30’s, actors, actresses and other performers would often go to the extreme measure of having their teeth extracted and dentures (false teeth) made to improve their smile. Fortunately, this radical procedure has given way to veneers, a far more conservative approach. Veneers are what give many Hollywood movie stars that dazzling smile we see on the silver screen.

Veneers can be used to improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can whiten stained or discolored smiles, close gaps between teeth, “correct” a crooked smile without the need for braces, repair chips and imperfections, and create a more attractive or youthful looking smile. The procedure usually involves removing only a thin amount of the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel. The dentist then takes molds (impressions) of the mouth. Temporary veneers are then placed for the patient to wear while the permanent veneers are being made. The procedure usually takes between one and a half and two hours. Next, the laboratory carefully crafts the porcelain into veneers. In about two weeks, the veneers are ready for the dentist to fasten to the fronts of the teeth. This process improves your smiles appearance.


Dr Hamblin has been providing clear braces in Sandy Utah for 20 years. Invisalign are transparent aligners that adjust teeth the same as wire braces would. This orthodontic device is practically invisible! The process of the invisalign treatment involves scanning a mold of the patients teeth onto a computer to make a computerized model. The computer then creates multiple stages of how your teeth currently are to the desired state you wish your teeth to be. Each stage of the invisalign process is made in to individual molds which you switch out every few weeks as they shift to straighten your teeth. Invisalign right here in Sandy, Utah and Salt Lake City. Fees for Invisalign generally run a little higher than for traditional braces, but for a limited time, our fees for clear braces is $4200 all inclusive. call today for details or to see if you are a good candidate for clear braces.


Lumineers (Porcelain) veneers are one of the more popular procedures. Dr. Hamblin has been providing veneers for patients from Salt Lake City, Sandy, and all over Utah for over 6 years. He was the team dentist for the Oakland A’s in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. A thin porcelain shell is bonded to the front of the teeth. Unlike conventional bonding there is very little chance of discoloration. Porcelain veneers are highly resistant to coffee and cigarette stains. The procedure is also quick and painless. Not only do porcelain veneers help in teeth staining, they also can mask chips in the teeth. They are also easy to maintain with brushing and flossing everyday. Similarly, porcelain crowns can be used. Unlike veneers, a crown covers the entire tooth. Porcelain or Ceramic crowns are a good alternative if there is more structural damage to your teeth such as cracks and larger chips.

Porcelain Onlays/Inlays

Porcelain Onlays and Inlays are another procedure to consider. Onlays and Inlays are a good option for restoration of teeth. Some dentists use the new CEREC 3. The CEREC 3 is nice for a single tooth, but if you need more than one restoration, conventional impressions are required. Onlays are effective in particular for fixing the back area of your teeth. An Onlay covers all points while an Inlay is similar to a filling. Both the Onlay and Inlay are formed from a composite resin. This resin is tooth colored and painlessly bonded to the tooth. The resin structurally reinforces the tooth ensuring your smile lasts for a long time.

In general, tooth color fillings(safe with no MERCURY) made of resin are a good choice for reinforcing the structure of your teeth. Crowns are also a good idea. The crown, made of porcelain, ceramic or fused metal, acts like a cap that holds the tooth together if it is cracked or decaying.
Cosmetic dental implants can easily solve the problem of missing teeth. The procedure involves directly placing the implant into the jawbone, acting like a natural tooth root. The tooth is usually made of metallic or a bonelike ceramics that easily blends with other surrounding teeth. The implant is extremely permanent and stable. A custom framework then directly fits over the bone ensuring stability. Dental implants have a 95% success rate.

Tooth Whitening


Tooth whitening involves the use of peroxide-based materials to whiten teeth. Most dentists use an in-office and/or at-home whitening system to achieve the desired results. Before tooth whitening, the patient must get all cavities filled, and the gums must be healthy. The in-office systems use 35% hydrogen peroxide gels coupled with a high intensity light to whiten the teeth. The gums need to be protected with some systems, and then gels are placed on the teeth. A laser or plasma arc light source activates the peroxide to oxidize stains on the tooth surface. In about an hour, the teeth become four to six shades lighter. our experience is that 10-20% get NO CHANGE AT ALL. At-home systems most often use 10 to 20% carbamine peroxide gels to oxidize stains. We make impressions (molds) of the mouth, and then have soft mouth trays made. The patient is fitted with the trays, and then is instructed to place a thin ribbon of the gel into the tray and wear while sleeping. Most whitening occurs in one to two weeks. In difficult cases, trays may need to be worn for up to six weeks. I have found that at-home systems work the best. The procedure is safe when monitored by a dentist, and does not damage the tooth in any way. We have found that 10-20% experience temporary but intense tooth sensitivity and as stated earlier 10-20% do not respond to whitening. White fillings (resin, bonding) or porcelain crowns (caps) and bridges will not whiten significantly with either method. Some patients will experience temporary tooth sensitivity during whitening procedures.

The cost of in-office whitening is between $500 and $1100 At-home systems cost between $400-$800. Store bought bleaching systems are not as effective as dentist-managed systems. Unsupervised use of store-bought bleaching systems can cause painful sensitivity to untreated dental cavities. The mouth trays are not custom made, which can cause gum irritation, and the peroxides are not as strong or effective.

Why would I need my teeth whitened?
There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin color vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discolored as we get older. Your teeth can also be stained on the surface through food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth. Calculus or tartar can also affect the color of teeth. Some people may have staining under the surface, which can be caused by certain antibiotics or tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains.

What treatments does Tooth Whitening do for stained teeth?
Ask Dr Hamblin about tooth-whitening options. They include a number of over-the-counter whitening systems, whitening toothpastes, and the latest high-tech options. Supervised bleaching procedures that are done in-office and at-home have become among the most popular treatment options. In some cases, the procedure is performed entirely in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. In other cases, we get the procedure started during an office visit and then give you what you need to complete it at home. Still another popular procedure is one that you complete entirely at home. ( Dr Hamblin’s preferred method) At-home procedures, sometimes called nightguard vital bleaching, consist of placing a bleaching solution, usually a peroxide mixture, in a tray (nightguard) that has been custom fitted for your mouth by an oral health care professional. The bleaching solutions may vary in potency and may be worn for an hour, or throughout the night. Dr Hamblin can advise you on the appropriate type of application and the length of time needed to whiten your teeth, based on the severity of tooth discoloration and your specific needs.

How effective is Tooth Whitening?
Bleaching is effective in lightning most stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee, and tea. Based on clinical studies, 96 percent of patients with these kinds of stains experience some lightning effect. Other types of stains, such as those produced by tetracycline use or fluorosis (too much fluoride), respond to bleaching less reliably. Dr Hamblin points out that bleaching systems are not fully predictable. If you have a tooth-color filling when your teeth are bleached, the filling will stay yellow—dental restorations do not change color when tooth whitener is applied. You will need to replace the restorations.

Are there any side effects to Tooth Whitening?
In some studies, patients have experienced uncomfortable short-term side effects when having teeth bleached. Hydrogen peroxide can increase temperature sensitivity in the teeth, particularly at higher concentrations, and nightguards often cause gum irritation. And overzealous use of over-the-counter home bleaching products can wear away tooth enamel, especially with solutions that contain acid. Therefore, bleaching is a procedure best done under the care of your dentist. Still, the general health risks of bleaching systems are minimal as far as your body is concerned. Applications are controlled so that you don’t swallow hydrogen peroxide.

How white can your teeth become?
How white your teeth can become from bleaching and whitening is a common question with a very subjective answer. Some whitening procedures claim they can whiten your teeth by up to nine shades, but that is highly unlikely. Just a change of two or three shades will make a significant difference in just about anyone’s smile. There is no one standard system in the dental field to measure and determine tooth color.

Not all of your teeth are the same natural color. Usually your eye teeth tend to be darker than the others, your front teeth are typically the whitest, and molars tend to be a shade between the two. The goal for everyone is to achieve their individual optimum whiteness while still looking natural. During your first consultation for tooth whitening, Dr Hamblin will go over what you personally can expect for your specific smile. How white teeth will become from a given procedure will vary from person to person. The structure of your teeth and the type of procedure implemented will affect the outcome.

How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The effects of whitening can last up to three years. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. Ask your dentist for their opinion before you start the treatment.

How can I look after my teeth once they have been whitened by Dr Hamblin?
You can help to keep your teeth white by cutting down on the amount of food and drink you have that can stain teeth. Don’t forget, stopping smoking can also help prevent discoloring and staining. We recommend the following tips to care for your teeth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year

Cosmetic Dentistry Tooth Shapening


Tooth shaping involves removing a small amount (generally 1 to 2 millimeters) of the enamel of the teeth. Tooth shaping can shorten long teeth, round off pointed teeth, and help create a pleasing smile that gently follows the contour of the lower lip. The procedure is quick and painless (the enamel has no nerves), and is usually completed in less than 30 minutes. A small minority of patients gets slight sensitivity after tooth shaping. This can be remedied with prescription strength fluoride or in-office desensitizers. The procedure does not appear to cause any long-term damage to the teeth. Tooth shaping is relatively economical, and generally costs about $25 to $75 per tooth.

Cosmetic Dentistry Resin Or Tooth Colored Fillings

Resin fillings, also referred to as composite, white fillings or bonding, can make a substantial improvement in the appearance of the teeth in a short period of time. Resin is what dentists use to repair small cavities or chips in front teeth, as well as fill cavities cosmetically in back teeth. Resin can do virtually the same thing as porcelain veneers with respect to improving the appearance of the teeth. Using resin instead of porcelain veneers for cosmetic dentistry saves time and money, however there are disadvantages with resin. They are not as strong as porcelain veneers, and require repairs every few years. Resin can discolor over time, and does not have as much natural beauty as porcelain veneers. Resin cosmetic procedures can usually be completed in about an hour. The cost ranges from about $300 to $400 to per tooth.

Cosmetic Dentistry Gum-Lifts

Gum-lifts (gingivectomy) involve the removal of gum to make the teeth appear longer, and the gum-line even. People who have excess gum covering the front teeth and an upper lip that comes up high when they smile are often self-conscious about their “gummy” smile. An uneven gum-line can make the teeth appear to have different lengths, which takes away from the appearance of an attractive smile.

To correct these problems, the dentist numbs the area and removes the excess gum. The patient is instructed to use an antiseptic mouth rinse such as Peridex on a Q-tip and apply upward pressure on the gums as they heal. The procedure is not painful, but some mild discomfort can be expected a day or two after the procedure. The gum is not damaged due to the procedure as long as the dentist has experience, and removes the proper amount. The procedure can usually be completed in about 30 minutes. Gum-lifts generally cost about $500 to $875 per arch. When I do a veneer case, I often include a gum-lift, if needed, at no extra cost.

Cosmetic Dentistry Braces


Orthodontics or braces can improve the appearance of teeth in children and adults who have crooked teeth or teeth with wide gaps. I sometimes recommend 6 month power braces or INVISALIGN to my adult patients for cosmetic reasons, some are interested, but most would rather use other cosmetic options that get results faster, usually within two weeks, and often for less money.

Extreme Makeover

Aesthetic dentistry is a crucial part of an Extreme Makeover. Improving your smile can be one of the easiest ways to improve your appearance. A great smile not only looks great but also makes you feel confident. Hold a mirror to your face and smile. What do you notice? In considering cosmetic dentistry it is important to look at three things: bite, gums, and teeth. Aesthetic dentistry can improve and maintain your bite. Think about your gums. Are they healthy, well-colored, and adequately frame your teeth? Also, look at your teeth. Do you have fillings? Are your teeth discolored from coffee or smoking? Are your teeth poorly shaped with chips and cracks?

Extreme Makeover Dentist Options

Extreme Makeover Dentist Dr Hamblin may target your bite, gums, and teeth to not only improve the look of your smile but also help to maintain your teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry may use bonding to restore the shape and size of your teeth. Gum reshaping can help to reframe your teeth. Chips and cracks can be erased with filling and reshaping the teeth. Those stains can also be erased and your teeth given a refreshed pearly white color!
You have several options in choosing different procedures from full-mouth reconstruction to smaller procedures targeted on specific problems like tooth discoloring. Look at the procedures available and determine what kind of smile you wish to have.
Technology can help you to choose what cosmetic dentistry you are looking for. Digital cameras and computer imaging can allow you to visually see the effect of the procedures you are considering. A picture of your existing smile is taken and then placed on the computer monitor. A program then simulates different procedures, altering your smile with reshaping and reconstruction. Using the computer in such a way, allows you to design your smile and get an idea of the outcome of cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Extreme Makeover Dentist – Procedures
A common problem among those considering cosmetic dentistry is stains on the teeth. The simplest and least expensive way to brighten the color of your teeth is through Teeth Whitening or Teeth Bleaching. When done well, teeth whitening can last for five years if the patient avoids things that overly stain teeth such as coffee and smoking. Touch-ups to teeth whitening are recommended.
Often from common wear and tear, teeth have chips and cracks. Cosmetic dentistry can easily fix these common problems and not only enhance your smile but ensure your teeth stay healthy.

Bonding is a procedure in cosmetic dentistry that is used to fix chips or fill gaps. Bonding is achieved by applying a type of thin white-colored plastic to the outside of the teeth. As technology has advanced, there are now more options than simple bonding.

Why is my enamel going away?
Enamel Hypoplasia (EH) is a tooth enamel defect that results in a tooth or teeth having less than the normal amount of enamel. The missing enamel is usually localized, which results in small dents, grooves or pits on the outer surface of the affected tooth. This makes the tooth’s surface very rough, and the defects often stand out because they are brown or yellow in color. In extreme cases, the tooth enamel is missing entirely, causing the affected tooth to be misshapen or abnormally small.

Enamel hypoplasia is typically caused by malnutrition, illness, infection or fever during tooth formation. Some medications can also affect the teeth that were developing at the time of dosage. Environmental factors can interfere with tooth formation as well, such as being exposed to toxic chemicals at a very young age. In many cases, the exact cause of enamel hypoplasia cannot be determined.  In extreme cases, Dr. Hamblin might choose to remove the tooth affected by enamel hypoplasia and replace it with a dental implant or a bridge.

Enamel Erosion is a dental condition or result that has a seemingly infinite number of causes:

Acid producing foods, such as:

  • Sugared candies
  • Sour candy (often worse than sugared)
  • Soft Drinks (soda pop)
  • Sports Beverages
  • Energy Drinks
  • Energy Bars
  • Lime – Lemon sucking (citrus fruits)
  • Processed snacks with high sugar content
  • Coffee and tea beverages flavored with sugar

Xerostomia – Reduced levels saliva-dry mouth
Diabetic medications
Post chemotherapy medications
Congenital Xerostomia
Amphetamine abuse (cotton mouth – meth mouth)
Alcohol based mouth rinses
Allergic reactions to restorative dentistry components

Unfortunately, the enamel surfaces of our teeth cannot be re-grown or replaced with fresh enamel similar to how soft tissues or bone are replaced (a graft procedure). Dr. Hamblin recommends, that at the first signs of weakening or eroding enamel, start treatment.

Enamel Rehabilitation
In situations where enamel deterioration is becoming more evident, Dr. Hamblin might discuss enamel replacement through a choice of lamination technologies (porcelain veneers) or entire tooth replacement via cemented crowns, porcelain jackets or implant supported crowns.

What are the signs of enamel erosion?

The signs of enamel erosion can vary, depending on the stage. Some signs may include:

  • Sensitivity. Certain foods (sweets) and temperatures of foods (hot or cold) may cause a twinge of pain in the early stage of enamel erosion.
  • Discoloration. As the enamel erodes and more dentin is exposed, the teeth may appear yellow.
  • Cracks and chips. The edges of teeth become more rough, irregular, and jagged as enamel erodes.
  • Severe, painful sensitivity. In later stages of enamel erosion, teeth become extremely sensitive to temperatures and sweets. You may feel a painful jolt that takes your breath away.
  • Cupping. Indentations appear on the surface of the teeth.

Wear of the teeth may be due to bruxism, abrasion, and dietary erosion due to acid dissolution. In fact, wear of the occlusal surfaces has been characterized as a natural phenomenon with the continuing eruption of the posterior teeth to compensate for loss of tooth substance. Since tooth wear is in fact physical trauma to the teeth, pulpal changes occur to compensate for the loss of tooth structure

In most clinical cases, tooth wear is not due to a single cause. The wear may be related to a combination of factors including attrition, abrasion, and erosion. Attrition usually refers to loss of tooth structure due to wear. Wear can be due to parafunctional occlusal habits, such as bruxism or clenching, or due to the mastication of abrasive foods. Abrasion has been defined as loss of tooth substance due to mechanical means such as toothbrushing with an abrasive paste. Erosion differs from both attrition and abrasion in that loss of tooth structure is due to a chemical process such as acid erosion of the tooth. An example would be a patient with gastrointestinal reflux disease that has stomach acids entering the oral cavity due to acid reflux, which dissolves tooth substance.

While Dr. Hamblin considers bruxism to be the most common cause of tooth wear, with the clinical recommendation to have an oral appliance placed to minimize tooth structure loss from grinding, the diagnosis of erosion should not be ruled out. Tooth wear may be multifactoral, with some chemical erosion occurring, such as the bulimic patient who also grinds the teeth.

The more sensitive your teeth are, the more enamel is gone. Enamel erosion is caused by exposure to acids or physical friction that literally rub away your teeth’s protective covering. Although genetics can be to blame for weak enamel or conditions that exacerbate erosion — like acid reflux disease or simply having a dry mouth.

Swimming probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dangerous activities for your tooth enamel. However, a recent study found that chlorine had damaged the teeth of 66 percent of a test group of 500 regular swimmers.  Most pools use chlorine to kill harmful bacteria in the water, but this chemical also happens to be highly acidic. In fact, not only can chlorine eat away at the enamel on your teeth, it can also temporally soften the enamel it doesn’t destroy. What this means is that besides swimming with your mouth closed, you need to make sure you avoid the toothbrush after you take a dip. Because your enamel has been softened by chlorine’s acids, you could actually tear it away if you brush your teeth immediately after leaving the pool. Therefore, Dr. Hamblin recommends you wait at least an hour before scrubbing your pearly whites .

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