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Treating Visible Enamel Loss With Lumineers
April 14, 2024

before and after lumineers

Tooth enamel, the outside layer of our teeth, is not just there for show. It serves as the frontline defense against daily life, including biting, chewing, and the intake of acidic foods and drinks.

So what is tooth enamel, why is it important, and what can you do if you lose it?

What Exactly is Tooth Enamel?

Believe it or not, tooth enamel is actually the hardest tissue in the human body, but it’s not indestructible.

Tooth enamel is comprised of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite, which is a crystalline calcium phosphate. Enamel’s translucent appearance allows the natural color of the dentin beneath it to show through, contributing to the natural color of our teeth. Enamel’s smooth surface also makes it less likely for bacteria to cling, thus playing a significant role in preventing cavities.

Despite its hardness, it is susceptible to erosion and wear over time. And, unfortunately, enamel does not have living cells, meaning once it’s lost, the body cannot regenerate it.

Why is Enamel Important?

Enamel’s importance cannot be overstated. It protects our teeth from daily wear, temperature extremes, and damage from chemicals and acids. Without this protective layer, our teeth would be more susceptible to decay, cavities, and sensitivity.

Once enamel erodes, the underlying dentin becomes exposed, which can lead to significant dental issues, including pain and the need for extensive dental work.

Causes and Symptoms of Enamel Loss

Several factors contribute to enamel loss, including a diet containing a lot of acidic or sugary foods and drinks, poor oral hygiene, GERD or acid reflux, teeth grinding, certain medications, or simply genetics. Acidic substances can wear away enamel over time, making the teeth more vulnerable to decay. Similarly, not maintaining proper oral hygiene can lead to plaque buildup, which can also erode enamel. Bruxism puts extra stress on the teeth, causing cracks and chips in the enamel.

While enamel erosion may start subtly, it can lead to noticeable symptoms as it progresses. These include:

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Discoloration
  • Rounded Teeth or Changes in Tooth Shape
  • Cracks and Chips
  • Unusually Smooth, Shiny Surfaces (Especially Near the Gum Line)
  • Cupping (Small indentations on the surface of the teeth)



Lumineers: A Surprising Treatment for Enamel Loss

Using fluoride toothpaste and getting regular professional treatments at your dental checkup can help prevent or even halt enamel loss but cannot reverse it. And sometimes, even if you address further loss, you may find yourself unhappy with the appearance of your teeth.

Lumineers are a type of ultra-thin veneer that are applied directly to the tooth, often without the need for extensive preparation or enamel removal. Made from a patented porcelain material, Lumineers are as thin as a contact lens but incredibly strong. They can be bonded directly onto the existing tooth surface, instantly transforming the appearance of the teeth and providing a new protective layer to stand in for the lost enamel.

Benefits of Lumineers

The benefits of Lumineers extend beyond their aesthetic appeal. They provide a durable, stain-resistant surface that mimics the natural appearance of tooth enamel. Additionally, because there’s no need for the removal of existing enamel, the process is reversible, providing patients with flexibility in their treatment options.

Lumineers can also be a quicker and less invasive option compared to traditional veneers or crowns, making them an excellent choice for patients looking for a convenient and effective way to restore their smiles.

Are Lumineers Right for You?

Visible enamel loss is not just a cosmetic issue; it’s a sign of underlying oral health problems that need to be addressed to maintain your oral health.

If you suspect that you are experiencing enamel loss at any stage, make an appointment with our office. We can help you determine if Lumineers or other treatment options are right for you.


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