“I know this may sound kind of weird about going to the dentist, but I actually enjoyed it,” says Jim Minor about his experience at Park Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
As the years went by, Minor was beginning to notice changes in his smile. “My teeth had moved and a composite was chipping away. I wanted a prettier smile,” he says. In addition, he had lost a tooth, there were areas where teeth were getting smaller because of normal wear and tear, and his bite didn’t feel right.
Then there were the decades-old silver fillings he had. “They didn’t hurt. I was in no pain but I did not want things to get any worse,” he remembers. The fear of pain is one reason Minor waited so long to seek dental help.
Dr. Bill Campbell
Then he met Dr. Bill Campbell at Park Family. “I like the way we could talk, he wasn’t’ telling me how it was going to be. He wanted to know my expectations.”
Minor was experiencing tooth wear, a common problem Dr. Campbell sees in patients as they age. “Tooth wear is a slow progression,” he says, adding, “Teeth actually wear away with age and can begin to weaken.”
The tooth enamel can erode; the force can have adverse effects on the gums and even cause teeth to change positions. “Aesthetically patients may notice a yellowing of the teeth, shorter teeth and even cracks in teeth,” says Dr. Campbell.
Forces associated with a poorly aligned bite may also contribute to enamel eroding, bone loss, and gum recession around teeth. As teeth wear away their alignment and position within the dental arch may be altered leading to more complex dental care.
As in many health conditions, the sooner you take action the better. “Some patients who see tooth wear say it doesn’t bother them but this is when it is easier to fix. If you wait until there is a problem, or you are beginning to experience pain you’ve let it go too long,” says the Park Family dentist.
In Minor’s case, Dr. Campbell was able to use a combination of veneers and crowns to restore his entire mouth. He is also able to utilize more technique sensitive preparations such as inlays and onlays when able, saying, “I try for a conservative approach. I just don’t go straight for a crown. The more tooth enamel I can preserve the better it is for the long term.”
It took Minor several visits to complete his smile makeover and he could not be happier with the process. He says, “Talk about painless. I’m a little bit of a baby when it comes to needles but Dr. Campbell was so gentle.”
And it wasn’t just Dr. Campbell who left an impression on Minor. “His assistant, James, had a great rapport. Everyone, beginning with those at the reception desk, made me feel like they wanted me to be there and wanted me to have a positive experience.”
Tooth wear is a natural part of aging to which Dr. Campbell says, “Dentistry is making sure things decline at a slower rate. It restarts the clock. The mouth is a harsh environment and dental restorations can wear out over time. We do the best dental work we can but then it’s up to the patient to maintain it with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.”
Catching problems early, such as small cracks that can be repaired before a tooth splits saves time, effort, and money and decreases the chances for patients to experience pain or tooth loss.
Following the completion of his smile restoration, Minor says, “I think I open my mouth more when I laugh. I get compliments on my smile and I have a little more confidence; I like to smile.”
When it comes to tooth wear Dr. Campbell says, “It’s much better to be proactive than reactive. The later may cost more in the long run.”
If you are experiencing tooth wear, call Park Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment.