Tooth Enamel Repair – How Your Dentist Can Help

Tooth enamel is the hard, protective covering that protects your teeth from decay and damage. It is the hardest substance in your body and made mostly of calcium and phosphorus.


Acids from food and drinks, dry mouth or a number of other factors can cause tooth enamel erosion, which exposes your teeth and makes them sensitive to heat, cold and sweets.


Tooth enamel is the tough outer layer of teeth. It is the hardest substance in the body but this does not make it impervious to damage. As a result, tooth enamel erosion can lead to problems that include sensitivity to hot and cold foods or liquids, tooth decay, and other serious dental issues. Luckily, your dentist can help.

Cosmetic bonding can repair mild cases of enamel erosion. The process involves coating the affected area with a composite resin that is tinted to match the color of your tooth. This resin creates a protective barrier that seals out bacteria and other harmful substances. It also improves the appearance of your tooth and usually takes just one appointment to complete.

In severe cases, a crown may be needed to protect the underlying dentin and prevent further damage. In addition, your dentist can recommend a variety of other restorative treatments such as fillings or veneers.

The best way to prevent enamel erosion is to practice good oral hygiene that includes regular brushing and flossing. Drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production can also help. In addition, it is important to visit your dentist every six months for routine exams and cleanings.


Veneers are a cosmetic option for fixing a discolored tooth or several of them. They are usually made of porcelain, which mimics the look and translucence of natural teeth. They can also be made of a composite resin. They are more stain resistant than enamel, and they can be bleached if they become stained.

The dentist numbs the teeth before shaving off a small amount of enamel to create room for the veneer and ensure a good bonding surface. The tooth is then colored to match the rest of the mouth. The veneer is then placed on the tooth and bonded in place with dental cement. During a follow-up appointment, the dentist checks to make sure the veneers are staying in place and are comfortable for the patient.

Veneers can last from 5 to 20 years depending on the material used and how well the wearer maintains them. Keeping them clean and away from hard objects is important. A person with new veneers should also avoid eating and drinking foods that may stain them. They should also brush and floss regularly. If they grind and clench their teeth at night, they should consider getting a splint or retainer. They should also avoid using their teeth as tools to open packages or pens. These activities can cause them to chip and break the veneers.


Crowns (also known as dental caps) act as a tooth covering, fitting around the damaged area of the tooth and held in place with dental cement. There are a number of reasons that your dentist might suggest this treatment for you.

1. Tooth Fracture – Although enamel is a tough material, it’s not indestructible and some fractures extend through it into the dentin layer underneath. This type of damage is often too severe for a filling to repair and requires the use of a crown.

2. Large Fillings – Although fillings are great restorations for replacing tooth structure lost to decay, they don’t add much strength to teeth. If you have a large filling that makes up more than half of your exposed tooth, a crown is required to prevent further damage from occurring.

3. Severe Acid Erosion

Certain foods, like acidic drinks and some medications can erode your tooth enamel over time, leaving it vulnerable to damage and breaking. Rebuilding your tooth with a crown can protect it from further damage and even the loss of the tooth itself.


Tooth fillings are effective for treating relatively minor tooth cavities and small fractures in a tooth. They not only seal the hole created by decay, they also help to improve your bite function and restore tooth structure and strength.

Plaque that is left on the teeth can produce acids that erode the surface of the tooth (enamel). As the enamel loses minerals, it becomes weaker and can develop cracks and holes. When these are left untreated, the decay can enter the inner portion of the tooth (dentine), causing pain and other problems.

A dental filling can repair the damage caused by acid and strengthen the tooth. During the procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, he or she will use a drill to remove the decayed part of the tooth and clean and shape the space in preparation for the filling. He or she will then use an acidic gel to etch exposed surfaces of the tooth to help the filling adhere to the tooth, and a bonding agent to strengthen the bond. Then, the tooth-colored composite material will be applied in layers and hardened with a blue bonding light.

There are many different materials available for dental fillings, including gold, which is resilient and well-tolerated but quite costly. Silver amalgams are inexpensive but not as aesthetically pleasing, and composite resin can be matched to the color of your teeth but may be less durable than other options.