Tooth Enamel Repair

The human body is amazing: broken skin heals, cut nails grow back and fractured bones knit together. But one thing the body cannot do is regrow tooth enamel.


The protective layer of crystalline calcium phosphate that covers your teeth is constantly strained by oral bacteria, acidic foods and beverages and general wear and tear. It can wear down to the point of sensitivity, discoloration and tooth decay.

1. Fluoride Treatment

Tooth enamel is the hard, protective outer covering of a tooth that protects against bacteria and acid erosion. When it breaks down, it leaves the inside of your teeth exposed to hot and cold foods, drinks, and sugary substances. This can cause teeth to feel sensitive, and may lead to tooth decay and sensitivity.

The best way to prevent tooth enamel erosion is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis. You should also stay hydrated to ensure that saliva is doing its job of neutralizing the acids in your mouth.

Professional fluoride treatments can help repair and strengthen enamel that has already been damaged by acid erosion. These treatments can reverse early stages of tooth decay and reduce sensitivity, making them a great option for children and teens who are more prone to cavities, and adults with dry mouth.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in many dental products to help prevent cavities, including toothpaste and mouthwash. It is also added to municipal water supplies in many cities. While large amounts of fluoride can be toxic, the amount in drinking water is safe and recommended for most people. Dental offices can also provide topical professional fluoride treatments that are applied directly to the teeth.

2. Bonding

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance found in the human body. However, that doesn’t mean it is impervious to damage. Poor diet habits, a lack of oral care and other factors can cause tooth enamel to become weakened or even worn away. While it is impossible to grow back a tooth with completely worn enamel, there are some treatment options that can help repair and strengthen teeth with eroded enamel.

Cosmetic dental bonding is a common way to restore damaged tooth enamel. It is a quick and easy procedure that can be completed in just one appointment. The process involves applying resin that is tinted to match the color of your tooth. The resin is then bonded to the damaged areas of your enamel, which helps protect them from further harm. This treatment is safe for the majority of patients and poses few risks or side effects. Some sensitivity may be experienced in the days following the procedure, but this should subside. The only risk associated with bonding is that the resin used to repair a tooth with eroded enamel can sometimes chip.

While a diet rich in calcium and other minerals can help prevent further erosion, once your enamel has been damaged it is no longer able to regenerate itself. Bonding is an ideal solution for repairing mild cases of enamel erosion because it covers most of the affected area and protects what remains of your natural teeth.

3. Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for treating minor cosmetic problems like chips, stains and slightly crooked teeth. These thin porcelain coverings are custom-fabricated to fit tightly over the front of the teeth, making them look naturally white and healthy. The procedure usually takes one to two appointments. During the first visit, your dentist prepares your teeth, makes impressions for the lab and may place temporary veneers in the meantime.

During the second appointment, you try on the veneers and ensure that they have the perfect shape, color and contour. Your dentist will also check your bite and make any necessary adjustments to your tooth structure. The final appointment is when the veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth.

When you get porcelain veneers, it is important to take good care of them to ensure they last for years or even decades. You should brush and floss regularly and use a mouthwash that is alcohol-free. You should also avoid chewing directly into ice or hard foods to prevent the veneers from chipping. You will need to visit your dentist to have your veneers checked and repaired every 3 to 10 years.

Porcelain veneers typically resist stains better than composite resin, but they are not as stain-resistant as natural teeth. Conventional whitening agents will not work on your veneers, so you should plan on scheduling regular professional cleanings to keep them looking their best.

4. Crowns

Enamel is a tough material, but it doesn’t have living cells, so once it loses its protective surface due to acid erosion or other damage, the tooth can’t grow back on its own. Your dental professional can help you protect your enamel and repair eroded areas with tooth bonding or veneers.

Your dentist might recommend crowns if the damage to your enamel is too severe for any other restoration technique. Also known as caps, these custom-made coverings are typically made of ceramic, porcelain or metal. Your dentist will shape and color the crown to fit naturally over the damaged tooth, making it look like the surrounding teeth.

The types of crowns you may choose from include –

Zirconia (a solid, dense single block that’s computer designed and milled on a CAD/CAM machine). These offer a very strong, long lasting solution for weakened or cracked teeth.

Resin (composite or acrylic) crowns, which offer a more affordable option but can become stained and discolored over time.

Most people can resume their regular work and social activities after crown placement. The procedure can cause some slight discomfort for a few weeks, especially when chewing or eating hot or cold foods, but this usually resolves within a few days with a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It’s important to avoid sticky and hard foods until your crown is fully seated since they can dislodge or break.