One in 6,000 to 8,000 people will develop dentinogenesis imperfecta. If you're one of these people, you might have realised that a dental condition with the word imperfecta in its name might get in the way of having a perfect smile. But how does dentinogenesis imperfecta actually affect your teeth? And what can you do to overcome these effects?
Enamel Erosion and Discolouration
Teeth affected by dentinogenesis imperfecta are weaker than healthy teeth. This means you're more prone to enamel erosion and the subsequent deterioration of your teeth. Your teeth can also be discoloured, becoming yellow or brown, or even blue. Teeth whitening won't have much effect, since the discolouration is caused by a genetic disorder, meaning it has occurred from inside your teeth, instead of being caused by external staining. Many whitening methods can also affect your enamel, which wasn't particularly robust in the first place. Essentially, your body has a reduced ability to metabolise calcium, meaning that your teeth have not calcified to the extent of teeth that are not affected by dentinogenesis imperfecta.
Preventing Tooth Loss
Early intervention is the best way to combat the condition. This intervention can include a root canal, designed to offset the deterioration of the tooth's inner nerve. When a root canal is performed, any deterioration of the nerve (and the damage this causes to the overall tooth) is halted, leading to greater success with long term tooth retention. It's important to stabilise teeth affected by dentinogenesis imperfecta so that any restoration is effective, and removal and replacement of your teeth becomes an absolute last resort.
Tooth Restoration Options
This early intervention allows for more options when it comes to any restoration work that might be needed. Depending on the severity of your dentinogenesis imperfecta, dental bonding might be all you need. A tooth-coloured resin is applied to your teeth and then quick-dried, allowing it to harden to form a type of synthetic enamel that will protect your teeth while correcting any discolouration issues. Veneers will also correct discolouration when the underlying tooth has retained sufficient strength. Dental crowns are another option when the underlying tooth requires additional stability.
Teeth affected by dentinogenesis imperfecta require careful monitoring, so if you're living with the condition, you will need to see your dentist more often than someone with healthy teeth. Remember that early intervention is important, and can prevent you from having to experience tooth loss and the expense and inconvenience of needing to have your teeth replaced with dental implants or dentures.
For more insight on maintaining oral health, reach out to a local dentist.