Understanding wear in dentistry.Compend Contin Educ Dent. 1999 Jan; 20(1):19-22, 24, 26 passim; quiz 32.CC
Tooth wear is an increasing problem in dentistry. Traditionally, it has been divided into three categories: abrasion, attrition, and erosion. However, most clinical cases of tooth wear involve more than one of these processes. It is often easier to make a diagnosis by looking for the signs of the fundamental wear processes rather than trying to categorize the individual case. Wear can be caused by direct surface-to-surface wear, an intervening slurry, or a corrosive environment. Wear occurs during mastication, but also at other times, often at night. Although it may be possible to institute a preventive regimen, this will not always help the patient if his or her prime concern is esthetics. The same processes that cause tooth wear will cause wear to restorative materials. To diagnose and prevent wear, its processes must be understood.