Your Teeth on Drugs!

Recreational drug use creates multiple problems for people’s teeth. Many drugs can cause the patient to grind their teeth uncontrollably. Methamphetamine, Ecstasy, Cocaine, and Heroin have all been known to trigger uncontrolled grinding for the drug user. On natural teeth, the grinding can create wear patterns, pitting on the biting surfaces, concave wedges on the root surfaces, and fractures. On restorations such as crowns and veneers, teeth grinding can cause porcelain to fracture. In worse cases, severe grinding can even cause problems with implants and crowns or prosthesis attached onto the implants.

Some drugs also can cause rapid decays of the teeth due to their acidity or their side effects of causing dry mouth.

The mouth is a dynamic system which can be affected by many factors. It does not matter how good a natural dentition is or how well restorations have been done, uncontrolled grinding is a force to be reckoned with. Recreational drugs not only can affect your systemic health, they also will destroy your teeth . As dentists we can help restore teeth, but not when other factors such as recreational drug use is involved.

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Cosmetic Options for the Young Dentition

For the young dentition, conservative treatments such as teeth whitening and bondings are great options to help enhance a smile. In the case below the patient spent sometime whitening his teeth with the take-home kit we prescribed. After the teeth have lightened up to a shade where the patient was happy with, we used resin filling materials of various shades to bond to his front teeth. Chips and gaps can easily be filled in without any removal of tooth structure.

The “After” smile looks beautiful in person, and at conversational distance it is near impossible to detect where the bondings were placed.

Click on the photos below to see the transition.

Different Veneers for Different Purposes

Veneers are commonly used to enhance people’s smiles. Some patients choose to have a full arch of veneers to help change their entire smile. Some patients choose only a select number of veneers to help restore teeth with imperfections.

In the case below we used only four veneers on the upper four front teeth to rejuvenate the smile and get rid of old broken down composite fillings and bondings.

Click on the image box below to view and before and after photos.