If your teeth have been damaged as a result of bulimia, you might not be able to imagine that you can have a beautiful, healthy smile again. But you can! Cosmetic dentistry offers us many potential solutions that can help restore your teeth so they look as good as (or better than) before bulimia damaged them.
Although this page describes some general approaches that might be taken for bulimia teeth repair, the right approach for you can only be determined by looking at the state of your teeth. For personalized bulimia teeth repair recommendations in Orange County, please call (949) 551-5902 or email Rice Dentistry.
Minor Damage and Provisional Bulimia Teeth Repair
If your teeth have suffered only minor damage as a result of bulimia, repairs may be very simple, and can often be performed using the same material that is often used in tooth-colored fillings. We can use BioClear veneers if erosion has occurred primarily at the gum line, creating black triangles due to receding gums.
This material is often good in provisional bulimia teeth repair. If you have started bulimia treatment and are committed to success, we can start to repair your teeth. But sometimes treatment takes many months (or even years), during which time you may sometimes still purge and damage your teeth. Provisional repairs aren’t intended to be permanent, but they can slow damage to your teeth and help preserve your remaining teeth for the time when you rarely or never engage in purging and we can do permanent repairs.
Long-Term Bulimia Teeth Repair
Once we can begin long-term or permanent repairs on your teeth, we will assess the extent of damage. Bulimia often attacks the backs of your teeth first, so the worst damage may be where you can’t see it.
When considering restoration of your teeth, we have to consider many factors in deciding how to restore your teeth. We have to consider how much natural tooth material is remaining, the position of the tooth, the likely bite forces, and, of course, how the restored tooth will look. Often, bulimia can lead to severe wear on the teeth that causes you to lose height in your teeth, so we may work to build your teeth back up. We also have to try to preserve the tooth, so if the tooth is likely to be sensitive to preparation techniques—shaping the tooth to receive some types of restorations, we might have to look for minimal-prep solutions.
In addition to filling material, long-term bulimia teeth repair may also employ porcelain veneers and dental crowns.
Can a Tooth Be Saved?
Whenever possible, we will try to save your natural teeth. This may sometimes mean performing a root canal. Although root canals have a high likelihood of success, there is always a chance that a root canal will fail to preserve a tooth, a risk that bulimia might increase.
If a root canal fails, or if we think a tooth cannot be saved, we will likely recommend a dental implant. Although bulimia can irritate your gums, it rarely causes so much damage to them that it seriously degrades the bone necessary to support dental implants. Unfortunately, years of malnutrition may contribute to osteoporosis, so we will have to evaluate the dental implant site carefully.