Amelogenesis imperfect is a hereditary condition that solely affects the growth or production of tooth enamel. The hypoplastic form of amelogenesis imperfecta causes the teeth to grow an inadequate amount of enamel, which results in teeth more susceptible to staining and damage. The size of the crowns can end up looking varied and the surface of the teeth can look pitted or chipped.  

How can a dentist or cosmetic dentistry specialist help treat the symptoms of hypoplastic amelogenesis imperfecta?    

Bonds or Veneers

Dental bonds and veneers serve similar purposes in covering up surface damage or imperfections on the front of the tooth, but the application methods and strength varies.

The dentist puts bonds into place during an office visit. The malleable resin material is shaped directly onto the tooth and then hardened in place.  Bonds require the filing away of some of the natural tooth, to support the bonding cement, but the filing required is less than what is required with veneers. Bonds might, therefore, be a better choice if you have only minor differences in crown size or only need to cover pitting.

Bonds are both lower cost and more prone to staining and damage than the porcelain veneers. If you want veneers but can't afford them at this time, you can receive bonds and then upgrade to veneers at a later date.

Veneers are created in a lab to be custom-fitted onto your filed down teeth. The customized sizing means the veneers can fix larger differences in crown sizes.

Dental Crowns

The main downside to bonds and veneers is that the applications only cover the front of your teeth, which is great from a cosmetic standpoint but not as great if you are concerned about enamel damage or related dentin damage on the rear of your teeth. That's where dental crowns can become the preferred treatment.

Dental crowns are like veneers made to fit over the whole tooth. All-porcelain crowns are available for a highly natural look, but the metal-backed porcelain crowns offer a bit more protection against damage from tooth friction and biting.

If cost or strength are an issue, you can go with the all-metal crowns that are perfectly suited for rear teeth that require more strength but don't pose as much of a cosmetic concern. The metal crowns are particularly good fits when your molars have already suffered chips or breakages related to your enamel issues.

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Charlottesville Dental Medicine at Forest Lakes.