The tooth wear evaluation system: a modular clinical guideline for the diagnosis and management planning of worn dentitions

J Oral Rehabil. 2016 Jan;43(1):69-80. doi: 10.1111/joor.12340. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Tooth wear is a multifactorial condition, leading to the loss of dental hard tissues, viz. enamel and dentine. Tooth wear can be divided into the subtypes mechanical wear (attrition and abrasion) and chemical wear (erosion). Because of its multifactorial aetiology, tooth wear can manifest itself in many different representations, and therefore, it can be difficult to diagnose and manage the condition. A systematic approach is a sine qua non. In the below-described tooth wear evaluation system (TWES), all necessary tools for a clinical guideline are present in different modules. This allows the dental clinician, in a general practitioner setting as well as in a referral practice setting, to perform a state-of-the-art diagnostic process. To avoid the risk of a too cumbersome usage, the dental clinician can select only those modules that are appropriate for a given setting. The modules match with each other, which is indispensable and essential when different modules of the TWES are compared. With the TWES, it is possible to recognise the problem (qualifying), to grade its severity (quantifying), to diagnose the likely causes and to monitor (the progress of) the condition. In addition, a proposal for the classification of tooth wear is made. Further, it is possible to determine when to start a treatment, to make the decision which kind of treatment to apply and to estimate the level of difficulty of a restorative treatment.

Keywords: clinical guideline; diagnosis; management planning; qualifying; quantifying; tooth wear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dentition
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking
  • Oral Hygiene / methods*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tooth Abrasion / etiology
  • Tooth Abrasion / pathology*
  • Tooth Abrasion / prevention & control
  • Tooth Attrition / etiology
  • Tooth Attrition / pathology*
  • Tooth Attrition / prevention & control
  • Tooth Erosion / etiology
  • Tooth Erosion / pathology*
  • Tooth Erosion / prevention & control