Abfractions: A New Classification of Hard Tissue Lesions of Teeth


Address reprint requests to: John O. Grippo, D.D.S., 123 Dwight Rd., Longmeadow, MA 01106.


Due to the stresses resulting from biomechanical loading forces exerted on the teeth (static, as in swallowing and clenching or cyclic, as in chewing), both enamel and dentin can chip or break away. This loss of tooth substance, which shall be termed Abfraction, is dependent on the magnitude, duration, direction, frequency, and location of the forces. These abfractive lesions are caused by flexure and ultimate material fatigue of susceptible teeth at locations away from the point of loading. Clinical observation of a variety of enamel and dentin lesions due to the shapes, sizes, loci, and frequency warrants a new and distinct classification.