Date amended:
Statements of Principles
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
52 of 2017 as amended
Balance of Probabilities SOP
53 of 2017 as amended
SOP bulletin information on new SOPs


ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 521.1, 521.2, 521.3
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: K03.0, K03.1, K03.2
Brief description

Tooth wear is a normal process in which tooth material is worn down or away by physical or chemical action.  This SOP covers tooth wear that is excessive, exposes dentine, and results in significant symptoms or loss of function.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis is made on clinical grounds based on symptoms and findings on examination, including use of a tooth wear evaluation system. 

Diagnosis needs to be confirmed by a dental clinician.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Dental abrasion
  • Dental attrition
  • Dental erosion
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Mild tooth wear confined to the enamel
  • Dental caries*
  • Bruxism*

* another SOP applies

Clinical onset

This is a threshold diagnosis.  Clinical onset will be at the time tooth wear was first significant enough to meet the SOP definition requirements.

Clinical worsening

The normal course for the condition would be for it to progress at a steady rate.  Clinical worsening may be evidenced by a sudden or rapid deterioration, manifesting as an increase in symptoms, or a in loss of function, or on evaluation by a dental clinician.