If you have chipped a tooth (or a couple of teeth) due to an accident, you will probably want to have it replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Visibly damaged teeth can look very unsightly (in the front of your mouth, for example), and can even affect your speech and eating abilities. Worse still, they can severely affect your confidence – if you are missing part of a tooth, you may be avoiding smiling or talking too much socially.
Having a chipped tooth repaired is very simple, and can be effectively done using dental veneers – porcelain ‘teeth’ which fit over your existing tooth to fill in any gaps and create a natural look. Dental veneers are made from porcelain, because it is identical to natural teeth – it can even be coloured precisely to match the shade of your existing teeth, making the repair almost invisible. Dental veneers are ideal for repairing chipped teeth – they fit directly over the surface of the existing tooth, as a false fingernail would sit on top of the real nail. They are very thin, so there will be no difference in the depth of your teeth within your mouth, and they are held in place with a very strong adhesive (similar to superglue). This can make fitting dental veneers very quick and easy, and there is often no drilling or extensive procedures undertaken. Sometimes, the enamel from the existing teeth is removed, in order to help dental veneers bond better – enamel is a shiny substance and is designed to repel food and drink; removing it allows the veneer to have a slightly more textured surface to grip onto, and ensures that the bond remains strong.
Dental veneers are very popular for mending chipped and damaged teeth, because they are a permanent solution. The strong adhesive used means that they will not slip or move about, and are a quick fix that lasts a long time. Having dental veneers fitted usually only takes two trips to the dentist. In your initial visit, your dentist will discuss what you are hoping to achieve, and make a mould of your teeth that will be used to create your veneers (this ensures a perfect fit). They will also need to measure the colour of your existing teeth, so that you can be sure that you veneers will fit in with the rest of your smile perfectly. On your second visit your dental veneers will be fitted, and you can leave the dentists’ with a smile on your face! Finding a dentist is an important part of the procedure, and you need to make sure that you choose a practice with lots of experience in cosmetic dentistry, where you will feel comfortable to discuss your needs and express any worries or concerns that you may have. Getting cosmetic dental treatment can be a big decision, so you want to make sure that you will be supported and well informed, to help you get back your smile, and your confidence!