Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

Repairing a Chipped Tooth

One problem veneers are successful for covering is small chips in the teeth. This article describes veneer placement when a tooth is broken, but not severely enough to damage anymore than the surface of the tooth.

If you’ve chipped a front tooth, however, you may not like what it has done to your smile. Your teeth are just a little uneven now. The chip leaves a gap, a small reminder of your clumsiness or worse if your tooth was broken in a more serious accident.

Would you cover that tooth if you could? Would you jump at the chance to make it look whole and unharmed again?

Fixing a chipped tooth with Ceramic Veneers.

Modern dentistry brings you an excellent option for masking minor flaws in your teeth. A ceramic veneer is a cover for your tooth made of porcelain, a white glass-like substance. Though the veneer is thin and fragile on its own, when bonded to the front surface of a tooth, it is strong. More importantly, it looks completely natural. The transparent nature of porcelain allows light to pass through like normal tooth enamel. A ceramic veneer, therefore, gives the same lustrous quality to your teeth. Veneer placements are virtually undetectable.

What is involved in placing veneers?

The ceramic veneer is generally placed in two visits to your dentist’s office, no more than a couple of weeks apart. On your first visit the affected tooth will be prepared for veneer placement. The dentist may need to trim the tooth and will grind enough of the surface down so that the veneer can be placed without making your tooth feel bulky or out of place. Generally no more than one half to .7 millimeters is removed.

The dentist will then make a mold of your mouth, probably with dental putty. This mold will be sent to a dental laboratory where technicians will create a thin porcelain veneer fitted precisely to match your needs. Within one to two weeks, you will be back in your dentist’s chair having this veneer bonded to your tooth.

At the second visit, the dentist will first assure that the veneer is a perfect match, in looks and color, to your natural teeth. He may need to do further grinding and trimming to the tooth so that the fit is perfect. The veneer itself may need to be trimmed and adjusted. Once you both are satisfied with the fit, your tooth will be cleaned thoroughly and a mild solution will be applied to the front of the tooth to roughen the surface and assure that it is prepared for bonding. Dental cement will be used to glue the veneer into place. A special light activates the bonding agent and you will have a secure adhesion almost immediately.

Once the veneer is in place, the dentist will trim any excess cement and clean and polish the tooth with the veneer placement. You will probably be asked to return in a few weeks to make sure you are adjusting well to the veneer and that it isn’t interfering with your bite in any way. From there, it will be brushing, flossing, and dental checkups as usual. Most veneer wearers can expect a good ten years or more of wear before a replacement is needed. In the meantime, you will enjoy having a naturally beautiful smile again.

Will my insurance cover the cost?

Most insurance companies will not cover veneer placements since they are considered a strictly cosmetic treatment. The good news is that veneers can be obtained at a reasonable cost since they are well within the realm of treatments that most general dentists can perform. If you’ve been put off by the high cost of cosmetic dentistry specialists in the past, talk with your general practitioner about your options. In general, you can expect to cut the price per tooth by about a thousand dollars or even more depending on where you live.

Veneer wearer’s are overwhelmingly pleased with the results. Having a smooth, even smile allows people to focus on you rather what’s out of place about your teeth. Contact your dentist today.