Dental Veneers

Repairing Cracked and Chipped Teeth at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton on Trent

Dental veneers are a useful tool in any cosmetic dentist’s repertoire. They are, in essence, a fine piece of porcelain which is fitted to the front of a tooth in a similar manner to the way false fingernails are fitted, but of course far more precisely.

What are Veneers used for?

Dental veneers can be used for a number of purposes to improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth.

Staining

Whilst a teeth whitening procedure is the first port of call when a patient has stained teeth, this may not always be completely successful. In some cases, the discolouration or staining will be too severe to be effectively corrected with a simple teeth whitening procedure and dental veneers may be recommended instead.

Chipped and Cracked Teeth

Even where a teeth whitening procedure would be effective in whitening a patient’s teeth; if they are also badly cracked or even chipped, they will still not look as attractive as they might. Whilst it is true that small chips can be filled with a composite filling, this may not be the strongest repair and dental veneers may provide a better option depending on the extent of the damage.

Gaps in Teeth

Gaps between the front teeth are not uncommon and, indeed, some people actually cherish theirs. Whilst this may be the case for some, others would dearly like to have the gap closed but don’t wish to have surgery or wait for prolonged orthodontic treatment. In some cases, dental veneers may be used to close the gap between the front teeth although a detailed consultation will be needed beforehand to check suitability.

The Dental Veneer Procedure

Once it has been decided to fit dental veneers, whether to close a gap or to improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth, the first step is the initial consultation at our Burton on Trent dental practice.

To prepare the tooth for a veneer to be fitted, first of all, a very fine layer of enamel is removed from the front of the patient’s teeth using a tool called a dental burr. Once this fine layer has been removed from the tooth, an impression will then be taken which is then sent to a technician at a dental laboratory. Here the veneers will be prepared to the same thickness as the enamel which has been removed. The manufacture of the veneers may take a week or so and temporary veneers will be attached to protect the teeth in the interim.

Once the new dental veneers have been returned to our dental practice, the temporary veneers will be removed and the new ones attached to the front of the prepared teeth using dental cement. Once in place, these will be smoothed and polished to leave you with great looking teeth and a lovely new smile.

It should also be noted that the veneers will be made in a shade to match the rest of any visible teeth that may be showing so that they appear entirely natural.

Generally speaking, a local anaesthetic will be given during the preparation of the teeth to make it more comfortable. Once the veneer has been fitted, there should be no pain experienced although some people have noted a slight increase in sensitivity for a short while; however this should soon fade back to normal.

Precautions

Although dental veneers are strong and should last many years under normal use, once fitted, it is advisable to avoid biting down on hard objects such as pencils or fingernails as this may cause the veneer to ‘pop’ off. In most cases though, if this happens, they can be re-attached by our dentists.

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