One of the best things about dental veneers is that they can fix your smile’s appearance in several different ways, which can save you from needing multiple procedures to address different issues. Besides appearance, however, veneers are also beneficial due to the fact that they don’t require extensive tooth preparation, and therefore, they can help your teeth remain stronger and sturdier. As such, veneers can often be just as ideal for addressing more serious tooth concerns, such as chipped or cracked teeth that need to be restored. Dr. Fondriest, your Chicago cosmetic dentist, offers this treatment at Lake Forest Dental Arts.
To learn more about the cosmetic procedures offered at our practice, schedule an appointment today. Call us at 847-234-0517.
More about Dental Veneers
A dental veneer is a thin shell designed to cover the front surface of your tooth. Doing so allows the veneer to rejuvenate the visible surfaces of the tooth, and because the porcelain is highly durable, it can even address issues with your tooth’s structural integrity. For instance, to prevent a chipped edge or cracked surface from becoming worse, your dentist can permanently bond a lifelike veneer to the tooth, restoring its function and reestablishing your bite’s proper balance.
Common Causes of a Chipped Tooth
There are several reasons why a tooth may become chipped or cracked. For example:
- Dental trauma, sustained by falls, auto accidents, or sporting injuries can lead to chips, cracks, or fractures.
- Bruxism – or, chronic teeth grinding – can place excessive pressure on the teeth, causing them to crack.
- Old fillings that are too large can sometime weaken the integrity of a tooth. As a result, the structure becomes damaged over time.
- Extremely hard foods can cause the teeth to chip. These include things like ice, hard candy, popcorn, and nuts.
- Sudden temperature changes can cause a tooth to crack. This may occur if you eat something extremely hot, then drink cold ice water.
- The teeth become more brittle with age. Chips and cracks are more common in individuals over 50.
Types of Cracked Teeth
Cracks in the teeth can be superficial and mild or deep and severe. Let’s explore the different types of dental fractures:
- Craze lines: These tiny cracks only affect the enamel – the outer layer of a tooth.
- Fractured cusp: Sometimes a dental filling can result in a cracked cusp. It generally doesn’t cause discomfort, as the pulp is not affected.
- Vertical cracks: Fractures that extend slightly into the gum line are more severe. These teeth may be saved with restorative dentistry. But in some cases, extraction is required.
- Split tooth: This occurs when a vertical crack goes far beneath the gum line. Saving the tooth is unlikely in this case.
- Vertical root fracture: Unlike a vertical crack, which runs from crown to root, a vertical root fracture actually begins at the end of the root and travels up to the crown. In most cases, extraction is necessary.
Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?
While veneers can offer a highly esthetic and more conservative option than a dental crown in some cases, they work best for teeth that are damaged on or near their front surfaces. However, if your tooth is significantly fractured or if a piece has broken off, then your dentist might recommend a custom-designed dental crown to completely cap the tooth, instead.
Let’s take a closer look. Mild to moderate dental damage – such as craze lines, chipped teeth, and fractured cusps – can often be treated with dental veneers. However, severe damage – like vertical cracks, split teeth, and vertical root fractures – will likely require more extensive restorative procedures. During a consultation at Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest can determine if dental veneers are appropriate for you.
Benefits of Dental Veneers
Veneers offer a number of advantages for the right patients. In fact, few cosmetic treatments offer the results and benefits that porcelain veneers deliver. Here are a few of the most notable advantages:
- Veneers reflect light similarly to natural enamel. Because veneers are layered with medical-grade ceramic, they offer optimal translucency. This offers truly lifelike results. In fact, once in place, they are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
- Veneers are stain-resistant. Porcelain doesn’t stain like natural enamel does. Therefore, your veneers can remain bright and dazzling for many years to come.
- Veneers are stronger and more durable than composite resin. Chips and cracks can also be repaired with cosmetic dental bonding. However, the composite resin used in this procedure is not as strong as porcelain. In addition, it is opaquer. As a result, the outcome is not as natural.
- In many cases, veneers are more affordable than dental crowns. Porcelain veneers are usually more costly compared to dental bonding. However, they are generally more affordable than porcelain crowns.
What is the lifespan of dental veneers?
Many patients want to know how long their veneers will last. On average, veneers last between five and 15 years. However, dental materials are constantly being improved. As a result, many of our patients have enjoyed their veneers for over 20 years. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we can show you how to properly care for your veneers and maximize their wear.
What is the treatment process like?
Dental veneer treatment can be completed in two phases at our Chicago office. During the first visit, Dr. Fondriest will prepare the teeth and take impressions of your smile. These images are then sent to our dental lab, where a trained ceramist crafts your new veneers. This process takes about two to four weeks on average.
Once your veneers have been fabricated, we will schedule you for a second office visit. During this appointment, Dr. Fondriest will assess the fit, color, and appearance of your new dental veneers, then bond them permanently into place.
Learn More about Dental Veneers
If your tooth is damaged, then you may be able to fix it with a lifelike porcelain veneer rather than a more comprehensive dental crown. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Chicago, IL, at 847-234-0517. In addition to the metropolitan Chicago area, we also proudly serve residents of the Northwest and North Shore suburbs.