If you’ve chipped a veneer, the first thing you need to do is make an appointment to see your dentist ASAP. But if they’re unable to see you right away (a chipped veneer does not constitute an emergency) what do you do in the meantime?
1) Examine The Chip
If part of the veneer has broken off, carefully remove and examine the fragment. If the entire veneer came off in one piece, your dentist may be able to reattach it without the need for having an entirely new one made. In that case, you should hold onto the veneer and bring it in the next time you see your dentist. Wrap it in tissue and store it in a hard, protective case, such as a medicine bottle. That will keep the veneer from breaking further until you get it in for your dentist to examine.
If just a part of the veneer broke off, carefully examine the piece(s) still attached to your tooth. The chip may have caused some sharp edges that can prove hazardous to your tongue and/or lips, so be careful.
Depending on the size of the chip and where on the veneer it broke off, your dentist may be able to buff the remaining veneer to smooth any sharp edges and eliminate any evidence of the missing chip. It’s painless, although the surrounding teeth might also need to be reshaped in order to maintain the uniformity and symmetry of your smile.
2) Consider What Happened Immediately Before It Broke
The veneer might have been chipped as a result of a one-time occurrence, such as biting into something that was surprisingly hard. But it’s more likely that it was caused by something you do habitually, such as clenching/grinding your teeth or biting your nails.
If you know you have a bad habit that’s hard on your teeth, consider ways to break yourself of the habit. You can ask your dentist for tips on how to do so, as they see those kinds of problems all the time and are accustomed to helping treat them in their patients.
On the other hand, if you can point to a specific, one-time occurrence that happened right before or during the time the veneer was chipped, you can simply make a point to avoid that food and other related activities/foods in the future.
3) Don’t Worry About The Tooth
In most cases, a small amount of the tooth’s surface is shaved away to make room for the veneer. That means, when the veneer comes off, whether as a whole or in pieces, there’s no immediate danger to the tooth. You might experience some extra sensitivity to hot and cold until your dentist can replace the veneer, and as previously mentioned, there might be some sharp edges you need to look out for, but the tooth itself will be perfectly safe until you get a chance to see your dentist.
If the sharp edges are a problem, you can use dental wax to cover the area. Just flatten a tiny piece of wax and press it over the affected area. Let it work its way between your teeth to help hold it in place.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!