A surprisingly large number of people have chipped or lost their teeth, so if your pearly whites aren't your best asset, here's a quick guide to giving them a makeover.
Do any of these sound familiar? An ex-boyfriend of mine managed to walk into a signpost after a few too many beers. My old housemate tried to open a beer can without a bottle opener (there was lot of blood). My current boyfriend ended up on the wrong side of a fist coming at high speed at 2am on a Saturday (see a beer theme here?).
A surprisingly large number of people have chipped or lost their teeth, according to Sydney dentist, Dr Anthony Mak of W Dental.
"There is a very high chance that everyone will break or chip one of their teeth in their lifetime," Dr Mak says. "It will happen, it's just when it will happen. Implant dentistry makes up approximately 20 percent of dentistry at our practice."
A bad smile can impact your own confidence and even your success at work. A 2005 study by researchers from King's College London found volunteers rated the same individuals less favourably when their photos showed visible tooth decay.
Those with rotten or crowded teeth were deemed less clever, less popular and less well-adjusted. In comparison, those with good teeth were rated as being more attractive and successful.
So if your pearly whites aren't your best asset, here's a quick guide to giving them a makeover.
Chipped teeth can be caused by an accidental injury, grinding your teeth unconsciously (bruxism) or tooth decay. The chipped tooth can look unsightly and can be extremely painful when nerve endings are exposed.
If the chipping is very minimal, a dentist may be able to file the tooth down until it is smooth. A larger chip will require treatment with veneers, which are generally made from porcelain and are bonded directly to the tooth giving it a smooth, natural appearance.
If a tooth is chipped badly or there is some pain, then it is likely that a crown will be needed. A crown covers the tooth, protects it and improves its appearance. To place a crown a dentist will file down the current tooth and securely fit the replacement ceramic crown over the top.
If the tooth is missing, a dentist may be able to add a crown to the root. If the root is missing or is badly damaged this is not possible. The patient then has two options:
- they can choose to wear a plate or denture for the rest of their lives; or
- they can choose tooth implants.
Tooth-implant technology has been around for three decades. Implants are anchors or screws which a dentist inserts into a patient's jawbone.
The tooth implants are normally made from titanium and become attached to the jawbone and gum tissue forming an artificial root. A porcelain crown is then attached to the top of the implant and the end result looks and works just like a normal tooth would.
Those who get their smile fixed report a surge in confidence says Dr Mak and the massive improvements in dentistry mean that these treatments are more accessible than ever. Good news for my boyfriends past and present!
Dr Mak is a highly skilled dental surgeon and dental practitioner, who heads W Dental. He recommends Nobel Biocare veneers and dental-implant technology.