Do you always have to let your cup of coffee cool off in the morning before you can drink it, or do you turn down the offer of a nice ice cream on a hot summer's day? If so, it's quite likely that you are suffering from tooth sensitivity, where food or drink that is either too hot or too cold can be very difficult to bear. Did you know that you can get a specific treatment done at your dentist's office to fix this once and for all?
While the issue of sensitivity is not necessarily a dental emergency and is not always really painful per se, there's no doubt that it can be very uncomfortable and affect your quality of life. Usually, the reason for this sensitivity is linked to the enamel on the surface of the tooth itself. When this is working properly it is there to protect the layer underneath, called 'dentin', which is porous by nature and close to the nerves. Over time, the enamel can be worn down due to the prevalence of sugar and acid in the typical Australian diet. It's also possible to wear this enamel down if you're overly aggressive when brushing your teeth.
How can you get this enamel fixed in this case? Dentists today can do this by fitting specially designed veneers on top of your existing teeth. These are typically made using porcelain and are very finely engineered. They are essentially very thin layers that are designed to fit over your existing teeth, which have been modified to accept them.
In your first visit to the dentist, some more of the enamel will be removed in order to give the technician a uniform surface with which to work. This is not too uncomfortable, but you will probably be given a local anaesthetic during the process. Once the dentist is happy with the outcome, they will take impressions to send to a dental laboratory for them to make the new veneers. Temporary ones will be fitted while this work is continuing.
The Final Fitting
Shortly thereafter the new veneers will be sent to your dentist, who will call you in for the final part of the process. The temporary options will be taken out and the new ones will be permanently fixed in their place. There may need to be some slight adjustments or polishing to give them that natural appearance.
You may suffer from a little bit of discomfort or sensitivity while you get used to the new veneers, but this will be very short lived and you will soon be back on form. You won't have to worry about your morning cup of coffee any more.