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New veneers can offer minimally-invasive smile repair

Gaps in your teeth, stained teeth, badly shaped teeth, crooked teeth — all are nature's mistakes or the results of injury, and they are relatively simple to correct.

Veneers, for example, are a great option for many dental patients. Custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials and placed on the front of the teeth, veneers are crafted in a dental laboratory by a dental technician following a model provided by your dentist.

However it's usually necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to accommodate the shell, so veneers have historically been an irreversible procedure.

But these days a new type of veneer is being used — the minimally invasive porcelain veneer. These veneers are very thin and designed to cover the surface of the teeth to which they are applied. Tooth structure is left intact and only altered when necessary.

"Minimally invasive veneers help patients conserve their enamel, which is a big attraction," Dr. Eugene L. Antenucci of the Academy of General Dentistry said in the November 2007 issue of General Dentistry. "Both traditional and minimally invasive porcelain veneers are highly esthetic, and can be expected to offer years of wear."

Masking mild to moderate tooth discolorations, correcting minor misalignments and rotation of anterior teeth, and re-shaping peg-shaped and undersized teeth are just a few of the improvements minimally invasive porcelain veneers can provide, according to the AGD.

No one dental treatment is perfect for everyone, so patients considering veneers should talk to their dentist about the available options and undergo a comprehensive clinical examination that includes an esthetic evaluation.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

4/28/2008

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