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Unhappy with your smile, but unsure of which procedure is best for you? Fortunately, there are various conservative cosmetic treatment options available to patients, according to a study in the November 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD's clinical, peer-reviewed journal. One such treatment option is minimally invasive porcelain veneers.
Minimally invasive porcelain veneers are very thin and designed to cover the surface of the teeth to which they are applied. With this type of veneer, tooth structure is left intact and only altered when necessary.
"Minimally invasive veneers help patients conserve their enamel, which is a big attraction," comments AGD spokesperson, Eugene L. Antenucci, DDS. With traditional veneers, an anesthetic is required and the treatment is not reversible. Since no one dental treatment is suitable for everyone, it is important for patients to research all of their options. "Both traditional and minimally invasive porcelain veneers are highly esthetic, and can be expected to offer years of wear," according to Dr. Antenucci.
With all of the available treatment options for people who are unhappy with their smiles, it might be difficult to choose which one is best for an individual. Howard E. Strassler, DMD, lead author of the study, advises patients who are considering esthetic treatment to "undergo a comprehensive clinical examination that includes an esthetic evaluation.
Masking mild to moderate tooth discolorations, correcting minor misalignments and rotation of anterior teeth, and reshaping peg-shaped and undersized teeth are just a few of the possible improvements minimally invasive porcelain veneers may provide. People who are interested in this option should talk to their dentist about the best choice for their teeth. "Each case needs to be evaluated [to decide] if a minimally invasive porcelain veneer is right for the clinical condition," says Dr. Strassler.
Common misconceptions about minimally invasive porcelain veneers:
• Minimally invasive porcelain veneers will make teeth look too big or too long. In almost all cases, some tooth reshaping is necessary to allow the teeth and smile to look better than the smile the patient started with.
• Minimally invasive porcelain veneers can lead to gum disease. The dentist will finish and polish edges to avoid ledges and to make the veneers smooth. As with all teeth, patients should brush and floss around the veneers.
• There will be sensitivity after having veneers bonded. With minimally invasive veneers, since the tooth enamel is maintained, sensitivity is very rare.
Updated: January 2012
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