MICHIGAN (Genesee District Dental Society members) - Thanks to television makeover shows, many people have become aware of the dramatic changes that can be achieved through cosmetic dentistry.
Porcelain veneers or laminates are one of the common procedures used on the makeover recipients.
Porcelain veneers are a thin shell of porcelain, similar to a fake fingernail, that are bonded to the surface of a tooth. They can be used to lengthen the teeth, make the teeth look straighter, widen the teeth or to cover dark discoloration on the teeth.
Most often, some preparation of the tooth, though minimal, is required. The procedure is not usually reversible. Porcelain veneers cannot be used on a tooth that has had a lot of previous loss of tooth structure from decay or fracture. In those cases, crowns are a better alternative.
Unlike the makeover cases, porcelain veneers are not always the best choice. For instance, if teeth are not straight, then orthodontics (braces) is usually the preferred choice because they do not require irreversibly changing the tooth structure. Also, veneers may not be the best choice for someone who clenches or grinds his teeth, as this will cause premature failure of the veneer.
Most importantly, if there is not good support on the back teeth for the pressures of chewing, then the front teeth may become over-stressed. Porcelain veneers in this case would be a poor choice.
There are many choices in dentistry today, but it is important for the patient to make informed choices. Careful planning is as important in remodeling a mouth as it is in remodeling a house.
Atkinson's group used various tests to measure the protein profiles in saliva from 20 healthy comparison subjects and 41 patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome.
Source: THE FLINT JOURNAL - Genesee District Dental Society members