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Enamel is the tooth’s most valuable protective tissue. The outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, is the key to keeping a healthy tooth. Ideally, the enamel will remain intact for the life of the person. As the enamel is under constant attack from sugar-based diet, the damages it cause is repaired by the dental profession by a variety of materials and techniques. Each technique requires shaping or removing various amounts of enamel.

Some dental procedures in our list will be given an “Enamel Safeguard Rating” on a scale of 10 to 1, depending on the percentage of healthy enamel left. For example, a sealant does not require removal of enamel and gets an enamel rating of 100 and a crown would require that most, if not all the enamel be removed, so it would get a rating of 5 or less.

This Enamel Safeguard Rating will give you a tool to better judge the impact of different treatment options a dentist may recommend. You should protect your tooth from unnecessary damage, both from eating and cleaning habits, as well as dental treatments. The better you care for your tooth enamel and the fewer dentists do to it, the better off you will be. Remember, before having any dental procedures done that requires removal of any enamel, think long and hard. Remember, NO DENTAL TREATMENT IS PERMANENT BUT DAMAGE TO TOOTH STRUCTURE IS PERMANENT.

The first criterion that you should use in choosing a procedure to improve the appearance of your teeth is one which does the least damage to the tooth for the greatest improvement.