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Technology makes possible a designer smile

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- When fashion executive Joy Yaffe of Milan, Italy, wanted a new smile, she took a "vacation" to a dentist's office in the United States.

The United States has become a destination for international visitors looking for smile makeovers. More and more dentists are catering to this demand by casting themselves as the dental equivalents of plastic surgeons.

CNN's Elina Fuhrman reports on a dentist that rebuilds smiles

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"We transform the smile to make the face look as beautiful as possible," said Dr. Ronald Goldstein, who practices cosmetic dentistry in Atlanta and holds academic dental appointments at universities in Augusta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; and San Antonio, Texas. "We go back to the Greek measurements -- what we call 'golden proportions.' "

For an investment of $5,000 to $10,000, Goldstein and other dentists say they can subtract as many as 15 years from a patient's appearance, often in a matter of hours or days.

"Time is of the essence in my business," said Yaffe. "I don't have a lot of time."

The tools of modern dental work include lasers to carve new, more attractive gum lines, tooth bleaching and the ultimate -- porcelain veneers for a dazzling white smile.

"Almost everyone today wants a natural-looking white smile," said Goldstein.

CNN Correspondent Elina Fuhrman reports.

Less pain, more efficiency with high-tech dentistry
April 11, 2000

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
Dr. Ronald Goldstein biography page

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