Advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry are putting smiles on people's faces-literally.
The most sought-after treatment is whitening stained, discolored or dull teeth. Between 1996 and 2000, consumer demand for teeth-whitening grew by more than 300%, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
The use of porcelain veneers, which can change the look of chipped, cracked or crooked teeth, is also way up. Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made laminates that are bonded directly to the teeth.
"Improving someone's smile can change their appearance dramatically, making them look healthier, happier and younger," says Manhattan dentist Dr. Jan Linhart, who focuses on cosmetic dentistry.
Linhart has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people coming in for a "smile makeover," as he calls it.