Cosmetic dentistry is a new and exciting branch of restorative dentistry that uses tooth colored fillings, inlays or onlays, crowns, veneers, or direct bonding to correct chipped, discolored, or misshapen teeth or to close spaces between teeth. The use of amalgam has decreased recently, as patient preferences, smile enhancement, and constantly improved tooth colored restorative materials are made available to the dentist.

Unlike amalgams, composites strengthen rather than weaken teeth because they bond to enamel. Additionally manufactures have continued to strengthen them and make them more wear resistant over time so that some are not similar in wear characteristics to that of enamel.

Tooth bleaching (whitening) has become a very popular, conservative choice for people who want to lighten their teeth. Porcelain veneers or direct bonding are other options available to brighten a smile.

The term instant orthodontics can be done with bonding, veneers, crowns, or onlays by changing the length, width, shape, size, profile, angle, or appearance of a tooth or teeth. Occasionally, overlap/overbites or crossbites can be corrected as well.

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