Veneers vs Braces - What's the Best Fix for Crooked Teeth?
Misaligned teeth are a problem. Not only are they generally not aesthetically pleasing, they can have a negative impact on your health as well. Crooked teeth create nooks and corners which make proper teeth cleaning difficult, leading to dental issues like plaque and cavities. Misaligned teeth also put unnecessary pressure on your jaw and can lead to pain as well as cracks, chips, or dental diseases. Therefore, it is quite important to fix crooked or misaligned teeth, both for your long term health and also so you can have a beautiful smile.
Once you have decided to fix your crooked teeth or generally improve your smile, you may be curious to learn whether veneers or braces would be your best choice. Here we discuss the basic differences between the two treatment options and the kind of issues they are designed to address.
Veneers are typically used in the treatment of discoloured teeth and mild gaps and can also be a short cut method to fix mildly crooked teeth. A veneer is a wafer-thin shell of tooth-coloured material, applied to the front of the tooth, almost like a jacket. Porcelain veneers are the most popular option because they are most identical to real teeth, as strong as enamel, and can resist stains better. Porcelain veneers are custom made, and their colour is made to match the shade of the rest of your teeth. Attaching porcelain veneers does require your dentist to remove a layer of your enamel, so you need to have good oral health to begin with, before you can undergo this procedure.
Veneers are considered to be as effective as braces in fixing small gaps in your teeth. They win over braces in the time commitment required - you can have beautiful, natural looking teeth in as few as three appointments. The procedure is virtually pain free. Veneers also don't require special upkeep - there are no diet restrictions, and being resistant to wear and tear, veneers can last a very long time.
Braces are used to treat severely misaligned teeth with issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite, and to fix gaps between teeth or crowding. Braces are the traditional orthodontic intervention, and offer the best and long-lasting solution to such misalignment problems. They also require very little maintenance post-treatment - aside from maybe wearing a retainer , there are no special considerations needed to maintain the outcome of the treatment.
Depending on the nature of your concern, and your personal preferences, you can choose different types of braces - from traditional metal ones to invisible aligners like Invisalign®. The biggest downside to braces is that they require a long-term commitment, and the treatment can take up to a year or more. The traditional metal braces are visible on your teeth, and may be considered less aesthetically pleasing, particularly for adults. Of course, this can addressed by opting for aligners like Invisalign® which are virtually invisible and just as effective as metal braces.
Metal braces also need complex cleaning methods to keep teeth free from bacteria, and while undergoing treatment you will have to follow strict diet restrictions (for instance, no hard, chewy or sticky foods). Invisalign® aligners are removable so they certainly make cleaning and dental hygiene easier, and because you remove them while eating, you are not bound by food restrictions! However, the aligners need to be in your mouth for a minimum of 20 hours a day, so you will have to cut back on casual snacking or spontaneous meals.
How do you decide?
In some cases the nature and degree of the misalignment in your teeth may already decide which procedure is best for you. If the crooked teeth also include additional dental or gum issues then your doctor may recommend braces over veneers. Certain types of issues may even require both braces and veneers.
At Skin 'n Smiles, Dr. Latika Dhawan is an Orthodontic specialist and renowned smile correction expert. She will assess your oral health, the nature and degree of teeth alignment as well as your needs and preferences. Then she will recommend a treatment option that best suits you. If you have any other questions about the pros and cons of braces or veneers, or need a consultation to decide what would be the best treatment for you, please feel free to contact us or drop in!