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Extreme Teeth Makeover: The Case for Braces

Vivera-RetainerBraces or Veneers? That is the question that many people face who are looking to make some changes to the appearance of their teeth. I always recommend that people try to resolve their misalignment issues with braces because orthodontic treatment does not compromise the structure of the teeth, and it’s a much more natural, healthy way to take care of teeth and jaw problems.

Some people are concerned about how they will look with braces on, and nowadays, there really is nothing to be concerned about.  With the addition of Invisalign and Incognito hidden braces to the orthodontic industry, patients no longer need to worry about being self-conscious about how they might look or feel with braces.  Even braces that fit over the front of the teeth are offered in less conspicuous styles with smaller brackets, clear brackets, and invisible ties. Orthodontic treatment undoubtedly takes longer to complete than the two or three dental visits required to fit veneers to teeth. However, most patients start seeing visible results with braces in just a couple of months.

Choosing veneers can be very risky as they do change the structural integrity of the tooth.  Dentists remove .5 mm of enamel so that the adhesive they use bonds to the teeth correctly.  The teeth are reshaped so that the veneers can fit.  This means that veneer patients are forever married to this treatment. Because of the loss of enamel and the type of reshaping, tooth decay can be an issue in veneer patients.  Additionally, veneers can be extremely costly with one tooth potentially costing thousands and lasting only ten years.

Reconstructing a mouth with veneers is extreme, and in many cases, the veneers could be avoided with orthodontic treatment.

There are some cases in which veneers can really add to the aesthetic of a smile. During orthodontic treatment, teeth can be somewhat reshaped, but people with significantly irregular shaped teeth can benefit aesthetically by fitting those teeth with veneers.  However, it is still my strong opinion and recommendation to undergo orthodontic treatment first and then evaluate whether or not you need further cosmetic dentistry.