When it comes to improving the appearance of your teeth, two corrective options are braces and dental veneers. Braces are a type of orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces are cemented on each tooth and connected via wires, which are tightened throughout the course of treatment to achieve the desired outcome.
Minimally-invasive braces, such as Invisalign, are also effective in the right circumstances. Veneers are a little bit different – they’re porcelain or composite shells that bond to the front of the teeth to improve appearance.
While both can be effective for improving the look of your teeth, there are some key instances where one or the other should be administered. Here’s a closer look:
Making the Case for Braces
If you have an underbite, overbite, cross bite or excessive gaps in your teeth, braces will almost always be the best way to treat the issue. In fact, most dentists recommend braces as a treatment option when there are underlying structural issues preventing an individual from achieving their desired look, while veneers are more administered when cosmetic improvements are desired.
Another big benefit to going the braces route is there’s little maintenance required once the braces are removed. Aside from maybe wearing a retainer at night, there are no special considerations needed to maintain the outcome of the treatment. Veneers, on the other hand, may require repair and replacement over time.
One of the biggest drawbacks, however, to wearing braces is treatment may range from months to years. The end result with veneers is much more immediate. Also, though there are more discrete braces alternatives these days, the appearance of braces is off-putting to some.
Alternative To Braces – Same Effect!
Luckily, that’s where Invisalign comes in. Invisalign is one of those new discrete orthodontic tools that allows you to straighten your teeth without the worry of hurting the aesthetic appeal of teeth. They do the same job as braces do in straightening your teeth whilst being removable meaning you can continue eating all of your favorite foods worry-free.
Best of all is Invisalign is comparably priced to braces, so no additional cost and can even be covered by some insurance plans. Invisalign still takes time for full effectiveness of straightened teeth but that work is being done out of the sight of others.
Making The Case For Veneers
As we told you in the above section, veneers are more intended to provide cosmetic improvements. For this reason, they are often recommended in instances of stained, chipped, or cracked teeth. They may also provide a viable solution if there are minor gap issues in a patient’s mouth.
Veneers are a thin but strong layer of ceramic material layer on top of your healthy teeth to give the appearance that they are straight, aligned, not having chips or gaps, etc. One of the nicest things about veneers is they offer an instant solution. They can typically be administered in one appointment, while treatment periods with braces may extend a year or two. Veneers also have the effect of giving off a whitened effect as the ceramic material used can be whiter, giving off a more aesthetically appealing look.
However, those who go the veneer route will have to expect they’ll need to be more regularly maintained. Eventually, they’ll also likely need to be replaced. Veneers also have the worry of becoming chipped or cracked if you are eating very hard or chewy foods. Whilst this is not super common, it is still a noteworthy concern.
Which Treatment is Right for You?
As you can see, veneers and braces are very different forms of treatment, intended to correct different issues in patients. While there is a little bit of crossover in the conditions each procedure treats, veneers and braces shouldn’t be looked at so much under the same treatment umbrella as you may have originally thought.
For more information on veneers, braces and what each treatment option can help correct, contact our doctors, Dr. Richard Caven, Dr. Shelby Denman, and Dr. Stephen Carpenter, by calling our Caven Dental office in Jacksonville, FL, to schedule a consultation today!