There is a saying that you are never fully dressed without a smile. That is why a perfect smile is so important.
However, no smile is perfect. Crooked teeth and imperfect teeth are a barrier to it. To resolve this problem there has been a demand for dental treatments, which in turn has led to the debate of veneers versus braces. Let us discuss the differences and advantages and disadvantages of both.
- 1 Why do I need veneers or braces?
- 2 What are braces?
- 3 What are the benefits of braces?
- 4 Some pros of braces:
- 5 What are the drawbacks of braces?
- 6 Other cons of braces:
- 7 What are veneers?
- 8 What are the benefits of veneers?
- 9 What are the drawbacks of veneers?
- 10 Veneers versus braces
- 11 Conclusion
Why do I need veneers or braces?
The three factors that make your smile beautiful are the color of your teeth, their shape, and their position. Your smile is less than perfect if your teeth are crooked, discolored, or of uneven shape. Both veneers and braces are different treatments that can change the way your teeth look and enhance your smile. You have to decide which cosmetic dentistry option to use that will benefit you. From this arises the veneers versus braces dilemma.
There also may be underlying dental conditions that may require the need for braces or veneers.
Some of these are:
- Spaces between teeth: This is known as diastema.
- Improper bite: Your teeth may not bite right! Improper alignment in the bite of the teeth is known as malocclusion.
- Breathing issues: Teeth that are not aligned properly can affect the way you breathe. This may cause you to breathe through your mouth. Misalignment of teeth can also result in other issues like snoring and sleep apnea.
- Tartar accumulation: Crowding of teeth will not allow easy cleaning resulting in tartar build-up in the teeth. This build-up will eventually lead to tooth decay.
What are braces?
Braces are used to align the teeth correctly and also help to treat dental issues as discussed above. The types of braces range from the traditional metal or ceramic braces that are affixed to the front teeth to lingual braces, which are attached to the tongue back, and the invisible aligners or clear aligners.
What are the benefits of braces?
Braces are a non-invasive treatment method to align your teeth correctly. They do not require any changes to your teeth, like filing or reshaping.
Also, braces can correct other alignment problems in other parts of the body. These may include painful swelling of joints in the jaw or neck pain, all due to this improper alignment. Misalignment of teeth can also result in earaches, gum recession, tension headaches, and even loss of teeth.
Some pros of braces:
- Proven and effective treatment: Braces have been around for decades and the treatment is proven to be effective.
- No chipping or cracking: Braces may fall off, or the wire holding them may snap. However, they will not crack or chip off. Also, braces can be repaired quickly and easily.
- Treatment of dental issues: Braces are the recommended choice for dental problems like improper teeth alignment or malocclusion.
What are the drawbacks of braces?
Apart from being visible to all that you are wearing braces, the biggest disadvantage of braces is that they take too long to rectify the problem of crooked teeth. Adults may require to wear braces from a year to nearly 20 months to ensure the treatment is proper. Ceramic braces may take up to three years to get your teeth to align.
Also, care after the braces treatment is cumbersome. You may have to wear a retainer for several months after braces are removed to stop the teeth from shifting into their original positions in the jaw.
Other cons of braces:
- They are expensive: Approximately braces can cost from $3000 to over $10,000. Opting for ceramic braces may increase the cost by $2000 more.
- Restriction in eating: If you opt for braces, your dentist will provide you with a list of foods to avoid, including hard and sticky food items.
- Difficulty in cleaning teeth: Brushing and flossing become a task with braces.
What are veneers?
Veneers are custom-made, thin porcelain materials that fit over the front surface of your existing teeth. Veneers give instant results and make your teeth look straight and white. The veneers have stain-resistant properties and even reflect light like natural teeth, giving an amazing effect.
Veneer treatment is a good option if your teeth are not crowded together or crooked. This treatment is an option for whitening stained teeth, fixing chipped, worn down, or broken teeth, correcting minor teeth alignment, and repairing gaps between teeth.
What are the benefits of veneers?
Veneers are a quick fix and perfect solution for most of your dental issues. This treatment can be resolved with just about two or three dental appointments to shape and attach veneers to your teeth.
No special care is required. Simple brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is enough.
Also, there is no requirement for a tedious aftercare regimen. Veneers are perfect for minor teeth alignment issues. If your teeth are severely misaligned, it may be advisable to consider other orthodontic options.
Some pros of veneers:
- They are versatile: Veneers can hide stained and discolored teeth and also chips and cracks. They give a new shape to crooked or out-of-shape teeth.
- Long-lasting and affordable: Veneers are comparatively affordable when compared with treatments like crowns. They also last longer. Porcelain veneers may last for seven to 15 years on average.
- Reduction in root canal treatment: With veneer treatment, the requirement for root canal treatment may be less than 1% during the teeth’s lifetime.
What are the drawbacks of veneers?
Although dental veneers are commonly used to enhance the appearance of teeth, this process is irreversible. Also, the treatment can remove some tooth enamel and coatings as veneers have to be fitted correctly over the teeth. This may result in sensitivity in the teeth and some amount of discomfort.
You may decide to get veneers for only some of your teeth. As a result, there may be a mismatch of color with your other teeth.
Other cons of veneers:
- Expense: Veneers are expensive. Each veneer can range anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per tooth. Multiply this by the number of teeth you plan to veneer and see how costly it becomes.
- Limited repair: Veneers can only cosmetically cover slightly damaged teeth. The treatment cannot resolve the appearance of teeth that have been badly damaged.
Veneers versus braces
This decision has to be made based on your teeth and how badly they are improperly aligned. Veneers may be the best option in cases where there is mild misalignment or for those who just want a cosmetic get-over. Braces may be the better option where teeth are moderate to severely misaligned and where there are some structural issues.
Both veneers and braces are different in the way they treat the teeth. To decide which treatment to opt for, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each treatment and consult your dentist as it involves your dental health.
However, both provide the best results for that perfect smile! Book a consultation today.
I feel very fortunate to have found a profession as rewarding as the field of Orthodontics! For over 20 years, I have enjoyed creating custom, beautiful smiles for our family of patients all over the Northern Virginia area. You can even find some of our loyal patients across the country and abroad!