Gone are the days when only teenagers would wear braces. Today, it’s common to see people of all ages receive this orthodontic treatment. Many patients walk in the office wondering what the difference is between veneers and braces and how they compare. It’s time to talk about veneers vs braces. Let’s get right into it.
Orthodontic Treatment with Dental Braces for Misaligned Teeth
Dental braces are a type of orthodontist appliance with stainless steel bands that are employed to straighten teeth and fill large and small gaps in your smile. Once it is set in place, it begins to shift these structures in a non-invasive way. Over time, usually within the course of two years, braces work to adjust severe misalignments and protrusions, correct overbites and align underbites. They are also effective for crossbite. When the desired outcome is achieved, retainers are used to sustain the results.
Irregularly-shaped teeth are not always a cosmetic concern. It won't seem strange to say that if a severely misaligned bite is not taken care of, it leads to neck pain, tension, headaches, inflammation, among other things.
Standard braces are made of metal that comes in a broad range of colours and shades, making it possible to choose the ones that appeal to you. They are either mounted to the front of the teeth or to the back (lingual braces). There also are ceramic braces (ceramic brackets) that match the colour of natural teeth and are more transparent.
And finally, the latest trend in dentistry is invisible braces, a.k.a clear aligners, which are a more convenient way to correct misalignments. They are fully transparent and therefore hardly visible. The biggest perk is they are removable, so there is no discomfort during meals and no restrictions on the foods you can enjoy. One of the disadvantages is that they only work for mild to moderate misalignment.
Who is Suitable for Braces for Crooked Teeth?
- Those who need to correct alignment issues and structural problems
- People who bite their tongues way too often
- If you get jaw fatigue every time you chew food
- If you have gaps in your mouth and severely crooked or misaligned teeth
Who Isn’t Suitable for Braces?
- Those who sleep face down, tummy down
- Poor oral hygiene and a host of unresolved dental issues
- Active gum disease that is getting out of control
Metal Braces vs Invisible Aligners for Crooked Teeth
If invisible aligners exist, then why are metal braces still used these days for crooked or misaligned teeth? Well, truth be told, clear braces have a tonne of advantages but they are not perfect. There are cases in which metal braces would be a more desired option, especially when you consider the heavy price tag of their counterparts.
Some patients will have a better outcome with traditional braces, the reason being severely crooked teeth cannot be treated with clear braces like Clear Smile Invisible braces. So, it depends on the case and how much time and money you are willing to put in.
Benefits and Downsides of Wearing Braces:
- There is no age limit; you can get braces at any age
- You can make a fashion statement by choosing a colour that you like
- Easier for the dentist
- With Clear Smile and veneers you need more experience and skills
- Less expensive
- Aesthetics could be a problem for some patients
- Treatment time varies per patient but in general, it takes 2-3 years to get it over with
- More discomfort, you need time to get accustomed to traditional metal braces
- They are not detachable and hygiene is difficult to maintain
- Food will get stuck
When crooked teeth are purely a cosmetic issue, veneers in Singapore could come to the rescue. The purpose of these is to hide imperfections and make the teeth more appealing to the eyes. They do not treat malocclusions and are strictly a part of cosmetic dentistry.
The way they work is pretty simple: a thin custom-made shell from a tooth-like material designed to go over your natural tooth. The surface imitates the natural light-reflecting properties of a tooth.
Before the procedure is done, you will be sent to do X-rays to ensure your smile is in good health. If there are any pending issues, they will have to be fixed at the dentist’s office before veneers can happen.
Treatment time spans several weeks. First, you will have a consultation with your dentist in Singapore to talk about the outcome and track down the transformation of your smile. They will show you photos of other successful outcomes and even equip you with temporary veneers so you can get a feel for the treatment. These can immediately transform your teeth. You can visit our Geylang dental clinic if you'd like to receive more information.
The next step would be to get an impression of your mouth. This will ensure that you get customised veneers that fit your unique teeth seamlessly. The impressions are transported to a lab that then proceeds to make a model of what your teeth can look like.
On your second appointment, you will be shown said model and express your opinion about it. If there is something you don’t like about it, you are at a stage where corrections can still be made. With that out of the way, the composite or porcelain veneers will be cemented on your teeth on the next visit.
Who Is Suitable for Veneers?
- The front surface of the teeth is slightly misaligned
- Broken teeth
- Existing teeth are yellow or grey (after root canal treatment)
- Good dental health
Who Is Not Suitable for Veneers?
- Your teeth are super crowded
- You have active decay
- You have gum disease
- You have crowded teeth with not a lot of space between them
Composite vs Porcelain Veneers for Misaligned Teeth
Now, we talked about the very process of getting veneers to build irregular teeth, but there is one more thing that needs to be discussed: what material is best for you? Well, this is as much about preference as it is about personal needs.
When it comes to veneers, composite is a less-known material, and probably one that is less used in cosmetic dentistry. It is glued to the surface and no tooth enamel filing is needed; however, the composite material requires someone overly talented to get it right because it is not easy to generate beautiful results with it. There are some great dentists out there that can successfully handle composite veneers but in general, they are hard to find.
With respect to porcelain veneers, they look amazing and they don’t require as much skill as composite to shape. That’s why they are so popular. One downside is that the cosmetic dentist has to take a little bit off the tooth in order to get the job done and that is a permanent change.
Benefits and Downsides of Veneers
- You can choose the shade
- They look super nice
- They can last a while
- A comfortable procedure
- They may have to be swapped out (most veneers withstand several years of use)
- You have to be super consistent with your oral hygiene
- They are not covered by dental insurance
Veneers vs Braces: Is It Better to Get Veneers or Braces?
The decision should rest on your unique situation. No treatment is better than the other. You want to discuss your cosmetic problems with a dentist and figure out a solution that fulfils your needs.
If you have malocclusions that not only ruin the aesthetics of your smile but also interfere with your eating and chewing, then it’s obvious that porcelain veneers will be of little help. If you are just looking to make your smile more aesthetic by touching up the front teeth, in that case veneers will be a great treatment option.
On average, patients may make use of both procedures, as long as they are employed one after the other. By fixing malocclusions, you can improve eating and speaking and by adding veneers to your teeth, you will enhance your appearance greatly.
At the end of the day, the decision lies in your hands depending on your cosmetic requirements. Of course, you should also consult a dental specialist with experience in the field you're looking to get treatment in.