Who does not want a perfect smile with beautiful white teeth? We know that orthodontists are the smile experts, using braces to straighten teeth, but where do veneers fit in?
What are veneers?
Veneers are very thin ceramic or porcelain covers that are fitted to the outside of your teeth to give you a brilliantly white smile. Just like a coat of paint on a house can improve how a house looks, but hide deeper issues, veneers can do the same for your teeth. They can be a quick fix to cover up stained or even slightly crooked teeth. Veneers are purely cosmetic and fitted by a dentist. They cannot resolve deeper issues. Braces, on the other hand, create both a functional and aesthetic result with treatment that is managed by a specialist orthodontist.
Should you choose veneers or braces?
This a question often asked. However, it is seldom a choice one has to make. While veneers can mask mild orthodontic challenges, if your case is anything more than mild, braces will be required and veneers will not be an option. Braces are used to straighten your teeth giving a beautiful smile and solving functional issues with your teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment won’t assist with giving you a “whiter” smile. If you have no issue with your teeth that requires orthodontic intervention, and you would like to have teeth that are bright white, then veneers may be an option for you.
What are the pros and cons of veneers?
Perhaps the biggest benefit of veneers is that you can have a brilliantly white smile almost immediately. Veneers are fitted by a dentist and can be individually shaped to match your teeth, cover minor gaps and be coloured to match perfectly.
Veneers are also more resistant to staining than normal teeth. If you drink a tremendous amount of coffee or are a heavy smoker, veneers will do a better job of staying their original colour. Natural tooth enamel is porous and so stains more easily.
But there are few cons to veneers that you need to be aware of before choosing to fit veneers to your teeth.
- Veneers mask underlying conditions. This puts you at risk of underlying conditions deteriorating further and potentially causing more serious complications at a later date. Before fitting veneers, a good dentist will make sure there are no complications with your teeth that veneers will make worse.
- Veneers will permanently damage your teeth. Your dentist will need to remove some enamel from your teeth in order to be able to make a strong bond between the surface of your teeth and the veneers. You will be able to remove the veneers in future but you will be left with less tooth enamel.
- Veneers can make your teeth more sensitive. Having less tooth enamel may make your teeth more sensitive to extremes of temperature. Eating ice cream, for example, could become an unpleasant experience.
- Veneers can be very expensive.
- Veneers can fracture. Eating hard foods may fracture veneers
Can braces be fitted to veneers?
Yes! The material veneers are made with does mean the braces do not bond quite as strongly as they would to tooth enamel, but the bond is strong enough for orthodontic treatment to work. You would have to be a little more careful with looking after your braces to avoid breakages though. If you are considering veneers, but you have underlying orthodontic issues, it is recommended you have orthodontic treatment first and have the veneers fitted afterwards.
If you are unsure whether veneers or braces are the right choice for you, we recommend you find an orthodontist in your area and book an initial consultation. He or she will be able to answer all your questions.