Are Braces or Veneers Better for a Perfect Smile?

You want straight teeth and wished you could close the gap in your teeth yesterday. A strong desire for that perfect smile with perfect teeth. You are ready for a change for the better. With the help of an orthodontist, you will be on the road to having your perfect smile. You have some options to achieve your goal.

People Also Ask

  • Are veneers better than braces?
  • Can I get braces with veneers?
  • Do orthodontists do veneers?
  • Do veneers straighten your teeth?

What are Braces?

Braces are dental devices used by an orthodontist to gradually shift teeth. They are used to correct any abnormalities in your teeth such as a gap or misalignments. This is the traditional option for correcting teeth.  Treatment times vary greatly, depending on the severity of your orthodontic problems, but most problems can be corrected in as little as 12 months.

Braces are stainless steel metal brackets attached to teeth with adhesive dental cement. A highly flexible wire (made of materials developed through the space shuttle program!) is then attached to those brackets to guide the teeth into the desired position. Depending on the type of braces you choose, the wire is secured into the brace using either a small elastic band or doors that are integrated into the bracket.  Of course, the kids all want to choose those COLORED elastic bands!  You can even choose the brackets in clear if you want to lessen their visibility!

Different Types of Braces

  1. Clear braces: Clear braces resemble metal braces, but are nearly invisible!  The advantage is they are clear so you do not look like you have anything attached to your teeth. If you are self-conscious about getting braces, you will love this option.
  2. Clear plastic aligners: If you are not into braces, these plastic aligners may be an option for you. They are made from polypropylene and resemble retainers you are given after orthodontic treatment is complete. They are computer generated trays fabricated after your orthodontist has developed a personalized treatment plan for the movement of your teeth.  The trays must be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be effective.  You may only remove the trays when you brush your teeth or eat.  Although most orthodontic problems can be corrected using clear aligners, more complex issues may best be addressed by clear or metal braces.

After Braces…

Are Veneers in Your Future?

Firstly, veneers are custom-made, thin shells placed over your tooth. The tooth-like material is designed to cover the surface of your tooth to improve its appearance. No metal,  plastic trays or years of treatment. With this dental appliance, you have two options: resin and porcelain. The resin option is made of thinner material and requires less of the tooth to be removed before it is placed. Porcelain is the option if you want the tooth to mimic natural teeth and resist stains. Veneers are typically used to repair:

  • Chipped, worn down or broken teeth
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Discolored teeth

Think of the dental shell like a false fingernail. The purpose is to cover, or hide, your imperfect teeth or gaps in your teeth.

How Long do Veneers Take to Make?

The veneers take about a week to ten days to make during which time dentists place a temporary veneer. This helps the patients decide if they need any more adjustments on the veneers before the permanent ones are modeled.

Advantages of Veneers

Veneers can improve the appearance of your smile giving you a boost of confidence. They can also solve dental issues as they can whiten your teeth, cover up a gap or space or cover up a cracked or chipped tooth. Moreover, they are long-lasting as the average porcelain veneer can last for up to 15 years.

Lastly, the enamel that covers your teeth helps to protect it, but enamel can erode for a variety of reasons. A veneer can help to restore eroded teeth and protect others from further erosion.

Disadvantages of Veeners

So why doesn’t everyone just get veneers instead of undergoing orthodontic treatment?  The major disadvantage is that veneers are not an ideal treatment if your teeth are crooked.  Veneers placed on crooked teeth must be made very thick to mask the crooked nature of the underlying teeth.  This over-thickening of the tooth can make cleaning the teeth difficult, and lead to gum problems over time.

The thick nature of veneers placed on crooked teeth may also give the appearance of protrusion (or horse teeth!) when you smile.  Veneers are often used to close a space between the two front teeth.  Depending on how big the space is, veneers can make the front teeth look very big since their size must be increased to close that space.  Veneers also need to be replaced approximately every five to 10 years due to wear and discoloration. In addition, placing veneers on your teeth will require removing healthy tooth structure.  Your teeth will be filed down prior to the procedure so the veneers can fit.

In summary, veneers may be an option for you if your teeth are already straight and all the spaces are closed, but you want to improve their shape, size, or coloration.  But otherwise, orthodontic treatment may be needed first to provide a proper foundation for the veneers.

Which Option is Right for You?

You really will not know which option is right for you until your initial consultation with your orthodontist. The decision will basically come down to the health of your teeth and your goals such as closing your gap or straighten your teeth. After orthodontic appliances are removed, retainers must be worn all the time for several months. After that time period, you will be required to wear a retainer only at night for a longer period of time. Nighttime for a Lifetime!!  The goal of wearing a retainer is to prevent your teeth from shifting back.

Placing veneers on your teeth that resemble natural teeth has its advantages. They can restore broken, discolored or worn teeth, which orthodontic treatment alone cannot achieve.  Veneers also offer immediate results. You can have the veneers placed on teeth in two visits. No special aftercare is required after they are placed on your teeth.

A FREE Consultation Awaits

Your life is hectic and we aim to make it easier for you to achieve your dental goals while going about your daily routine. We are conveniently located in Spartanburg, Duncan and Gaffney. Let’s talk about your goals. We have a variety of orthodontic appliances such as standard metal braces, self-ligating braces (Damon System) and clear aligners (Invisalign) to help you achieve your perfect smile.  Our goal is to create happy and healthy smiles whether your treatment plan includes veneers on your teeth or metal brackets and wire.  Our doctors have the experience to help you make the right decision!

Accordingly, with Dr. Nease, you will enjoy our top-quality orthodontic care and state-of-the-art technology to improve your orthodontic experience. You are a visit away from repairing your teeth and having a smile you can be proud to show. Call for a consultation appointment today and help create beautiful smiles for the Upstate.

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Nease & Higginbotham
Spartanburg Office
2455 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29307
Phone: (864) 579-7700

What is best? (Braces or Veneers for a Perfect Smile)

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