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The benefits of braces versus veneers

If you’re an adult looking to straighten your teeth, chances are you’ve taken the time to investigate some of the options available, looking at orthodontic treatments like braces and aligners, and maybe even cosmetic procedures such as veneers.

One of the questions we’re sometimes asked is why would a patient choose braces over veneers?

In short, the answer comes down to orthodontic treatment being a holistic approach that improves not just the smile but the bite and general oral health, while veneers are a cosmetic solution. But there’s a lot more to this debate.

Here’s why we believe orthodontic treatment is the best way to create a smile that lasts a lifetime.

Orthodontic treatment

Whether the treatment is braces or Invisalign, the result of orthodontics might be a straight smile, but behind the scenes there’s a lot more going on.

Orthodontics focuses not just on the aesthetics but also the functionality of a smile. That means treatment involves looking at current teeth position, bite and jaw alignment and then gently shifting the teeth while realigning the jaw and bite into their optimum position.

We do this in the knowledge that a straight smile is a healthy one where all teeth meet correctly and can be readily accessed for cleaning. In the long run this minimises wear and tear on the teeth and reduces future cavities and dental work.

An orthodontically straightened smile also offers benefits for speech, chewing, sleep and general wellbeing.

Meanwhile, it’s a treatment that lasts. The time taken to gently shift teeth into position results in a naturally straight smile that, with proper maintenance, lasts you throughout the course of your life.

Cosmetic veneers

Cosmetic veneers are a thin porcelain or composite overlay that adheres to natural teeth. Usually this procedure is undertaken by a suitably qualified dentist.

Fitting veneers involves etching the natural teeth and then bonding the veneer to them, making veneers a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed.

As part of the enamel of your natural teeth will be removed prior to fitting veneers, your teeth will need to be in good health, and your oral hygiene up to scratch. Veneers also have a lifespan, meaning after 10 or so years they will need to be replaced.

Veneers are often used as a cosmetic remedy for problems like chipped, cracked or discoloured teeth, and they can be applied to single or multiple teeth.

When it comes to straightening or even closing a gap between teeth, veneers are sometimes used by cosmetic dentists to provide the look of straight, aligned teeth. In this instance the veneers used will have varying thicknesses, so the teeth appear to be straight and evenly spaced.

It’s important to note, although veneers might make teeth appear straight, the underlying issues that have caused crooked teeth such as a narrow jaw, overbite or underjet cannot be fixed with veneers. Only orthodontic treatment can remedy these issues.

It’s also worth bearing in mind, not all crooked teeth are suitable candidates for veneers, and in some cases orthodontic work is required before veneers are fitted.

When veneers work well

Although veneers are not a service we offer at Norwest Orthodontics, we often work alongside dentists to help patients achieve their ultimate smile. As a result, we see numerous cases where veneers are an excellent option for patients who may have experienced trauma to their teeth.

Veneers work particularly well when visible front teeth have broken, chipped or cracked, or when discoloured teeth cannot be whitened. 

When orthodontic treatment is best

When it comes to straightening teeth and particularly when those teeth belong to young, healthy individuals, orthodontic treatment is an investment that offers more than just cosmetic benefits.

Not only does orthodontics look at the aesthetics of a straight smile, it focuses on the long-term functionality of that smile and seeks to ensure general dental wellbeing that will last.

In addition, orthodontic treatments are often much more efficient, discrete and swift than they were in the past, with a range of options available to help you achieve the ultimate smile.

Innovations like Damon braces have shaved months off the time taken to straighten teeth with braces, while Invisalign clear aligners allow individuals to straighten their teeth discretely and even remove their appliance for special occasions.

In other words, while orthodontic treatment may not straighten your teeth overnight, it’s an option that achieves long-term results, offers a range of ongoing benefits and is now faster and more discrete than ever before.

Weighing the options

If you’re looking to straighten your teeth, it’s important to fully investigate and understand the available options. This includes factoring in the long-term impacts, pros, cons, cost and work involved for the treatments you’re considering.

It’s also critical to remember every individual’s teeth and smile are as unique as their personality and no one size fits all when it comes to achieving the desired result.

At Norwest Orthodontics, our philosophy is based on treating people, not just teeth, and we’re happy to discuss the range of orthodontic treatments we have available, so you fully understand what may be involved in creating your ultimate smile.

An initial visit at our state-of-the-art practice involves informing you, in detail, about the nature and extent of the orthodontic treatment required.

By focusing on your concerns and wishes we will:

  • Explain the treatment you may require and the types of appliances that can be used
  • Explain the length of treatment and what you can expect at each appointment
  • Answer all your questions relating to your orthodontic treatment and discuss the financial arrangement

About Norwest Orthodontics

Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.

We also have a suite of treatments available that include discrete, removeable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

You can learn more about our services, or contact us here to make an appointment here.

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