Veneers vs. Braces?
The most common complaints about unattractive smiles usually include:
- dark or discolored teeth
- spaces or gaps
- crowding or crooked teeth
- worn down or chipped teeth
Depending on your goals, the answer to your problem can vary. If your only concern is the color of your teeth, simple whitening may be the solution. If your concerns include the spacing, size, shape, or crookedness of your teeth, then either braces or veneers may be the right choice for you. In some cases, it may be a combination of all the above.
Most people are familiar with braces (orthodontics). There is the traditional approach to braces, and today we also have 6 Month Cosmetic Braces. The way they work is very similar. The goals are different.
Traditional braces are intended to not only straighten teeth, but also to correct any bite discrepancies. Because of the goal to correct the bite, the treatment time is longer. Usually it's anywhere from 12 to 24 months, or even longer in some cases.
6 (Six) Month Braces are intended to correct the alignment of the teeth in the "smile zone." 6 Month Cosmetic Braces straighten only the teeth that show in your smile. They do not usually correct any bite discrepancies. 6 Month Braces are a wonderful solution for adult patients who are not happy with their smiles because of spacing, crowding, or crooked teeth. After straightening your teeth, whitening may be the "cherry on top." The advantage of 6 Month Braces over Porcelain Veneers is that it's more conservative and less expensive. By straightening your teeth with braces, no irreversible changes have been made to the teeth themselves, as occurs with Porcelain Veneers. But, naturally, 6 Month Braces cannot change the shape or size of your teeth.
Porcelain Veneers are the ultimate in cosmetic dental makeover treatment. Porcelain Veneers can also correct crooked teeth (with some limitations), discolorations, close spaces, and rebuild worn or chipped teeth. With Porcelain Veneers, we can create picture-perfect teeth in terms of alignment, color, and shape. Exquisite Porcelain Veneers require some reshaping of the natural teeth to make room for the porcelain restorations. And, if the teeth are very crooked, this reshaping can sometimes be aggressive. That's where 6 Month Braces may be a big help - to reduce or eliminate such aggressive reshaping.
So, think of 6 Month Braces as a possible alternative to Porcelain Veneers if your only concern is the alignment of your teeth. Sometimes a combination of both 6 Month Braces and Porcelain Veneers will be the perfect solution. Ultimately, the best way to find out is to give us a call at Palm Beach Smiles for a free consultation.
Dr. Michael Barr is the founder of Palm Beach Smiles, a general dental practice in Boynton Beach, Florida with a focus on Cosmetic Dentistry.