Veneers vs. Braces: What’s The Best Option and What To Choose?

When it comes to Veneers vs Braces, we should start by saying they are both different dentistry treatment options used to improve your smile. Conventional dental braces are orthodontic tools treating structural problems like dental misalignment which can include a misaligned bite, teeth, and jaw. Dental veneers correct the surface appearance of the teeth without interfering with the natural alignment. So while veneers are aesthetic, braces are corrective.

In this article, you will learn about veneers vs braces and their differences in different dental issues, compare veneers vs braces and find out which one is the better treatment option in certain cases. 

What Are Dental Braces Used For? 

Dental braces treat malocclusions like underbite, overbite or cross bite. They also correct gaps between teeth, bite issues, crowded teeth as well as other dental issues.

Dental braces are appliances for structural treatment of the jaw in a non-invasive way. They usually need a period of time before they can yield significant results. Average treatment time  depends on the individual patient and their specific treatment, usually lasting between 1 to 3 years. 

The traditional braces are metal brackets glued to the surface of the front teeth. An adhesive attaches the teeth and the brace and include arch wire to enable and guide tooth movement. There are also other options to treat this problem like Invisalign, ceramic braces and lingual braces. However, despite the other options available for alignment treatments, conventional braces remain the most popular orthodontic treatment for misalignment in most cases. 

 What Are Veneers Used For? 

Veneers are a cosmetic dentistry option to treat issues like discolored teeth, chipped teeth, misshapen teeth and fix the appearance of small gaps between teeth etc.

Veneers are a minimally invasive procedure as they require the removal of part of your natural tooth enamel in order for permanent veneers to bond on the surface of your natural teeth. They are usually porcelain or composite shells. They sit on top of your natural teeth and can last up to 10 to 15 years depending on the wear.

As long as you take good care of them, which doesn’t mean doing anything extra other than your regular oral hygiene regimen, they require minimum attention.

Veneers vs. Braces: Which One Should You Get? 

The answer to veneers vs. braces all comes down to exactly why do you want or need veneers or braces. In order to choose between veneers and braces as treatment options, you need to first consult with your dentist and identify the main dental issues you have. For example, if you have any severe alignment issues, it’s better to treat these as soon as you can because alignment issues, if they go untreated, can lead to serious problems that can affect other parts of the body. These might include tension headaches, neck pain, gum disease, loose teeth and tooth loss.  

In this case, we wouldn’t advice to use veneers. Because veneers do not fix any alignment issues; they are a cosmetic dentistry treatment, not a structural treatment option necessary for your needs. So if you want to fix a severe alignment issue, you should go with a structural treatment option like braces.  However, if you are considering veneers for an aesthetic reason, for example small gaps between teeth, they’re your best option. Let’s take a look at the table down below. You’ll get a quick idea of the differences between veneers and braces in terms of usage.  

Treatment Option Food RestrictionsMaintenanceDiscomfort Aesthetics Treatment length
Braces Yes, plentyThorough cleaning after mealsYesCan look unpleasantMultiple years
Veneers Yes, someNormal oral hygieneJust a few weeksLooks Aesthetic2 Sessions

It’s important to note that, although it is an irreversible procedure, veneers do not last a lifetime. You might need to get your veneers replaced or repaired in 10 years or so. 

Braces require a long treatment time and after you take your braces off, you might still need to wear retainers for a few years after the actual treatment. But after this process ends, your results will likely last you a lifetime. 

Veneers After Bracesw

If you are wondering whether it’s possible to get veneers after braces, the answer is yes! In fact, sometimes if you have multiple dental problems to address. Veneers and braces are both recommended in dental treatment plan. 

If the degree of misalignment in your jaw is considerable, or you have crowded teeth,  your dentist might suggest you to wear a form of braces for a period of time to fix your alignment and structural issues first. If you then want to focus on fixing the appearance of shape, size, or color of your teeth, you might get dental veneers. 

Let’s say you already fixed your structural dental issues. Dental veneers can help you improve more cosmetic concerns. You can achieve a more attractive smile on top of a solid and stable foundation. 

How Long Do I Need To Wait After Braces To Get Veneers? 

How long you need to wait to get veneers after braces depend on your individual case. Theoretically, you can get veneers as soon as your braces come off, however, most dentists would recommend waiting for some time to let your gums improve and new bite settle for a bit before getting your permanent veneers. 

Conclusion

Overall, while they might seem like procedures that can fix similar dental issues, veneers and braces handle very different problems. Keep in mind that if you have a structural issue like misaligned teeth, veneers won’t be able to fix it.

While both veneers and braces have pros and cons which can help with your decision-making process,  ultimately the most urgent dental problem you have will determine the course of your treatment.  Therefore the most important step is to consult your dentist and together identify the correct treatment plan for you.

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