Do your teeth look like commuters on a crowded subway? Not enough space, overlapping edges, some teeth sticking out farther than the others? Many people assume that Invisalign® or other orthodontic treatments are the only way to correct a crooked smile—but that’s not always the case! Clear aligners are an excellent way to realign your smile, but in some cases, similar results can be achieved in an even shorter period of time, thanks to porcelain veneers.
How Porcelain Veneers Work
You probably already know how Invisalign works: a series of clear aligners are worn constantly for 12 or more months, to gradually shift the position of the teeth. Each set of aligners puts gentle pressure on the teeth, to encourage them to move into a more balanced state of alignment. If your misalignment issues are not severe, however, you may be able to achieve a more harmonious smile with the application of porcelain veneers.
Veneers are hand-made shells of dental ceramic that fit over the front of your natural teeth. They create a brand-new façade for each tooth, which means they can correct the shape, size, and color of each tooth. Porcelain veneers are extremely thin—some only as thick as a contact lens—so they do not add any extra bulk to the teeth. The estimated lifespan of veneers is about 12-15 years, though in some cases they have been known to last decades before showing any signs of failure. The more carefully you use your veneers, the longer they will last.
How Veneers Can “Straighten” the Teeth
When veneers are attached to the teeth, a small amount of underlying enamel is removed. This means that your dentist has the opportunity to shape the underlying tooth into a more aesthetic form. If your teeth look too crowded or crooked because some are larger than others, veneers give us the opportunity to change their shape and appearance. This can save you months and months wearing orthodontic aligners, as well as the requisite changes to your diet and oral hygiene routine.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Invisalign
If you are a good candidate for both porcelain veneers and Invisalign, you may want to consider the following significant differences:
Porcelain Veneers are Faster – Orthodontic aligners have an average treatment timeline of about 12-18 months and require office visits every six weeks. Porcelain veneers, however, can be finished in just a few weeks and do not require additional maintenance beyond routine dental check-ups.
Porcelain Veneers Will Not Change Your Routines – Aligners will change your tooth alignment, but you will need to wear a retainer indefinitely if you want your teeth to maintain their positions. If you don’t like the idea of wearing aligners or don’t think you can keep them in when you sleep at night, you may prefer veneers, which do not require changes to your daily routine.
Porcelain Veneers Cost More Than Invisalign – A course of Invisalign may cost anywhere between $3500-8000, depending on the length of your treatment plan. Veneers, on the other hand, may cost between $1000-2500 per tooth.
Which is Right for Me?
How can you determine whether you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers or Invisalign? Visit Rod W. Gore, DDS and we’ll assess your oral health and alignment issues. We will explain how Invisalign and veneers work and what is required for each treatment. Call our Scottsdale, AZ dental office at 444 480-585-6225 to learn more.