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Porcelain Veneers vs. Braces and Clear Aligners: Comparing Your Smile-Perfecting Options

By February 23, 2024March 6th, 2024Blog

Dreaming about perfectly aligned, pearly white teeth? Modern dentistry can definitely transform a less-than-appealing smile into one that makes a great impression. Two popular options? Porcelain veneers and orthodontic treatments like braces or clear aligners.

But how do these stack up against each other? How would you compare braces vs. veneers? You ask. We get these questions a lot from our patients at Fresh Orthodontics. To help you decide which is the best way for you to straighten your teeth, your Park Slope orthodontist in Brooklyn, Dr. Ankush Khanna, has the answers!

First, What are Veneers?

There are essentially two types of veneers: composite resin and porcelain veneers. For this post, we’ll talk about porcelain veneers, which are thin porcelain shells custom-made and permanently bonded to cover the front and sides of your teeth. You would visit a cosmetic dentist for veneers vs. an orthodontist for braces or clear aligners. So, can veneers straighten teeth? Simply put, no; what they do is give the appearance of straight, appealing teeth.

The pros? Veneers provide an instant aesthetic makeover, covering up your natural smile’s imperfections like small spaces between teeth called diastema, mild misalignment, stains, chips, and excessive wear. Porcelain veneers are also highly stain resistant so your new smile stays whiter longer than your natural teeth would.

The cons? Getting porcelain veneers involves removing a thin layer of your tooth enamel (which doesn’t grow back), making it an irreversible treatment. And as an aesthetic smile solution, porcelain veneers aren’t designed to correct really crooked teeth or severe underbites, overbites, crossbites, or open bites.

So What About Orthodontics Like Braces and Clear Aligners?

Orthodontic treatments, such as braces or clear aligners like Invisalign or Spark™ Clear Aligners, gradually move your actual teeth and bite into their correct positions, giving you the straight smile you wanted with your natural teeth.

The pros? Braces and clear aligners are tried-and-true treatments for straightening teeth. They fix bite alignment, contribute to better oral health, and improve oral function.

The cons? Orthodontics takes time (and patience!) to straighten teeth, typically six months to about two years. For adults, sometimes the look of braces doesn’t work for your day-to-day aesthetic — even the minimal, modern braces we provide at Fresh Orthodontics. Clear aligners are more discreet, but they require you to stick to a wearing schedule and take them out when you eat or drink anything other than water.

Veneers vs. Braces For A Gorgeous Grin

When comparing veneers to orthodontic treatments, we suggest considering both aesthetics and functionality:

Veneers vs. braces or clear aligners for straightening crooked teeth: As mentioned, veneers get you the look of straight, whiter teeth, but they don’t fix your teeth’s alignment issues; they only cover them up. Veneers also hide teeth with small chips, cracks or gaps, discolored teeth that don’t respond to whitening treatments, and smaller- or unusually-shaped teeth.

Conversely, orthodontic treatments are the best way to straighten natural teeth that are crooked, twisted, or have large gaps between them.

Veneers or Invisalign / braces for a bad bite: If you want to improve a deep overbite or underbite, orthodontics is the way to go. Veneers don’t move your jaws into alignment like braces or clear aligners can. And if you’re experiencing pain or difficulty biting and chewing, orthodontics aligns your teeth and jaws so they can function properly.

Addressing your entire smile: Did you know that veneers are typically only applied to the front eight teeth, top and bottom? Dentists rarely recommend porcelain veneers for your premolars and molars because porcelain veneers aren’t meant to withstand your back teeth’s chewing forces.

In contrast, braces and clear aligners address all your teeth, correcting your smile in relation to how it looks and functions as a whole. At Fresh Orthodontics, we design treatment that enhances each patient’s unique facial anatomy and complements their features.

Improving your oral and overall health: Which treatment wins when it comes to improving oral functioning, dental health, and overall well-being? When weighing veneers vs. braces and clear aligners, we’d say that orthodontics come out ahead for your health.

By aligning teeth and fixing bite issues, you can better prevent:

  • tooth decay and gum disease
  • uneven wear on teeth
  • jaw or TMJ pain
  • digestion issues that can arise from improper chewing

Also food for thought: getting tooth decay and cavities on a veneer-covered natural tooth is possible. The back of your natural tooth isn’t covered with the veneer and is as susceptible to tooth decay as before. If tooth decay happens, your dentist will likely have to remove your veneer to treat the decay, and you’ll have to get a new veneer.

Choosing Orthodontics For Perfecting Your Smile All Around

So, veneers or orthodontics like Invisalign, Spark Clear Aligners, or braces? If you’re looking for a quick cosmetic enhancement and have only mild misalignment or dental issues, veneers might be for you. But orthodontics is the clear winner for long-term dental health and as a comprehensive solution to severe malocclusion.

Check us out for exceptional braces and clear aligners in Brooklyn. But don’t just take our word for it — our community has recognized us as a “Best of Brooklyn” orthodontist for several years running! Visit our bright and modern Park Slope orthodontic office, where cutting-edge technology, personalized care, and amazing results are all in a day’s work.

Make your appointment today to get started on a smile you’ll be proud to show off!