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Dental veneers and braces are different treatments that share a common goal of helping to improve your natural smile. Each approach offers unique advantages and disadvantages, so you may wonder which treatment option is best for you.
The answer depends on your specific dental issues and cosmetic concerns.
Generally, the main difference between veneers and braces is:
Cost and treatment times also vary between braces and veneers.
The best way to determine which dental treatment is right for you is to consult a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist.
Invisalign® is a newer form of orthodontic treatment. Braces and Invisalign shift teeth, while veneers cover cosmetic flaws. Although Invisalign can correct misalignments, people with severe malocclusions may need traditional braces.
Your dentist may recommend braces if the position of your teeth needs to be corrected. This non-invasive orthodontic treatment straightens teeth over time.
Braces also correct alignment issues with the jaw or bite (malocclusions), including:
Without treatment, malocclusions can lead to many physical ailments, such as:
Dental braces are orthodontic appliances that semi-permanently attach to your teeth. Depending on your needs, an orthodontist might combine braces with other tools and orthodontic appliances, such as rubber bands or headgear.
There are many types of braces, including:
Metal braces are the most noticeable type. They consist of metal brackets that attach to the front teeth and stainless steel bands that cement to your molars. Arch wires connect to the brackets and guide tooth movement.
Ceramic braces look like metal braces but are made of ceramic material. Their color matches natural teeth, making them less noticeable.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but they attach to the insides of teeth. Lingual braces are unnoticeable when you smile. However, they don’t always correct severe misalignments.
Clear aligners are removable and made of clear plastic, making them the most discreet option. You can remove aligners to eat, drink, and brush/floss your teeth.
Dental braces are often considered one of the more traditional orthodontic treatments. They have several benefits, including:
Disadvantages of braces include:
Veneers are one of the fastest ways to transform your smile. Dental veneers are slim, porcelain or composite shells that a dental professional permanently bonds to the front of your teeth. They’re made of tooth-colored material with light-reflecting properties that mimic natural enamel.
People get dental veneers to improve cosmetic concerns like:
Advantages of dental veneers include:
Downsides of dental veneers include:
General costs for each treatment include:3, 7
The cost of veneers and braces varies based on the type, appliance, or materials used and the complexity of treatment.
The price of veneers varies between materials, with porcelain veneers being more expensive than composite resin veneers.
Many dental insurance plans don’t cover veneers or braces for adults over 18. If your insurance deems it a cosmetic procedure, they’re unlikely to cover it. However, if braces are necessary to treat a bite misalignment, dental insurance may help pay for them.
The best treatment for you depends on the result you hope to achieve and the condition of your teeth. Sometimes, a combination of braces and veneers or clear aligners and veneers is the most effective approach.
In these cases, your dentist may recommend wearing braces first. Braces attach better to your natural tooth enamel than to veneers. However, some dentists may use braces and veneers together.
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