“I want to get my teeth straightened, but I dread wearing braces!”
This is one of most common phrases we hear from our patients.
For the large majority of adults, orthodontics (professional term for braces) is off-putting for several reasons. Some reasons range from the social implications of having a visible metal wire, to not wanting to deal with the pain that invariably accompanies braces treatment.
If this rings true or sounds familiar, then this blog post is for YOU!
Were you aware that there are ways to straighten crooked teeth without braces or Invisalign? These alternative methods fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry: veneers and porcelain crowns (caps).
What are veneers or crowns? How can they straighten my teeth without braces?
Imagine wallpaper or laminates on a table-top or cupboard for example. These are thin layers of material which are able to mask the original surface underneath.
Likewise, dental veneers are thin “teeth” made out of porcelain. They are placed over the front of your teeth to alter the shape, size and colour of an existing tooth.
This allows dentists to correct the look of crooked or misshapen teeth. They can place veneers over your original teeth to make them look straight.
More often than not, doing veneers requires some adjustment to your original tooth. This involves the removal of enamel from the original tooth anywhere in the order of 1-1.5mm depending on the final shape/colour change needed.
A crown (also known as a cap) is an entire shell of a tooth (front & back). Crowns come in handy when more drastic or extensive changes in colour & shape are needed, which thin veneers are unable to mask. As with veneers, the original tooth requires an adjustment in order to have a cap placed.
Now you know what crowns and veneers are. Here are answers to common questions about them:
Am I suitable for veneers or crowns?
A thorough consultation with your dentist would be the starting point here. Tell them what your expectations are and find out if additional work is needed to finish with a nice smile. After all, that’s what we all want, isn’t it?
Most dentists would take photographs and moulds of your teeth to plan and design your smile.
Here are a few people (“before” pics) who have subsequently done or are suitable candidates for simple crowns & veneers
Eg 01: Good alignment and a pleasing smile, interrupted by severe internal staining of teeth
Eg 02: Old crowns which did not give this person a beautiful smile. These can be redone.
Eg 03: Oddly shaped front teeth which can be easily corrected
Eg 04: Slightly crooked teeth
If you want to the appearance of even, straight and white teeth, then veneers or crowns are a permanent option for you.
How long does the process take?
The process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 visits, depending on the complexity and number of teeth involved.
As they say, “the devil’s in the details”, so do not be surprised if your dentist spends more time in the planning phase (“Smile Design”) or during the final appointment when all the fine-tuning happens.
How long do they last?
A veneer or crown is only as strong as the tooth it sits on and its general environment (your mouth). Hence, the better your teeth & gums are kept, the more likely that the veneer will last.
How do veneers or crowns feel once treatment is complete?
You can rest assured that the veneers or crowns will feel completely normal and natural.
How do I take care of veneers or crowns?
You should brush and floss as usual to keep your teeth and gums clean. Your dentist may also recommend a custom-made night guard to protect your new veneers, especially for very stressed individuals who tend to clench or grind their teeth at night.
Veneers and crowns are great alternatives to braces, especially when more than a change in alignment & crookedness is needed. These simple cosmetic procedures are fairly painless, relatively quick, and very durable in the long-term.
There is no need to be embarrassed about yellow, crooked teeth anymore. Get your new pearly whites done and bring out a brand new YOU!
Speak to our friendly staff to arrange a professional consultation today, or book an appointment with our dentists now.