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Crooked Teeth? Correct with Braces or Veneers?

If your teeth are crooked and it bothers you, now is a good time to do something about this!  But what should you do?  Do you have crooked teeth – should you choose braces or porcelain veneers?  This blog will review a case that could be treated with either option or both.  See if you agree with our patient’s choices.  The right answer for you and your crooked teeth is something that requires evaluation of your smile and your concerns with a dentist who understands that the ‘best’ treatment option is different for different people. Braces may mean straightening the teeth with Invisalign, Clear Correct, an Inman Appliance or similar or limited orthodontics with braces.

Crowded and poorly aligned teeth detract from this smile!

Crowded and poorly aligned teeth detract from this smile! Note crooked teeth!

Your dentist should be able to review with you the advantages and disadvantages of one option over another to treat crooked teeth and help you make the decision that is right for you and for your smile.  If you have crooked teeth and you have made the decision to improve your smile, you probably want to do this right away!  That usually means having your dentist prepare your teeth for veneers or crowns that make it look like you have spent years in braces and were born with a beautiful smile.  While this may be the fastest decision, it is not always the best solution for crooked teeth.  You will have to live with the result for many years and your dental health – the health of your teeth should be one of your concerns.

Conservative treatment with a combination of orthodontic movement of the teeth and porcelain veneers made a big difference in this smile!

Conservative treatment with a porcelain veneers made a big difference in this smile!

In the case shown here, the teeth are very crooked and crowded.  You can see a very thin, worn area on the left front tooth that is almost see through.  The right lateral incisor appears to have an odd shape.  If the teeth were moved into better alignment with braces, these problems would still need to be addressed.  Our office likes to do study models of your teeth to show you the results you can expect with different types of treatment.  One of our concerns is being very conservative with the preparation (grinding!) of your teeth because we want you to have your teeth your whole life.

It is best to select a dentist for this type of treatment who is willing to show you before and after photos of patients they have treated in their office so that you can observe for yourself the quality of the dental care.  Anyone can post beautiful photos with amazing results, but your concern should be whether your dental office can do the dental work that you desire.  For this type of treatment, the dentist should have advanced training in cosmetic dentistry beyond just listing that they do porcelain veneers on their website.  The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has an accreditation process that includes completing a written examination and presenting several different cosmetic cases for evaluation in front of a panel of experts in cosmetic dentistry.  An accredited dentist has met these rigorous standards with their dental treatment and can help you achieve your smile goals.

Before treatment

Before treatment

After movement of the teeth any further correction becomes very easy to accomplish!

After movement of the teeth any further correction becomes very easy to accomplish!

Our office carefully examines different treatment options and we can tell you approximately how long treatment will take and the advantages/disadvantages of doing different types of treatment.  In the case shown here, orthodontic treatment can be used to improve the alignment before the teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers.  As a patient you can decide if the small amount of additional time for the orthodontic treatment (six months) can fit into your schedule.

If you are trying to improve your smile and you would like to know your options, we would love to help!  Dr. Gillis is an accredited member of the AACD and now serves as an examiner for other dentists going through the accreditation process. She serves on the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry and is the chair of the Written Examination Committee for the accreditation process.  Our office wants you to achieve your smile goals in the best way possible for you!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles