No matter what you wear, straight teeth are the perfect accessory! Straight, white teeth can make your smile look more attractive and make you more confident. Straightening teeth is also important for your oral health since crooked or misaligned teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. There are three different ways to straighten your teeth: veneers, Invisalign, and dental crowns. All of these options have their own benefits and drawbacks so it’s best to consult with a dentist before making any decisions about which treatment you want. Here is a little more information about each:
Veneers are made out of porcelain or plastic. They are shaped to fit over the front side of your teeth and are bonded in place. Veneers can be used to fix crooked teeth by covering them and giving the appearance of straight teeth. Having veneers placed can also address other cosmetic concerns such as the size, shape, color, or spacing of your teeth.
However, this approach generally works best for people who have minor alignment problems, as veneers cannot conceal severely crooked teeth. It is also important to note that veneers do not change the position of the teeth, rather they simply cover up alignment issues. Veneers are also considered a permanent treatment since they require enamel modification to be placed.
Invisalign is a clear set of aligner trays that slowly move your teeth into perfect alignment. Like their name suggests, they are virtually invisible because they are made from a clear, plastic material that is designed to fit snugly over the teeth. During Invisalign treatment, you will need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day in order to achieve the desired results. You will also need to switch aligners approximately every 1-2 weeks, depending on your dentist’s instructions. Invisalign will permanently change the position of your teeth so that they should remain straight for the rest of your life (as long as you wear your retainer).
Since Invisalign permanently moves your teeth, this method takes the longest to complete out of the three. In most cases, it will take about 18 months to complete Invisalign treatment, however your exact treatment plan will vary. When starting a new aligner, Invisalign can also cause some minor discomfort and soreness.
A dental crown is a permanent restoration that fits over an existing tooth. It can be made of metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two. A dental crown is used to restore teeth that are severely cracked or decayed. Dental crowns can also be used to straighten your teeth in a way that is similar to veneers. While veneers only cover the front side of your teeth, dental crowns will cover your entire tooth. This means that dental crowns can be used to cover multiple crooked teeth in order to give them a straightened appearance. Crowns can also treat more moderate cases of crooked teeth that veneers may not be able to treat.
However, dental crowns are also considered a permanent treatment because your dentist will remove part of your tooth in order to place a crown. Although this allows your dentist to change the shape of your teeth in order to make them appear straighter, it also means that your natural tooth structure is permanently altered.
Straightening teeth is important for your oral health and attractiveness. The three ways to straighten teeth all have their own benefits and drawbacks so it’s best to consult a dentist before making any decisions about which treatment you want. Straightening your teeth may be permanent but will make them more attractive and healthier in the long run. Need help deciding? Contact us today – we’re ready and waiting to help you straighten your smile!
Dr. Roman Fedorciw has been in private practice in Cromwell since 1991. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. He is also a member of the Connecticut Dental Association and Middlesex County Dental Association. Dr. Fedorciw has been acknowledged by his peers as one of the “Top Dentists” in Hartford County by Hartford Magazine and in the state of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine.