Veneers VS Braces: Can Veneers Fix My Crooked Teeth?

Dental Designs Clinic Singapore
07 Feb, 2024

Veneers are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain ceramics bonded over the surface of existing teeth. They are customised to match the shape and colour of your natural teeth; this is done so by digital scans taken in the clinic. During the process, your teeth are slightly trimmed and ‘prepped’ a little to shape them and create a surface for the veneer to adhere to.

On the other hand, braces are orthodontic devices that apply gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their desired positions over time. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires, while ceramic braces and clear aligners offer more discreet options.

As such, veneers are fantastic for the following cosmetic dental issues:

  • Minor crookedness or misalignment
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

In addition to correcting some misalignment and giving a smile with straighter teeth, veneers can:

  • Give you whiter and brighter teeth
  • Protect your teeth against decay and discolouration
  • Strengthen weak teeth with large fillings

Are dental veneers for me?

Generally, anyone with good oral health and who is committed to maintaining a new smile is suitable for veneers. However, veneers are essentially cosmetic restorations and merely hide dental issues to improve your smile; they are unable to correct any underlying causes of dental issues including poor bite mechanics.

It’s important to note that dental veneers are often referred to as “instant straight teeth”, even though they do not serve the same purpose as orthodontic treatments like retainers and braces. So while they can make your teeth appear straighter, they do not change the positioning of your teeth and the teeth underneath your veneers remain crooked. This is not much of a problem for patients with a single crooked tooth or minimal overcrowding. Therefore, it is safe to say that veneers can correct minor teeth alignment issues, but those with very crooked teeth might want to consider orthodontic options like Invisalign instead of straightening teeth. This is because if the teeth are very crooked, protruding or overlapping, veneers cannot push them in as much to give a great result.

As well, for those who have very worn out and crowded teeth, we may do a short course of Invisalign to align the bite to be more well balanced, before restoring the proper shape of the teeth with veneers.

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Why do I need to correct my crooked teeth and can porcelain veneers do that?

If a tooth is partly or fully obscured by another tooth, it is difficult for dentists to apply a veneer on the surface of that tooth. Dental veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are custom-made and are usually implanted on front teeth, patients with overlapping front teeth should not rely on veneers to correct them. Correcting very crooked teeth with veneers can result in more teeth shaving during the preparation for veneers. Besides, having extremely crooked teeth might make the veneers look out of place in your mouth.

It is important to correct crooked teeth as they impact your health in more ways than you think.

Crooked teeth can cause:

1. Gum disease

Periodontal or gum disease1 is a common ramification caused by crooked teeth. Gum disease develops when bacteria in the mouth grow into plaque. This problem is made worse when teeth are overlapping where there are areas that, leave room for more bacteria to grow.

2. Difficulty cleaning teeth

Food can also get trapped easily after meals and it is harder to clean crooked teeth as toothbrush bristles and floss have a difficult time reaching the spaces in between teeth, leading to bacterial growth. This can cause dental cavities.

3. Tooth wear

Crowded teeth —especially bottom teeth— often cause one or more teeth to stick out, which can rub against the upper teeth. This can lead to tooth enamel wear over time with some teeth ending up shorter than others due to the uneven wear.

4. Tooth injuries

Protruding front teeth are more likely to chip in the event of an accident. It's been documented that its more likely to experience dental injuries and have increased severity of the injury when there is trauma to the face during sports, or falls forward on the face.

5. Create chewing difficulties

Crooked teeth may rub together and cause jaw misalignment, causing damage to jaw joints over time. There may be a preference for one side when eating or chewing.

6. Bad breath

Bad breath is generally caused by plaque and mouth bacteria. As food and bacteria tend to get stuck in between crooked teeth, this can result in bad breath.

7. A decrease in overall health

Not many realise that dental issues affect more than just their oral health. Studies show that oral infections caused by bacterial accumulation can lead to serious health2 conditions like stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

How can I straighten my misaligned teeth?

At Dental Designs, we recommend Invisalign to fix crooked teeth. Invisalign is a clear retainer technology that uses transparent aligners to straighten teeth and fix bite issues. Under a treatment plan, patients wear their aligners for 20-22 hours a day and remove them only when they need to eat, drink or brush their teeth. A new set of aligners is changed every 2 weeks to further shift teeth. 

Many patients with Invisalign love that the aligners are not bulky and do not cause sores in the mouth compared to traditional metal braces. There is no restriction on the type of food and no special techniques for brushing your teeth, unlike braces. Best of all, Invisalign is not obvious to others and can hardly be seen. The average Invisalign treatment typically lasts between 12 to 18 months, though of course, it differs individually by case.

While veneers can enhance the appearance of crooked teeth, they are not a substitute for orthodontic treatment in cases of significant misalignment. Braces remain the gold standard for correcting crooked teeth and achieving optimal alignment and oral health. Braces require a longer treatment duration compared to veneers. Braces require strict oral hygiene maintenance to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Consulting with a qualified dentist or orthodontist is crucial to determining the best course of action for addressing crooked teeth and achieving the confident smile you deserve. If you are unsure whether to get braces/Invisalign or veneers in Singapore, feel sure to reach out to us and our dentists are happy to help.

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  1. Stoykova, M., Musurlieva, N., & Boyadzhiev, D. (2014). Risk factors for development of chronic periodontitis in Bulgarian patients (pilot research). Biotechnology, biotechnological equipment, 28(6), 1150–1154.
  2. Micu, M., & Carstairs, C. (2018). From Improving Egos to Perfecting Smiles: Orthodontics and Psychology, 1945-2000. Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine, 35(2), 309–336.