Are there any alternatives to traditional braces that use a cosmetic dental procedure?

Clear aligners like Invisalign are the most popular alternative to orthopedic braces for adults. Invisalign can correct anything from minor overbites and underbites to serious malocclusions. An orthodontist will provide a series of clear, removable “molds” that cover your teeth. Another method for perfecting a smile without traditional orthodontic braces is the use of cosmetic veneers.

Veneers are thin sheets that attach directly to the surface of a tooth. They are often used to alter the color of teeth, close a gap, “level out slightly misaligned teeth,” or repair a cracked tooth. The obvious big “advantage” of cosmetic ceramic veneers is that you can completely avoid the use of braces and achieve the desired smile in a relatively short period of time. But there are some notable drawbacks.

Veneers will not change the actual position of the teeth; moderate to severe malocclusion requires repositioning, which almost always requires the placement of braces. In addition, unlike orthodontic appliances, the effect obtained with veneers is not likely to last a lifetime; veneers usually last 5 to 10 years, so you'll have to pay for replacement costs in addition to the initial cost. Only you and your dentist can decide which of the three alternatives to braces is best for you. Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth rather than in front, for invisible treatment.

Like traditional orthopedic braces, lingual braces exert slow and constant pressure over time, which causes the teeth to be placed in the desired position. Veneers: Porcelain veneers (or “caps”) are ideal for patients who have gaps between their teeth, fractured teeth, or whose teeth have poor color, shape, or contours. The dentist removes a thin layer of tooth enamel and then attaches the veneers to the teeth with light-sensitive resin. You can also opt for unprepared veneers, which are placed without removing any of the tooth enamel.

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