As the conventional method for straightening teeth with braces has always been the traditional way to fix crooked and uneven smiles, little is known of other, faster cosmetic procedures that have the exact same power.
Patients exhibiting bite issues, misaligned teeth, large gaps or overcrowded teeth in the past have had very little option other than fixed metal braces.
One of the advantages of fixed braces is that the treatment is minimally invasive, making it a long-standing popular choice for treating misaligned jaws.
This has meant that new straightening methods have had to enhance the experience by making treatments faster, more comfortable and non-invasive. So, let’s look at the alternatives and see how they compare…
Cosmetic treatments that make teeth straightening without braces possible
Cosmetic dentistry has seen a rise in new and improved treatments that have the ability to fix a wide range of issues with a patient’s smile.
One of the added benefits of cosmetic dentistry is that it can often fix multiple issues simultaneously, so patients experiencing uneven teeth and discolouration can have these problems often resolved within just one appointment.
Porcelain veneers are sometimes called instant orthodontics because you can have a brand-new smile in as few as three appointments.
- Large gaps between teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Overbites and underbites
A common misconception about porcelain veneers is that they damage the underlying tooth. But there are various brands of porcelain veneers which aim to do the opposite.
Thin veneers are the requirement, but patients also favour the application process not changing the tooth’s shape.
Brands like Lumineers, Ultrathin and Durathin are all-porcelain systems that sit on the tooth’s front surface.
To avoid looking bulky, the size of the veneer or tooth cover will often result in the amount of enamel being removed.
These ultra-thin systems are between 0.3mm and 0.5mm, which means the tiniest amount of enamel is removed to fix it to the tooth.
It’s crowns, on the other hand, that require the alteration of the tooth.
Invisalign is incomparable to braces; the system uses clear aligners to transform smiles in 12 months or less.
- Crooked, uneven teeth
- Overbites, underbites, cross bites, open bites
- Class II malocclusions
- Gaps up to 6mm
Invisalign has straightened over 10 million smiles worldwide and is quickly becoming one of the most popular and current solutions for straightening teeth.
Depending on your bite condition, Invisalign can straighten smiles in as fast as 4 months with systems like Invisalign Go, offered here at The Perfect Smile Studios.
Designed for fast tooth tweaks and minor fixes, dental bonding can create the illusion of straight teeth.
Cosmetic bonding fixes:
- Small gaps
- Mild overcrowding
How does it work? A tooth-coloured resin is applied and then hardened with a special light, which will bond the material to the tooth to restore it.
Our dentists will add the resin strategically, hiding or mascarade the misaligned teeth. Please note that this procedure is not permanent and will not alter the underlying tooth in any way.
A very affordable option, composite veneers often take one appointment to complete.
What do they fix?
- Mild overcrowding
- Small gaps
- Mild crookedness
Composite veneers work on dental bonding, where resin is built upon the tooth to give it a new look.
However, dental bonding works to correct minor issues, whilst composite veneers mask the tooth.
Composite veneers are not permanent – they are applied to the tooth in thin layers to hide imperfections.
The typical durability of this treatment is 5 years. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.
A successful but an expensive way
Sometimes, an oral surgeon can perform a surgical procedure to alter how your teeth align.
The dentist can often refer patients experiencing difficulty with their bite problem day-to-day to undergo a more complex procedure called orthognathic surgery.
Recovery time can take 2-3 weeks, with swelling persisting for longer. This type of surgery, however, does not come cheap, but it can be covered by insurance.
However, procedures undertaken for aesthetic reasons cannot be covered as you must have a medical issue to qualify.