A smile is the most noticeable feature of a person’s face. Naturally, people desire to have a perfect smile that lightens up the entire room. Many people, however, aren’t happy with their smile, and understandably so.
Teeth are a big part of that smile, and when they are crooked, chipped, or discolored, it lowers an individual’s self-confidence. That’s when they consider a complete smile makeover.
The good news is Invisalign and veneers are both widely used dental procedures that can help you fix your teeth and give you a confident smile. But which procedure is better?
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of veneers vs Invisalign so you can make the best decision for your teeth.
Veneers vs Invisalign
First, What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a relatively new type of orthodontic treatment that has been gaining popularity in the past few years. It is an alternative to traditional braces and is also less expensive.
The Invisalign procedure uses a series of clear, removable, and comfortable aligners that are custom-made to fit your teeth. They are designed to gradually straighten your teeth to the desired position in a quick and efficient manner.
It is a popular procedure for those looking for a more discreet way to straighten their teeth. Invisalign aligners are comfortable and barely noticeable. They fit snugly over the teeth and can be easily cleaned.
The Invisalign cost in London, Ontario, is anywhere between $4000 to $8,000.
What Happens During the Treatment?
The first step in the Invisalign procedure is to create a 3D model of the patient’s teeth and jaw. This model is used to create a set of aligners that will gradually move the teeth into the desired position.
The aligners are made of thin, clear, medical-grade plastic and are virtually invisible. They discreetly fit over your teeth and are changed every two weeks. After about a year, you will have a straighter smile and be able to keep it that way for the rest of your life.
Pros of Invisalign
Listed below are the pros of Invisalign vs. veneers:
- Invisalign is an effective way to treat malocclusion or misaligned teeth. Patients with overbites, underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, overlapped or crowded teeth, or open bites are treated with Invisalign. However, the most severe cases may still require traditional orthodontic braces.
- The aligners are removable, making it easy for you to eat, brush, and floss. This is a big advantage over metal braces because food particles tend to get stuck in them.
- With Invisalign, you don’t have to feel self-conscious about your smile, which is not usually the case with metal braces.
- Unlike braces, the clear aligners don’t cause gum irritation or poke your inner cheek. They are a lot more comfortable.
- Thanks to Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about snapping a wire or breaking a bracket. You can perform your daily routine with zero interference.
- There’s no need to remove enamel from your teeth, which is a common (and irreversible) procedure for dental veneers. However, some people may require interproximal reduction (IPR). It is used to remove enamel between your teeth and is performed to achieve a better bite or create space for aligners in case of crowded teeth. However, IPR is not nearly as intense as getting veneers.
Despite these benefits, Invisalign does have a few drawbacks.
Cons of Invisalign
- The treatment can take between 12-18 months, depending on the case’s complexity and patient compliance. The duration is typically shorter than orthodontic braces but significantly longer than veneers.
- You are required to wear the aligners for 22 hours a day, even while asleep. The only time you can take them out is while eating, brushing, and flossing.
- You need to take great care of your oral hygiene to avoid staining the aligners, which means brushing after every meal or after consuming beverages other than water. Though good oral hygiene is always a plus, some people may find repeated brushing tiresome.
- Failing to wear the aligners as instructed can delay the treatment. After the treatment, you will need to wear retainers for a few months or a year. They maintain the teeth’s position and prevent them from moving back to the way they were.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are thin porcelain shells bonded to the front of your teeth to improve their appearance. They can be made from porcelain, porcelain bonded to metal, or porcelain bonded to tooth-colored composite resin.
Veneers are a great way to give your smile a boost. They are primarily used to fix chipped, stained, cracked, or discolored teeth. They can also provide a more uniform shape to teeth that are crooked and close gaps between teeth.
People concerned about the size, color, and shape of their teeth but who have otherwise good dental health are generally recommended veneers. The cost of getting a veneer smile in London, Ontario, can be anywhere between $450 to $1800 per tooth.
What Happens During the Treatment?
The veneering procedure is a type of cosmetic dentistry used to replace the enamel layer of teeth. It is often done to conceal teeth that have been weakened by cavities or damaged by injury.
Veneers are implanted by making a mold of your teeth and then putting a thin layer of porcelain on top. The procedure does not take more than two or three visits. Therefore, they are a quicker way to get the ‘perfect smile’ compared to Invisalign. Veneers make your teeth appear whiter, better shaped, and straighter.
However, if you have any underlying dental issues, your dentist will first recommend treatment for the same before proceeding to implant veneers. This may also include Invisalign treatment before you get veneers.
After your veneers have been placed, Invisalign may damage them. This is why it’s often recommended to get it before veneers.
But what are the benefits of veneers vs. Invisalign?
Pros of Veneers
- Veneers are a long-term teeth whitening solution, unlike temporary teeth whitening strips, bleaching, toothpaste, and gels.
- The veneering process only takes two to three weeks to complete. It starts with the initial consultation and proceeds to tooth preparation, veneer fabrication, and veneer placement.
- Dental veneers treat multiple aesthetic concerns at once, including gaps, chipped teeth, stained teeth, and cracked front teeth.
- Veneers can protect eroded teeth and prevent further erosion.
- They appear like natural teeth and are sturdy.
Now, let’s talk about the drawbacks of veneers vs. Invisalign.
Cons of Veneers
- Veneers are a great way to make a big change, but they’re not reversible. The enamel, once filed, cannot grow back. The only other way is to replace the entire tooth.
- Veneers are a long-term solution but not permanent. They typically last 10-15 years. With great care, they may even last 20 years. But that’s about it. They will need to be replaced in the future.
- Even though porcelain is a hard material, it’s not unbreakable. That means your veneers can crack or chip. The risk is higher if you chew on hard food, grind your teeth, or bite your nails. If they do chip or crack, you will need to get them replaced as soon as possible to protect your teeth.
- Veneers do not stain over time. That is good news for people who have veneers all over their front teeth (since they are most visible). But for people who get veneers on just a few teeth, the discoloration of their natural teeth may lead to a noticeable mismatch. In that case, you have two options: get your natural teeth bleached by your dentist or get veneers for the rest of the teeth.
- The cost of veneers vs. Invisalign is a significant consideration too. Most people require multiple veneers, which can quickly strain their budget. Add the cost of replacing them after 10-15 years, and veneers can get a lot more expensive than Invisalign.
- Veneers are not used to treat a malocclusion. They are purely placed for cosmetic reasons.
Veneers vs. Invisalign: What’s the Verdict?
When it comes to Invisalign vs. veneers, it’s not the question of which procedure is better. It’s the question of which procedure is better for you.
Invisalign may be better for you if:
- You have an underbite, overbite, crossbite, open bite, gapped or crowded teeth
- You can stick to the treatment regime and wear aligners for 22 hours a day
- You are comfortable with many in-office visits throughout the course of your treatment
- You are prepared to commit to the orthodontic treatment fully
Invisalign is not recommended for children because this orthodontic treatment requires compliance on the patient’s part. This is why children still have to wear metal braces. Apart from that, your dentist may recommend braces instead of Invisalign to correct severe forms of malocclusion.
On the other hand, veneers are more suited to you if:
- You want to conceal chipped, cracked, misshapen, or discolored teeth (only for aesthetic purposes)
- You want instant results and don’t want to wait a year or two to achieve a perfect smile
- You don’t have significantly compromised teeth
Like Invisalign, veneers are only recommended for adults, not children. You need to maintain good oral health for your veneers to last.