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 in order to shape them and create a surface for the veneer to cling on to.
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
Are 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 orthodontics”, only because 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. Overbites and underbites can work with veneers too. In sum, veneers can correct minor issues but those with very crooked teeth might want to consider orthodontic options like Invisalign instead to straighten teeth. For those who have very worn out and crowded teeth, we may do a short course of Invisalign before restoring the proper shape of the teeth with veneers.
Veneers and crooked teeth
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. Since veneers are usually implanted on front teeth, patients with overlapping front teeth should not rely on veneers to correct them. Besides, 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 disease is a common ramification caused by crooked teeth. Gum disease develops when bacteria in the mouth grows into plaque. This problem is made worse when gums don’t sit securely around teeth, leaving room for more bacteria to grow.
2. Difficulty cleaning teeth
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.
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.
4. Tooth injuries
Protruding front teeth are more likely to chip in the event of an accident.
5. Create chewing difficulties
Crooked teeth may rub together and cause jaw misalignment, causing difficulty in chewing.
6. Bad breath
Bad breath is generally caused by plaque and mouth bacteria. As 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 health conditions like stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
How can I straighten my 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 any 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 at all and do not cause sores in the mouth as compared to traditional metal braces. Best of all, Invisalign is not obvious at all and can hardly be seen. The average Invisalign treatment typically lasts between 12 to 18 months, though of course it differs individually by case.
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/13102818.2014.974328
- 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. https://doi.org/10.3138/cbmh.237-112017