While we’re big fans of braces – and have used them to transform thousands of smiles – we appreciate that they’re not right for everyone.
Braces are brilliant at straightening teeth, and for the majority of patients looking for a straighter smile they are the number one option. While it can take months and occasionally years to see results, they can achieve dramatic changes without the need to resort to more invasive treatments.
They’re not the only way we can straighten teeth, though, so here’s a quick guide to some alternatives to braces.
Okay, so these are still braces, but if it’s the prospect of metal train tracks that is putting you off treatment, it’s worth knowing that there are discreet alternatives know as ‘invisible’ braces. Lingual braces (pictured below) are fitted behind your teeth, so they are essentially invisible. If it’s the inconvenience of braces that you’re not so keen on, you’ll also be pleased to hear that we offer a choice of removable braces. Invisalign is a popular choice among our patients – it’s virtually undetectable and you can take it out to enjoy all your favourite foods.
A dental veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that’s made to look like your ‘perfect’ tooth. They’re often used to disguise broken, misshapen or discoloured teeth; however, they can also be used as a solution to crooked teeth. The shape and colour of your veneers will be made to suit your exact requirements. To fit your veneers, your dentist will need to remove some of your teeth’s enamel. This is the reason we tend to recommend braces instead of veneers when your teeth are in good condition and simply crooked. The main advantage of veneers over braces is that your treatment can be completed within just a few weeks.
If your teeth are severely crooked and protrude, veneers may not be an option. To achieve a good result your dentist would need to remove a substantial amount of tooth enamel. In this situation a dental crown would provide a potential alternative to a veneer. Again, though, if your teeth are healthy we would usually advocate orthodontic treatment.
Teeth reshaping and bonding
If your teeth are only slightly crooked, crowded or misshapen then you might be a good candidate for tooth reshaping and/or bonding. Teeth reshaping involves delicately reshaping the contours of your teeth, while teeth bonding uses tooth-coloured filling material to ‘build up’ your teeth.
Sometimes teeth reshaping and bonding are used together to create a straighter and more balanced smile. While you can’t expect dramatic results, both reshaping and bonding are relatively quick and affordable, and for the right cases you’ll see a big improvement.
To find out more about the different ways we can straighten your smile, why not book a free consultation* with a member of our team?