Braces and veneers are both popular dental treatments, each serving distinct purposes. Veneers are thin layers, usually made of porcelain or composite material, bonded to the front of teeth to enhance their appearance. They are typically used to address issues like discoloration, minor misalignments, or chipped teeth. Braces, on the other hand, are orthodontic devices designed to correct misaligned teeth or bite issues over time.
A common question that arises for those who have or are considering veneers is whether they can subsequently get braces. But before we answer the question: “Can You Put Braces on Veneers?”, we first need to explore the basic mechanics of braces. This entails understanding how braces function, the method they use to exert force on teeth for repositioning, and the significance of a robust tooth surface for the successful attachment of braces.
The Mechanics of Braces
How braces apply force to teeth to move them
Braces work by applying continuous pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them to their desired position. This pressure is created by the archwire running through the brackets, which are attached to each tooth using adhesive. As the teeth move, the bone in the jaw also changes shape to accommodate their new positions. Orthodontists adjust the tension in the archwire during regular appointments, ensuring that the teeth continue to shift toward their proper alignment.
The importance of a sturdy tooth surface for brace adhesion
For braces to effectively move teeth, they must be securely bonded to each tooth. This bond is created using dental adhesives that adhere well to natural tooth enamel. However, braces may not stick as firmly to veneers, as they are made of porcelain or composite material.
Risks and Complications of Braces on Veneers
Considering braces after getting veneers is a decision that requires careful thought due to potential challenges. Veneers are designed primarily for cosmetic enhancement, while braces correct dental alignments. Combining these two treatments presents specific risks and complications.
Now, with an understanding of the functionality of braces, we will discuss the possible damage to veneers, how braces perform on them, and the complexities that might be encountered during orthodontic treatment.
Potential Damage to Veneers and Challenges in Orthodontic Treatment
Material Damage or Detachment: Dental veneers are thin coverings bonded to teeth to improve their appearance, but they can also be more delicate than natural teeth. When braces are placed on veneers, there is a risk that the veneer material could become damaged or detached due to the adhesive used to bond the braces. Brackets might not adhere effectively to the surface of the veneers, which could lead to the need for additional dental procedures to restore or replace the veneers.
Aesthetic Alteration: Another risk is that movement of the teeth during orthodontic treatment might affect the overall aesthetic outcome of the veneers. Adjusting the size, shape, and position of the teeth can impact the appearance of the veneers, causing them to no longer look proportionate or aligned with the rest of the teeth.
Complexity and Duration of the treatment: Undergoing orthodontic treatment when veneers are already in place tends to complicate the process. The presence of veneers requires the orthodontist to be more meticulous, often leading to an extended treatment timeline as compared to standard braces.
Increased Costs: While orthodontic treatments are already an investment, introducing veneers into the mix might increase the costs. This is mainly due to the need for specialized procedures or additional measures to ensure that the veneers remain undamaged throughout the treatment phase.
Unpredictable Tooth Movement: Veneers, being an external addition to the natural tooth structure, can influence the movement patterns of teeth during orthodontic adjustments. This unpredictable movement might not align with the orthodontist’s initial plan, leading to potential deviations.
Adjustment Needs: Given the unpredictable nature of tooth movement in the presence of veneers, there might be a need for more frequent adjustments. In some cases, after the primary treatment is completed, supplementary treatments or interventions might be necessary to achieve the perfect alignment and desired aesthetic outcome.
So, Can You Put Braces on Veneers?
Considering the outlined risks, the general answer is yes, you can get braces if you have veneers. However, this decision comes with its own set of challenges and it is important to have a detailed discussion with your orthodontist about your specific situation.
Your orthodontist can recommend the best approach for you. In some situations, it may be advisable to get braces before veneers, as aligned teeth could reduce the need for veneers later.
However, there are cases where different solutions may be more appropriate. Let’s explore these alternative methods to traditional braces.
Alternative Orthodontic Solutions for Veneered Teeth
While traditional braces might not be suitable for all individuals with veneers, there are alternative orthodontic solutions available. These include clear aligners, lingual braces, and retainers and expanders.
One popular alternative for straightening teeth with veneers is using clear aligners, such as Invisalign or Byte aligners. These removable plastic aligners are custom-made to fit over the teeth and apply gentle pressure to align them. They are ideal for patients with veneers as they do not require adhesive and can be removed for cleaning.
- Invisible and aesthetic
- Removable for easy cleaning
- Comfortable and customized fit
- May not be suitable for severe misalignments
- Requires compliance and consistent wear
For those seeking a more discreet option without the need for regular aligner adjustments, lingual braces can be considered. Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces but are attached to the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible. They can be carefully installed on veneered teeth, limiting the risk of damage to the veneer.
- Invisible to others
- Effective for most orthodontic issues
- Fixed appliance, no need to remember to wear
- Can be harder to clean
- May cause initial discomfort
Retainers and Expanders
For some patients with veneers, a combination of retainers and expanders may be used to correct mild orthodontic problems. These custom-made appliances help to maintain the position of the teeth and can address minor alignment issues. Consult with your orthodontist to determine if this option is suitable for your specific needs.
- Custom-made for your teeth
- Can address minor orthodontic issues
- May not be suitable for severe cases
- Requires regular follow-up with the orthodontist
Consider Orthodontic Work Before Getting Veneers
Considering orthodontic work like braces before getting veneers can help optimize the cosmetic results and longevity of your smile makeover.
Straightening crooked or crowded teeth first allows your dentist to better sculpt the proportions and symmetry of the veneers. Orthodontic treatment can resolve issues like uneven gaps that would be harder to address just by bonding veneers over misaligned teeth.
It also reduces the amount of enamel reduction required prior to placing veneers. With straighter teeth, thinner veneer preparations preserve a more natural tooth structure. Teeth that have been aligned with braces often require less veneer thickness for a seamless look. Additionally, once teeth are straightened, you might find that you need fewer veneers or none at all.
Plan Veneer Placement After Orthodontic Treatments if Possible
If you have veneers placed before getting braces, you will most likely need to have them replaced once your braces treatment is complete. This is because the process of moving and straightening your teeth with braces can alter the shape and position of your original veneers. They will no longer fit the way they did before orthodontic treatment.
Getting veneers after your teeth have been aligned by braces allows your cosmetic dentist to design them for your new smile. The measurements and fittings will be based on the corrected tooth positions rather than the original uneven spacing or overlap. New veneers made after braces can take into account any subtle changes in the length, shape, and symmetry of your teeth. This helps ensure the most natural-looking and properly fitted results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best braces for veneers?
Optimal braces for veneers are those that least affect their placement and integrity. Clear aligners, such as SmileDirectClub, are popular for their easy removal and lack of brackets or wires on the teeth. Additionally, lingual braces, positioned on the back of teeth, can work well with veneers. These choices maintain veneer aesthetics while achieving orthodontic adjustments effectively.
Can you put Invisalign on veneers?
Yes, Invisalign can be used with veneers in many cases. Invisalign aligners are designed to gently shift teeth into their desired positions. If you have veneers, the aligners can still work, but the veneers themselves will not move. This means that if the veneers were placed to achieve a certain alignment, Invisalign might not be as effective in making major changes to the veneer-affected teeth.
Should you get veneers or braces first?
Most dentists recommend getting braces before getting veneers. Here are some of the key reasons why:
– Orthodontic treatment can fix crooked or crowded teeth, allowing for more aesthetic and proportional veneer preparations.
– With straightened teeth, less enamel reduction is needed prior to veneer placement. This preserves a more natural tooth structure.
– The results of veneers can be optimized for symmetry and function when the underlying teeth are properly aligned first.
– Teeth movements achieved with braces may relapse if veneers are placed first. The veneer shells can’t be moved like natural teeth can.
– Veneers made before braces often no longer fit properly once teeth shift with orthodontics. New veneers can be needed after braces.
Can I get veneers on top and braces on the bottom?
Getting veneers on your top teeth and braces on the bottom is an option, but not typically recommended. The ideal treatment plan is to complete all necessary orthodontic work first before placing veneers.
Braces shift your teeth’ position over time. If veneers are placed on the top teeth before your bottom teeth are aligned, the movements from the braces can throw off your bite. This misalignment can lead to unequal pressure and cause damage or discomfort in the veneers long-term.
It’s best to let braces fully realign your smile for symmetry and function. Then veneers can be designed to complement your new orthodontically improved smile.