Very few people are lucky enough to have naturally white, perfect smiles. From celebrities walking the red carpet to your own friends and colleagues, most people with straight, dazzling teeth have their Charlottesville cosmetic dentist to thank.
If you’re frustrated by your own lackluster smile and feel ready to make a change, you have plenty of options available! Invisalign and porcelain veneers are two of the most popular cosmetic procedures because they’re simple, powerful, and long-lasting. Which is the best option for your own mouth? That will depend on what your end goal is and where we are starting from.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the ultimate alternative to braces. Instead of suffering through metal braces glued to the front of your teeth for two years, Invisalign makes it possible to straighten your teeth with comfort and style. In specific cases traditional braces will be needed instead of Invisalign. Dr. Al will sit down with you and determine if you are a good Invisalign candidate before moving forward.
Here’s how the Invisalign process works:
- You receive a set of aligners customized to your teeth
- Wear one set of aligners for two weeks, then switch to the next aligners in your set
- As you work through your aligners, they will gradually shift your teeth into the proper straight position
- Depending on the severity of your misalignment, Invisalign treatment lasts approximately anywhere from 3 to 18 months
Why Choose Invisalign?
Invisalign is a great restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedure if your main concern is the alignment and position of your teeth. This includes:
- Minor crowding
- Gaps and spacing
- Overall smile and alignment enhancement
If alignment and minor occlusion (bite) issues aren’t your biggest concern, porcelain veneers may be a better option than Invisalign. See below…
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin strips of customized porcelain used to cover the outer, visible portion of your teeth. The porcelain shells are stain resistant and matched to blend perfectly into your smile and hide all signs of imperfections.
Why Choose Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are best for people eager to hide any of the following types of tooth damage:
- Permanent discoloration that whitening can’t fix
- Chips and cracks
- A gap between two teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Overall smile makeover/enhancement
As you can see, there is a bit of overlap with what veneers and Invisalign can address. If you have minor spacing issues – in theory, either may work for you. Ask your dentist which treatment they think will give you the desired results you are looking for. In some cases, treating with Invisalign to get your bite in order and straightening your teeth first will then allow the dentist to be able to place veneers.
Example of When to Choose Veneers or Invisalign:
“I like the size and shape of my teeth but want them to be less crowded” – Invisalign
“I have generally straight teeth but am looking to cover permanent stains” – Veneers
“I’m embarrassed to smile because I chipped my front teeth” – Veneers
As long as you have enough healthy enamel on your teeth, porcelain veneers can be applied to help your smile look white and radiant.
Whether you want to begin an Invisalign treatment, receive porcelain veneers, or use a combination of treatments to enhance your smile, Dr. Al can help. Schedule your cosmetic consultation with us and let’s get you on the road to your new smile!