One of the most common questions that we are asked at Fort Collins Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies is whether or not a patient needs porcelain veneers or braces. They are both very different alternatives and each are recommended for varying needs and wants. Porcelain veneers are often referred to as instant orthodontics. They offer the patient a straight, beautiful smile in much less time than traditional orthodontic treatment. Individually sculpted and customized for each patient, porcelain veneers give the appearance of your natural teeth, but unlike natural teeth, the high-tech materials prevent staining. Porcelain veneers also offer your teeth added strength and durability that is comparable to the enamel of your natural teeth. A smile consultation with one of our Fort Collins team members can help you determine if porcelain veneers are for you.
When discussing the differences between porcelain veneers and braces with our patients, we like to first distinguish between two common dental categories: structural and cosmetic. Braces are typically used to treat and repair structural teeth problems like overbites, under bites, open bites, cross bites, overt gaps, and overcrowding. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are recommended for problems that are of a more cosmetic nature such as repairing teeth that are stained, discolored, chipped, or that have moderate gaps between them.
Crooked or misaligned teeth, also known as malocclusion, affects 74% of American adults. This condition isn’t just a cosmetic (visual) problem. If you ignore malocclusion problems you allow unnatural stress and pressure on the teeth and jaws to build often resulting in premature wear, chips, cracks, and periodontal disease. This untreated tension can also express itself as jaw, ear, and neck pain as well as receding gums, loose teeth, and ultimately tooth loss. Your periodontal health can also be negatively impacted by the presence of crooked teeth. If teeth are spaced too closely together, plaque and bacteria can build in between them. Over time, this bacteria accumulates and can make its way into your bloodstream through the compromised gum line, eventually affecting your overall health.
Drs. Murri and Willey will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth to determine if you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers. In the situations with some minor malpositions of the anterior teeth the better esthetic result can be corrected with porcelain veneers. More advanced situations when the central teeth have more apparent misalignment will require the orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or braces. Porcelain veneers are often recommended if your teeth are cracked, discolored, or have slight gaps. Our experienced team at Fort Collins Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies can help you decide what’s best for you.
At Fort Collins Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we only create smiles that are as unique as our patients. To ensure the most natural looking results, we use advanced computer imaging to analyze your smile and create “diagnostic mock-ups” which allow you to see what you would look like with porcelain veneers. By making sure the porcelain veneers complement your face, we can prevent results that look unnatural or unattractive. During the consultation phase, we will use smile analysis, computer imaging, and digital x-rays and impressions of your teeth and gums to create a product specifically designed for you.
Another advantage to porcelain veneers is how easy they are to take care of. You treat them like you do your natural teeth with daily brushing, flossing and good oral hygiene habits. It is also recommended that you use non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to help your porcelain veneers maintain their brilliance.
To ensure that your porcelain veneers are a success, it is necessary that you return to our office one week after your veneers are placed. During this appointment, Drs. Murri and Willey will check to see how your mouth is adjusting to the veneers. If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, you may be fitted with a nighttime bite guard so you do not damage your veneers.
Regular visits to our Fort Collins Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies facility will also allow us to polish your veneers with a specially formulated, non-abrasive compound and allow Drs. Murri and Willey the opportunity to inspect your porcelain veneers to see how they are functioning.
If you’re considering porcelain veneers and would like an appointment or consultation, you can call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-6101. If you need to reach us after business hours, you can also submit a contact request or reserve an appointment online below.