Creating a beautiful smile is rarely easy. It often takes more than one cosmetic dentistry technique to achieve the results you’re looking for. Two techniques that we sometimes use together are orthodontics and veneers. Although the results of the combination is a straight smile, the two techniques don’t always go together in a straightforward way.

Young professional male showing off his smile with braces. Before veneers it's important to straighten your teeth.

Sometimes, Veneers Can Do It All

One approach to consider is whether veneers can achieve the straightening you’re looking for without braces. Veneers can reshape your teeth to make them straight, and this can achieve your results in about a month, compared to a year or more you might be looking at with braces. (Though we have options for speeding up braces, including Six Month Smiles and AcceleDent.)

We will look at this option, though it’s not always recommended, especially if your teeth are crowded or if reshaping would require veneers that might not be well supported by your natural teeth.

It’s Best to Do Braces First

If we don’t think that veneers can achieve all the straightening results you’re looking for, then it’s best to get braces before getting veneers.

First, braces bond better to natural teeth than to the ceramic of veneers. This could mean more annoying debonding of brackets, which can interfere with results and slow treatment. And there’s always a risk that the brackets from braces could damage veneers.

Plus, there are reasons why it’s best to reserve veneers for after braces. You might decide that you don’t actually need veneers. Once your teeth are straightened, you might decide that you actually don’t mind the shape of your teeth, and maybe you just need some teeth whitening to achieve a smile you love.

On the other hand, you might decide you want more veneers than you initially thought. Sometimes there are negative cosmetic side effects of braces (usually associated with long treatment or poor hygiene), such as white spots or uneven discoloration of teeth. These might not respond to teeth whitening, so you might get a few veneers to achieve the beautiful smile you’re looking for.

You Can Still Get Braces after Veneers

But what if you already have veneers? Can you still get braces? Yes! But maybe traditional wire braces might not be the best choice.

As we mentioned above, there are concerns about bonding brackets to your veneers rather than your natural teeth. This means that Invisalign, which uses clear plastic aligners to move teeth, might be a better choice for your orthodontic treatment. We might still need to bond “attachments” to your teeth to help with certain movements, but it’s not always necessary, and they’re on the teeth for less time, so there are generally fewer issues.

We might also evaluate your veneers and consider whether replacing them can achieve the same effect as braces, and whether that might be a better choice in your case.

Custom Smile Makeovers in Irvine

If you’re trying to achieve your most beautiful smile, our skilled cosmetic dentists can carefully evaluate your current smile and design multiple approaches to achieving your goals for a beautiful smile. This might involve combining techniques like braces and veneers, or perhaps an altogether different approach.

Want to learn how you can achieve the smile of your dreams? Please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with an Orange County cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.