Crooked teeth can be a particularly unsightly part of your smile, especially if they’re in the front of your mouth, where more people will notice them. Fortunately, there are easy solutions to crooked teeth, for example, veneers. Let’s take a look at what veneers are and then decide whether you can apply them to crooked teeth and what some alternative options are.
What are veneers?
A dental veneer is a thin covering put on the front of a tooth, similar to how many people put protective screens on smartphones and other devices. This veneer can be nearly any colour, to help match the rest of your teeth, and provides protection from staining, cracking, and other threats.
Most veneers are made from one of two materials.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made to fit each tooth. They’re durable and hold up well under pressure, and their resistance to staining is particularly useful with some diets. Also, porcelain veneers don’t require removing as much enamel as solutions like crowns or caps do. These are a relatively popular choice among patients.
Composite resin veneers use a tooth-coloured mixture of ceramic and plastic that bonds to the tooth. This requires removing even less enamel than porcelain veneers, and they’re usually more affordable as well. Resin veneers are also easy to repair, but they’re not quite as durable as porcelain. These are more popular with budget-conscious patients.
Do you need straight teeth for veneers?
So, can you get veneers with crooked teeth? Yes, although the full answer is a little more in-depth.
If your teeth are only slightly crooked, dentists can shape the veneers to make your teeth look straight. This is a simple, straightforward procedure that can help you avoid the time and cost required for straightening your teeth with typical orthodontic techniques, like braces.
However, if your teeth are too crooked, veneers won’t be able to cover for that. In fact, they may actually highlight the problem and make it look worse. Only a professional can tell you whether or not your teeth are too crooked for veneers to work, so be sure to ask your dentist if this is an option.
Alternative options to straighten teeth
If using veneers to make your teeth appear straight isn’t an option in your case, here are two alternative options for straightening your teeth.
Alternative #1: Braces
The classic technique, braces, involve bolding metal wires to your teeth and gradually tightening them to force your teeth into place. Most people have this done as children, but it is possible to get braces later in life as long as your teeth support it.
Alternative #2: Aligners
Aligners are a series of transparent pieces of plastic that you can wear for 2-3 weeks each. These slowly move your teeth into place by exerting a little bit of pressure on them. Aligners are usually less noticeable and easier than braces, but they cannot correct severely twisted teeth.
As you need to have a new aligner made every three weeks or so, this technique requires significantly more trips to an orthodontist, which could be a problem if you have a busy schedule. However, the fact that most people can’t see aligners makes them ideal for adults who work in professional settings.