Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Porcelain Veneers: An Alternative To Orthodontic Treatment?

Joe Lawrence

Orthodontic treatment helps thousands of people improve their smiles every year. However, having braces, retainers, and other orthodontic appliances fitted and adjusted can be expensive and time-consuming, and it may take a long time for the results to show. If you are looking for an alternative way to correct cosmetic alignment issues with your teeth, you might want to consider having porcelain veneers fitted instead.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Dental veneers are hollow shells, which are crafted to mimic the appearance of natural teeth. They are slotted over your existing teeth, and held in place with strong, long-lasting dental cement. This makes them quite similar to dental crowns, but unlike crowns, much less of the original tooth has to be removed before a veneer is fitted.

Veneers can be made from inexpensive composite resin, but porcelain veneers are generally considered the gold standard. They are more durable and long-lasting than composite veneers, highly resistant to staining, and far more convincing than composite veneers. Porcelain also reflects light in the same way as natural tooth enamel, so porcelain veneers will look like real teeth in any lighting conditions. 

Can Porcelain Veneers Be Used Instead Of Orthodontic Treatment?

Many people have porcelain veneers fitted over teeth that are misaligned, crooked, or too widely and/or unevenly spaced. Because veneers are crafted individually for each patient, they can be carefully shaped to appear straight when attached to crooked teeth or made wider or narrower to hide gaps between natural teeth. 

Porcelain veneers have a number of advantages over orthodontic treatments. For starters, they are a much faster solution — porcelain veneers can usually be fitted within two appointments while completing orthodontic treatment can take months or even years of regular appointments and adjustments. This also makes porcelain veneers considerably cheaper than many orthodontic treatments.

Porcelain veneers can be especially useful for adults who want to correct orthodontic treatments that were not fixed when they were young. Many adults feel shy or embarrassed about wearing highly visible braces or retainers, especially if they have careers where a good appearance is important. Lingual braces can be a less conspicuous alternative, but they are still visible from some angles, and may not be suitable for your particular case.

However, you should bear in mind that veneers are a purely cosmetic fix, and the natural teeth will remain misaligned. This can be a problem if you have serious orthodontic issues, such as a heavy overbite. Without complete correction, these issues can cause other problems, such as tooth decay, headaches, or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

In these cases, the best move may be to have orthodontic correction first, and then fit veneers over the newly corrected teeth. Once your teeth have been moved into a healthier position, porcelain veneers will correct any remaining cosmetic issues with spacing or misalignment. They can also be a long-term fix for tooth discoloration, a common side effect of many orthodontic treatments.

Before making your decision, you should consult with both an orthodontist and a cosmetic dentist for examinations and professional advice. 


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Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an elderly parent tends to be tough enough without the added stress of dealing with dental implants or dentures. But, the prospect is not the end of the world—there are many things you can do to ensure that your parent's dental health is not compromised without having to spend a lot of personal time doing the care yourself. Between working with the right dentist, hiring a service provider for part time work, and giving your parent the tools he or she needs to care for his or her own dental health at home, you'll find that dental health for your loved one isn't so tough or time consuming after all. Hopefully you are able to get the support and information you need right here.