alternatives to braces invisalign crowns veneers

Alternatives to Braces

So you've been thinking about enhancing your smile. You have always been bothered about that one tooth that sticks out a little more than it should. But, the thought of wearing braces it is just not an option!

Well, hun, I've got news for you. You can have straighter teeth without braces. Yes, it's true.

Walking around with the brace face for two years doesn't have to be your fate.

I want to share some options with you. But, please know that you must see your local dentist or orthodontist to find out your customized treatment plan.

You can have straighter teeth without braces. Yes, it's true. Click To Tweet

 

alternatives to braces invisalign crowns veneers

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Invisalign

You may have seen the commercials or the ads for Invisalign. You may even wonder if it really works. Let me be the first to let you know that it does!

I have completed some cases myself and have achieved beautiful results with Invisalign.

Invisalign are clear aligners that you wear for 7-14 days (depending on what your provider prescribes) all day, every day. The optimal time to wear the aligners and get results is 22 hours. That means, you pretty much have the aligners in all day and they only come out when you have to eat or drink something other than water.

Every 7-14 days you change to the next aligner and overtime with the changes, your teeth will slowly move and you will have the smile you wanted without the brace face.

Invisalign as an alternative to braces

Maintain good oral hygiene

The thing I love about Invisalign is that you can maintain good oral hygiene. So many times I have seen my own patients who take good care of their teeth have a hard time cleaning with the brackets and wires on. All you have to do is pop the aligner out and brush and floss your teeth and they pop them back in when you're done. Easy!

Whitening

The other wonderful plus with Invisalign is you can whiten with the aligners. The aligners pretty much act like a custom whitening tray. You will just need to purchase whitening gel from your dentist and apply the gel in the aligner.

whitening gel can be used during Invisalign treatment

Since we are talking about whitening, let me warn you on a few things.

  1. Be careful not to do too much. You can get some sensitivity that will make your life not so much fun. Make sure you are aware the amount of time you bleach and the frequency. Follow the instructions your dentist gives you for the particular brand and strength of the gel.
  2. Be careful not to add too much bleaching gel and it gets on your gums. It can burn your gums and leave white spots that are really uncomfortable. Follow the instructions your dentist gives you for whitening to avoid this.

Be careful when whitening your teeth that you don't hurt your gums or make your teeth sensitive. Click To Tweet

Common Questions

Back to Invisalign. There are a few common questions about Invisalign that I initially get.

  • Will my insurance cover this?

If you have orthodontic coverage, your insurance may pay the agreed portion because Invisalign is orthodontic treatment. Be sure to check and see if you have orthodontic coverage on your dental plan. Financial coordinator at the dentist or orthodontist office should be able to help find out if you have coverage and how much.

  • Will my teeth hurt?

You may experience mild discomfort the first day you were the new aligner. The discomfort usually subsides after a day or so once you actively wear the aligner the teeth start to move.

  • How long will it take?

It depends. Every person is a little different and there are things that cause treatment to be longer or shorter. Definitely go in and have a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist to get a better estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete treatment.

  • Do I have to wear them every day?

Yes! If you want to get the results you have to wear them for at least 22 hours a day ... pretty much all day.

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Other brand names

Now there are other products just like Invisalign that do the same thing with a different name. Just like Kleenex is the big name for facial tissue, Invisalign is the big name for clear aligners. ClearCorrect is another big competitor with Invisalign that your dentist or orthodontist make use.

Do be afraid if your dentist or orthodontist uses ClearCorrect or another product. They are just as effective by trained providers.

There are some limitations with Invisalign. If you are told that you are not a candidate for Invisalign and you really don't want braces, I would encourage you to get a second opinion. If possible, search for an Elite Provider on the Invisalign website. Elite Providers have experience with many cases. I have seen first-hand cases that I would never think could be done with Invisalign completed by a local Elite Provider.

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Crowns and Veneers

For an instant smile makeover without braces, crowns and/or veneers are an option. Crowns or caps completely cover the tooth and are cemented into place.

Just like you put press on nails, veneers are a thin porcelain that goes on the surface of your teeth. The beauty of crowns and veneers is you can instantly straighten your teeth and whiten as well. You can completely change the appearance of your smile, straighten your teeth, close gaps, and whiten your teeth.

You definitely want to make sure that you have this done by a dentist that has experience with cosmetic dentistry. Be sure to have a consultation and to discuss what you want to change or improve so that you get the smile you want.

dental crown

My Concerns

My only concern with crowns and veneers (not with Lumineers) is you have to trim away some tooth structure. I personally like to be conservative with dental treatment so that your teeth last a lifetime and do not require a fortunate over your lifetime. Crowns and veneers can fail over time. Meaning they can break, chip, come off. If you invest in a smile makeover, make sure to invest in a night guard and see your dentist regularly to maintain your beautiful smile.

Conclusion

I want you to have the smile that you are confident about. There are ways to have the straight smile without the braces. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about what you want to achieve so that they can help guide you what option is best for you.

With lots of love,
Dr Toni

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Comments

  1. Amanda G

    Thank you for the info! This is actually very helpful right now. My parents couldn’t afford to get me braces for my slightly crooked teeth as a child, and now as an adult who still has her wisdom teeth which caused crowding and even more movement in my line of teeth, I’ve been looking into getting them fixed. I’m glad that there are other options available because I think at the age of 33, I would look silly with metal braces.

    1. Thanks! I totally get it. I was like you … I didn’t get braces until I was in college. Let’s just say having the brace face wasn’t the most attractive on the college campus. I will be honest. More and more people are getting orthodontic treatment done in there 40s and 50s. I have had several patients that are over the age of 35 in braces or Invisalign. Now, I must say that having Invisalign or clear aligners will look nice on you as an adult. However, if you do decide to get traditional braces you will be surprised that the response you get it positive from those around you. Either way, you will have a beautiful smile that you will love.

  2. Kasey | Running in Heels

    I’m trying invisalign soon, I cannot wait to do it! This is such a great post with so much info I needed!

    runninginheelsblog.com

    1. Thanks! I am excited for you! It will take a little adjusting at first. I promise it is better than have metal braces. 🙂

    1. Definitely look into it or talk to your dentist or orthodontist to see if it is the best choice for you.

  3. Angelica Sereda

    Are you familiar with Smile Direct Club? I keep seeing their ads on social media and I’m wondering if they’re worth considering.

    1. Hey there! Yes, I have heard of Smile Direct Club. The concept is similar to Invisalign but it is more DIY. You make your own impressions or molds of your teeth and send it in and will get aligners shipped to you to wear based on the impressions that were sent in. I personally am not a fan because you are not under the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist. There are many things that can go wrong. Having a dentist or orthodontist following up and tracking your treatment is crucial. Yes, there is a significant price difference between Smile Direct Club and having Invisalign completed by your dentist or orthodontist. Honestly, I would advise against it.

  4. Bonnie

    Straight and white teeth are definitely on my agenda. I loved when Invisalign came alone because I’m too old to walk around with a mouth full of metal. I have a horrible crossbite, yellowed teeth and severe periodontal disease. If I get the periodontal disease after control say, 4mm pocket depth, am I good candidate for Invisalign? I’m a dental insurance agent BTW and I would love to collab with you sometime.

    1. Yes! That is awesome. There are definitely benefits of having Invisalign treatment to help with improving periodontal disease. By having your teeth in proper alignment, it will make it easier for you to clean and maintain good home care. I would definitely suggest you talk to your local dentist or orthodontist because you may find that Invisalign does more than improving your smile. It can improve your health.
      I can definitely use your expertise and would love to collab with you!

  5. frank

    Good information, i think its good alternative to braces and i heard the dentist talk about it. Very informative!

  6. Bridget

    This is good information because I have Son that we suspect will need braces. I had them, and my husband should have had them (I guess it’s not too late though!). Like you mentioned in an earlier comment, braces may be the best option during teen years depending on responsibility. I know as a teen I did not wear my retainer as often as I should have.

    1. Yes, its never too late. My colleague’s oldest Invisalign patient was in their late 60s! Agreed. There are some really responsible teenagers out there, but most of them are still dependent on their parents or caregivers. When a parent asks me if their child would be a good candidate for Invisalign I just ask if they think their child is one of the most responsible kids in their class and can keep up with aligners EVERYDAY. Most parents usually say no. Not wearing retainers are a big problem. Once you stop wearing them, things start shifting and moving. I wish it was a way to really stress “wear your retainers every day, forever.” I will work on that … 🙂

  7. Aleah

    I cannot afford braces and I’ve been looking for some alternatives to braces. I’m glad I read this now I know what to look for. I’m going to look into Invisalign and clear correct

    1. Braces can be expensive. I’m not going to lie. Check with your local orthodontist because many of them have affordable payment plans that require little down. I know you will be happy with the results of Invisalign or braces.

  8. Tosha ornelas

    I had braces as a kid for 4.5yeara but wasn’t told how important the retainers were for retention for life lol! So now I’m on Invisalign bc of my relapse and only needed 5 trays which is 2 weeks each then switch out and whitening is good but be careful if u hv bonded attachments bc won’t change color. But getting my retainers 4 pack which will last about 4-5 years. But such big deal otherwise relapse happened and money goes wasted! In the dental field for 10 years! Great product and minimal soreness vs traditional braces etc. worth it!

    1. Retainers are one thing that gets overlooked quite often. Luckily, in your case, you didn’t need to stay in Invisalign for long. I have seen some patients have to wear braces again for another 2 years! I am glad that you are getting 4 retainers so that if you lose one or break one you won’t have to worry about relapsing again. I totally agree about not wearing your retainers. Teeth are not cemented into the bone like we would like to think. Teeth gradually move over time. That is why it is so important to wear retainers. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. FARAH

    I have already gone through the pain of braces but will def recommend this to others!

  10. Margarette Puno

    Wow! I have never heard about this I think this is so awesome to make our teeth stronger. I will share this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Darlene Dee

    This is great information — thank you! My dentist has mentioned these for my daughter but certainly didn’t break it down like you did.

    1. Thank you! Yes, Invisalign can be a treatment option if you have tweens or teens. I have seen them for a little girl as young as 7 years old. The only thing is your child has to be SUPER responsible because they have to be able to keep up the aligners and remember where they put them. The only thing that I have found with tweens and teens is that braces are cool and they actually want the metal braces for social reasons.

  12. Akyn30

    Wow! This is so helpful. I never knew that there is another option to straighten one’s teeth aside from wearing braces. Thanks for sharing. ♥

  13. ka

    That is some really useful info. I am going to refer this post to my friends who are looking out for this sort of info. Thank you for such detailed post.

  14. Sarah

    Great tips! Thank you for sharing this. Are any of these products safe for kids?

    1. Thanks! That is a really good question! There is an Invisalign Teen product that I have seen some dentist start on kids as young as 8. The only thing is the kids have to be SUPER responsible so that they don’t lose their aligners. Honestly, I stopped recommending Invisalign Teen if I knew the kid would lose the aligner within a week and advised braces because those are not going anywhere. 🙂

  15. Anisa

    I had braces from 14-17 and now that my wisdom teeth have come in it’s pushed my bottom teeth and now they’re uneven , I’m hoping with getting one taken out my teeth will straighten back. I’ve heard of Invisalign too I’d definitley get that instead of the clear braces I had.

    1. Hey there! You definitely put in the time to make your teeth straight. Whenever you decide to get Invisalign, just make sure to wear your retainer after treatment so that you don’t have to worry about your teeth shifting again. Thanks for stopping by!

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