Thoughts on veneers after adult invisalign?
September 27, 2020 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience with veneers? I am not sure what kind of follow up questions I would need to determine if I ultimately need to also have veneers in addition to the alignment treatment. Is it merely achieving a perfectly cosmetically pleasing result? Is it actually ultimately to help my bite and alignment?

I received three different orthodontic consults from A, B, and C. All three said my lateral incisors were small and disproportionate to my two front teeth. Orthodontists A and B recommended roughly the same idea- that I had the option of using invisalign to create space between my two front teeth and lateral incisors so that eventually, I could get veneers on the lateral incisors to build them up to a more proportionate size to my two front teeth.

Orthodontist A was pretty more straightforward on getting the veneers during the refinement stage. Orthodontist B said I could consider veneers. When I asked why the veneers were necessary, they said that if I did not create the space on top and have them filled with the veneers- then the top alignment would just be tightened to maintain alignment on the top. But a tight fit with pressure again on the top teeth would put pressure on the bottom teeth, so the overbite wouldn't be fixed.

The Orthodontist C did not recommend this but did state in his write up, that I did have "peg-like" incisors. They would just help align all my teeth straight.

Veneers are pretty expensive and require maintenance. On top of the invisalign, and now potentially the veneers - I would also have to find a dentist who I felt would be competent and up to the task to produce the veneers. I feel like just the process of figuring out an orthodontist has been pretty time consuming, not to mention now considering veneers.

A part of me wants to fix not only the alignment to get my teeth straight, but also the function. However, I'm not sure if I'm willing to go all the way out on having the most perfect teeth ever. Not sure how I should think about the situation.

Any experience and insight would be appreciated.
posted by proficiency101 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You do not need veneers. Veneers are cosmetic. You already have the most perfect teeth ever. Do not let them remove perfectly good tooth to make a buck.
posted by aniola at 9:11 AM on September 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

For further reading, I recommend Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America by Mary Otto.
posted by aniola at 9:11 AM on September 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Do your teeth cause you pain? Are they likely to cause you pain soon? Is there some weird discoloration thing or protruding thing going on, that is so noticeable people comment on it? If none of these is true, then whatever you are considering is aesthetic and therefore optional rather than necessary.

It might be important to you to have aesthetically perfect teeth... but lots of things that make teeth look beautiful also make them structurally unsound. Veneers strip away healthy tooth enamel, so they are always going to be a step down, health-wise, even if they are perfectly well done. It's really all about weighing the risks of weakening your teeth versus the benefits of improving their appearance. Only you can really make that judgement.

If, for instance, your career is based on your appearance (for instance, you're an actor) the risk might well be worth it. It will also depend on where you live and what class you are - in the US, middle and upper class people are apparently expected to have dazzling white perfectly shaped teeth. But that doesn't mean you have to go that route.

Here's another article about dentists btw, similar to the one already recommended.
posted by EllaEm at 12:15 PM on September 27, 2020

No on the veneers. For real. However, if you do have gaps, look into Lumineers, which are secured on top of your existing teeth with dental epoxy. They are much cheaper and last a long time, and do not require removing enamel to attach.
posted by ananci at 12:27 PM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

This option may not be applicable to your specific situation, but I'll mention it so you can ask your consults as it's much cheaper than veneers and requires less maintenance post-procedure: Before my bout with adult braces about twelve years ago, I spoke with a few orthodontists. Two recommended veneers after treatment. The ortho I ultimately went with said, hmm, yeah, those teeth are a bit short, I'll send you to my water-laser guy when the [Damon] brackets are off. The gum re-contouring did not hurt, and the tissue has not grown back.

[If you're correcting an overbite, make sure Invisalign will get you the results you want. After treatment, swear fealty your retainer, whether it's a bonded, lingual one or an overnight tray.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:21 PM on September 27, 2020

I have no knowledge of your case in particular, but I have lots of experience with the situation you are describing.

Here is an example of why making your lateral incisors wider might be desirable:

Your central incisors will meet in the middle and together they will take up a certain amount of space that is pretty much fixed.
Your canines (eye teeth) have a particular (and pretty important) function, and only work well when aligned so that the bottom ones slide against the upper ones to pull your teeth apart when you go to the side.

If the orthodontist puts the canines where they are most functional and you have peg laterals, they might appear tiny in the space between the centrals and the ideally placed canines.

There is no functional disadvantage to this, but it can be a significant aesthetic issue.

Generally, almost no tooth is removed to put a veneer on a peg lateral, Porcelain veneers are more expensive because they look nicer and last longer, but resin veneers are often used and are pretty affordable, and sometimes covered by insurance.

No one but you can put a value on your smile, but if you are going to invest in ortho, you should consider going for the best functional result.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:06 PM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I know someone who had to get a root canal on every tooth they had a veneer on, the procedure killed the roots. Be very careful when looking into straightening your teeth, shifting them around can have a cascading effect (gum grafts, root canals, jaw alignment issues). If you're smiling with your hand over your mouth go for it, but if it's not really bothering you I promise it's not bothering anyone else.
posted by Dynex at 8:37 PM on September 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

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