Invisalign vs Veneers (Which is Best For You?)

Tooth color, shape, and alignment are a few of the qualities that comprise a lovely smile. If your teeth need improvement in any of these areas, Invisalign or porcelain veneers could be the solution you’re looking for to achieve a dream smile. 

To make an informed decision, it helps to learn essential details about both options—starting with the fact that Invisalign and dental veneers involve completely different approaches, timelines, and costs for improving smile aesthetics. 

Regardless of the procedure you ultimately choose, a successful outcome depends on your individual circumstances and receiving treatment from a dentist with a proven track record in Invisalign and porcelain veneers. 

With more than 35 years of cosmetic dentistry experience, Dr. David Sabourin has helped countless patients achieve picture-perfect smiles with both Invisalign and dental veneers and will recommend the best one to meet your needs. 

What You Should Know About Invisalign

Invisalign is a virtually invisible alternative to conventional braces because it doesn’t require arch wires or orthodontic brackets. Instead, Invisalign uses a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners to gently and discreetly straighten teeth and align your bite. 

Unlike metal braces, the clear aligners are minimally invasive, removable, and won’t trap food particles and plaque between your teeth. For the most optimal results, aligners should be worn 20–22 hours a day and only removed for eating, oral hygiene, and sports. A new set of aligners is provided about every two weeks as teeth progressively move into the proper position. 

Orthodontic Issues Invisalign Can Correct 

Invisalign is a good option to correct different types of mild to moderate malocclusion, including crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, and crowding. It’s also an effective treatment to close gaps that measure between 1 and 3mm. 

Invisalign can’t correct crooked teeth that need to be significantly rotated to straighten. Although Invisalign can handle small gaps, traditional braces are required to eliminate larger gaps. Invisalign also isn’t capable of raising or lowering the position of a tooth in the jawline or correcting a midline discrepancy of more than 2mm. The latter is when the two front teeth don’t line up with the center of facial features and appear slightly off center. 

Invisalign aligners are more comfortable and discreet than traditional braces. The fact that they’re removable is both a pro and a con. This makes oral hygiene and eating far easier, but also increases the risk of loss and non-compliance, which can be costly and extend the length of treatment. 

What You Should Know About Veneers 

Veneers are thin dental restorations crafted from porcelain that are bonded to the surface of front teeth. If you have discoloration caused by age, tobacco, tea, coffee, or certain medications, veneers will dramatically improve your tooth color and texture. 

Cosmetic Issues Veneers Can Correct 

In addition to discoloration, veneers are an effective restorative procedure to fix cosmetic dental issues such as enamel wear, small chips, superficial cracks, and small gaps. Veneers can also restore an ideal shape to naturally misshapen teeth or correct minor trauma-related tooth damage. 

Porcelain veneers are less invasive than dental crowns for concealing cosmetic issues and delivering natural-looking smile beauty. But like crowns, once the veneers are bonded to your teeth, removal isn’t a practical option and they can only be replaced. Some people experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. And porcelain veneers can break, chip, or even fall off if you consume hard foods or grind your teeth frequently. 

Invisalign and Veneers Comparison

Tooth Appearance: Invisalign improves the appearance of all teeth impacted by malocclusion, while veneers primarily improve the cosmetic appearance of front teeth only. Dental veneers provide patients with a long-term whitening solution. Invisalign doesn’t address tooth color, so it’s common for patients to get professional tooth whitening after treatment to further enhance their smile beauty. 

Dental Issues Treated: Invisalign isn’t intended to remedy discoloration nor replace lost tooth enamel. Instead, it’s a great solution to correct cosmetic and functional issues associated with malocclusion. Veneers can conceal minor misalignment and chips, small gaps between two or more front teeth, and discoloration. Veneers mimic the protective function of natural tooth enamel, making them ideal for patients with enamel wear. 

Treatment Timeline: Like traditional orthodontics, minor alignment issues can be corrected with Invisalign in as little as six months, however, it typically takes 12–18 months to complete treatment. Veneers are a relatively quick procedure, as long as you don’t have underlying dental issues that need to be resolved first. The entire veneer process can be completed in just two visits in a three-week timeframe. 

Cost: Veneers are less expensive than Invisalign, but they’re not permanent and can’t treat bite issues. Different factors influence the cost of veneers, including case complexity, materials used, practice overhead, the choice of dental lab, and the dentist’s level of expertise. As a cosmetic treatment, veneers aren’t covered by insurance, while Invisalign usually is. In general, the cost of Invisalign is based on age, severity of the alignment issue, number of required aligners, and a patient’s commitment to achieving a successful outcome. 

Speak to a Specialist Like Dr. Sabourin 

When deciding between dental veneers or Invisalign treatment, it’s important to understand your treatment goals and communicate this to your dentist. Consulting an experienced Invisalign and veneers dentist like Dr. Sabourin is the best way to determine which treatment is right for you. If you’re ready to start your Invisalign or dental veneer journey, schedule a complimentary cosmetic consultation with Dr. Sabourin today!

Dr. David A. Sabourin, D.D.S.

Dr. Sabourin relocated to San Diego from Ann Arbor, Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. He graduated at the top of his class with High Honors from the University of Detroit School of Dentistry where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

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