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A 37-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between veneers and braces (cosmetic dentistry)?

20 doctor answers37 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dell Goodrick
A Verified Doctoranswered
33 years experience
Time involved: If you are looking for ways to straighten teeth and enhance your smile, sometimes both braces and cosmetic procedures like porcelain veneers can be involved. For some people, veneers can correct the shapes and alignment without the months of braces. Talk to a cosmetic dentist who can help you decide what is best. Veneers can be done in one day to two weeks, whereas braces can be 6 -24 months.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Sharon Perelman
30 years experience
Veneers: Braces actually move the teeth into alignment. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the teeth. Veneers can be used to reshape the teeth or close spaces.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Scott Greenhalgh
Dentistry 34 years experience
Big difference: If you have really nice looking teeth, but they are out of alignment, then choose porcelain veneers. If your teeth are uneven or unattractive, then choose veneers because they can make your smile look straight and white.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Phillip Frist
Dentistry 47 years experience
Braces 1st: If you are interested in your teeth looking their best, braces should be your best option. Putting the teeth in the proper allignment will look the best and leaving the tooth in its most original form is always better than altering mother nature with a man made material to try and improve on mother nature. But sometimes with staining and excessive gaps veneers may be your only alternative.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Scott Bobbitt
Dentistry 33 years experience
Function vs. Beauty: Dental work (veneers, crowns, fillings, etc.) all have finite life spans. If the alignment of your teeth is such that the dental work is compromised, then the beauty is only "skin deep" and will fail long term. Orthodontic therapy will improve health, function and cosmetics, as well as minimize the number of teeth that need to be treated. Don't be misled that it will last forever!
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gary Lederman
Dentistry 41 years experience
Related: Orthodontics atually moves teeth not in an ideal position. Properly done, it can improve appearance and function. Veneers make the teeth appear to have been moved, but they have actually only been covered and reshaped. Veneers are invasive, meaning he teeth may need to be irreversibly reshaped. Tooth movement takes much longer than veneering. Ortho and veneers can be combined if needed, too.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Arman Dayan
Cosmetic Dentistry 34 years experience
A lot: Veneers will possibly make your teeth look straight but underneath they are still crooked and will have the same problems assoiaited with co=rooked teeth as before. Braces will actually straighten the teeth. Both may be needed.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gabriel Malouf
Specializes in Dentistry
Different solutions : Veneers and orthodontics (braces or invisalign etc) are different solutions for different problems. If you are considering one or the other, i would lean toward the braces: it takes longer, but preserves your natural teeth & moves them to a position where they will last even longer. Consider veneers if your teeth have an undesirable shape/color. Talk further with your dds about options & timing.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. John Thaler
Prosthodontics 42 years experience
Big: Braces move your teeth to an optimal position for function , health and appearance. Veneers are added to your teeth in the position that they currently are. Given the choice, braces will be the best long term treatment as well as the more conservative. We often prescribe braces before veneers to optimize the result in more complex cases.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. S. jay Bowman
Dentistry - Orthodontics 37 years experience
Completely different: Orthodontics is the specialty that involves moving teeth with braces. Veneers are an restorative dental procedure. Veneers are a type of porcelain, tooth-colored material that is added as a layer on the front surface of teeth. Both treatments improve smile esthetics, but are completely different.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. April Ziegele
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Lots: Veneers go over teeth to make them appear straighter or whiter. Braces actually move the teeth to make them straight. Also, veneers are not reversible while braces eventually come off.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
A lot: Braces allow a non-surgical solution to uneven teeth by aligning them. Veneers (one of many cosmetic dentistry solutions) require some tooth reshaping (surgery) and then the placement of a ceramic facing to disguise the irregularities. Sometimes both are advantageous, straighten the teeth then veneer for esthetics. Braces are kinder to the bone/gums. Veneers are faster. Seek evaluation.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Eric Eltzroth
24 years experience
Lots: Braces move the teeth. They don't physically change the shape or shade of the teeth, only their position. Veneers can change shape, shade, size, etc. Of one or more teeth, but do not move them from their original position.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Alexander Gamber
Dentistry 14 years experience
Big difference: Braces straighten all your existing teeth. Veneers are porcelain restorations that cover the front and incisal edge of your teeth which are cemented onto your teeth. Sometimes you can go no preparation or sometimes the dentist has to shave some of your teeth down. It depends on how crowded/ misaligned your teeth are. Veneers usually are done on the front 6-8 teeth as well, not all the teeth.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
Orthodontic solution can be retained forever, restorations have to be periodically repaired/reshaped/redone. Often best solution is to straighten teeth to provide best platform on which to do restorative Rx. See both General Dentist and Orthodontic Specialist for evaluation.
Feb 4, 2014
Dr. Charles Lockhart
Dentistry 10 years experience
Quite a bit: Veneers are new porcelain facial layers for the teeth to alter shade or shape while braces move the existing teeth to the wanted positions.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. George Ayoub
Cosmetic Dentistry 19 years experience
Major: Veneers are porcelain layer placed to cover teeth braces can be metal or porcelain are used to straighten teeth.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Mark Venincasa
Dentistry - Cosmetic 36 years experience
Quite a bit...: Veneers are like a thin, partial crown, that fit over individual teeth to make the teeth look straighter, perhaps longer and wider, and perhaps whiter. Braces are applied temporarily to align teeth to improve their function and alignment. It is possible that veneers may be needed following braces in some unique cases.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Kevin Nail
Dentistry 12 years experience
Cosmetic dentistry: Veneers are porcelain material that is placed over the teeth. Veneers can make your teeth look straighter, whiter, longer, and prettier without using braces. Veneers are a more invasive procedure usually involving cutting down the teeth. Braces involve brackets with wires attached to your teeth. Braces slowly position the teeth. Braces are a less invasive way of straightening your teeth.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Matthew Church
Cosmetic Dentistry 24 years experience
Braces Vs Veneers: Both veneers and braces can "straighten the smile," but only braces actually correct misalignment. Veneers are covers that are bonded to the front surface of teeth. Crafted to the ideal shape, a veneer can make a slightly turned tooth or teeth appear straight. With good care, veneers last several years. Correction from braces can last forever.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Theodore Siegel
Cosmetic Dentistry 38 years experience
Braces vs Veneers: Braces and other orthodontics are designed to realign your teeth to a natural appearance. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain adhered to the fronts of your teeth., Veneers correct discoloration and the shape of your teeth, while orthodontics correct misalignment. Your dentist will know the best option for you.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2021
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