Closing a tooth gap- Invisalign® vs. placing porcelain veneers.

When this person submitted their picture for a virtual makeover, their email seemed to suggest that they would be open to closing the space between their teeth either using some type of orthodontic treatment (such as Invisalign®) or by placing porcelain veneers.

We decided to illustrate the latter. Not because we thought it makes the better choice but because it's the more important result to see before choosing between the two.

We explain why below.

Case issues and concerns:

As far as appearance goes, the most obvious issue with this person's smile is the space between its upper front teeth. A dentist would term this type of gap a "diastema."

Additional observations:

While it's impossible to state so definitively without examining the patient first, this case's "before" picture gives the impression of a healthy youthful smile.

That's important because the presence of dental concerns might tip the balance in favor of one treatment approach over the other. But here, either having braces or placing some type of dental restorations both seem like viable options.

This smile has a tooth gap (diastema.)
After the diastema has been closed by placing veneers.

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

As mentioned above, there are two approaches that could be used to close the space between this person's teeth. But in terms of the results, one is slightly more problematic than the other.

a) Braces.

Using an orthodontic approach, this person will end up with basically their same look, with the exception that their diastema will be closed.

b) Porcelain veneers.

In comparison, placing veneers to fill in a tooth gap is an additive process. The space is closed by placing slightly oversized veneers. And that means the person's look may change, due to the change in the width of their teeth.

That's why we thought it was important to illustrate veneer placement. If the way our makeover looks is acceptable to this person, then they have both treatment options to choose from. But if it doesn't, then orthodontic treatment will need to be the way to go.

Which method should this person choose?

Assuming that both methods can give an acceptable result, we'd like to think that any dentist would steer their patient toward having orthodontic treatment instead of veneers placed.

This person's picture suggests that they are young and their mouth is healthy. If so, they make a great candidate for orthodontic treatment and will have a whole lifetime to benefit from it. (Although, at least some retainer wear will be required.)

In comparison, veneers, especially for a young patient, will require more extensive maintenance. Replacement will be needed at some point (possibly more than once), and then of course no one knows when emergency work will be required (a debonded or broken veneer).

Other considerations.

Of course, getting veneers offers a quicker result (that's why placing them is sometimes referred to as "instant" orthodontics). But with methods like the Invisalign® system, enduring braces really isn't as imposing as it has been in previous decades.

Bottom line however, only this person and their dentist can make the decision about which treatment approach is best.

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Input from site visitors.

large midline daistema of upper teeth

I have large midline daistema of upper teeth atIeast 2-3 mm.looks like a gap of one missing teeth. How much time it will take to be corrected by braces?

* Comment notes.


We're not really going to be able to give you very much of answer. There are simply too many variables involved as to the extent of the treatment that might be needed.

That said, these pages might be able to provide you with some insight:

Time needed for Invisalign treatment vs. conventional braces.

This page explains needed time frames for different types of Invisalign treatment.

Is your situation similar? - Ask a question. / Share what you know.

Comments (especially personal narratives) that don't contribute to the learning/teaching intent of our pages will be deleted. Comments that don't relate to the subject of the page they are posted on especially well will be moved to a more appropriate one, or deleted, after a few days.

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