When it comes to larger gaps like overbites and over jets — malocclusions that could potentially lead to much more severe issues than just cosmetic ones — dental veneers are not an ideal quick-fix solution. They are simply a cosmetic and protective layer, usually made from dental porcelain or cosmetic resin, applied over part of the teeth.
It’s worth noting that veneers only offer partial tooth coverage; crowns will provide full coverage. As stated previously, veneers are just inert overlays, and when applied to the teeth properly, they will not move them. As far as smaller, minor gaps though, veneers can help by:
- Adding enough circumference to fill small gaps
- Filling out the ideal tooth shape (on worn teeth)
- Adding a protective layer for enamel wear
However, this protective layer is still subject to certain vulnerabilities you’ll want to watch out for. Veneers can help fill certain small gaps and are a perfectly valid way to do so.
That said, If the shape of the teeth is good, orthodontic treatment with braces or aligners is the treatment of choice; it is a conservative approach, not a quick fix like a veneer, and is capable of handling larger gaps.
Alternatively, the orthodontist may install the bracket directly on the veneer if they have no other choice, but this is not preferred; if they have no way of bypassing the veneers, they may just recommend wearing Invisalign clear aligners to totally bypass the problem altogether.
Braces and Invisalign win out at fixing serious malocclusions, but if you want to wear either with a dental veneer, you can — just be sure to discuss treatment with your orthodontist. That said, if you suffer from the following maladies, you may not be a good candidate for wearing braces with veneers:
- Bruxism: Grinding and clenching your teeth, often at night. This will wear down both the veneers and enamel. You can still get veneers, so long as you have mild bruxism, but this condition will cause them to wear faster than they would otherwise.
- Poor oral hygiene habits: While veneers can often cover stains or make your teeth more resistant to staining and discoloration, they are not totally immune (especially not composite veneers) to staining over time. Since food debris can stick onto braces, it can make it easy for this staining to occur if you aren’t proactive or careful.
- Diseased gums and decaying teeth: Covering up oral health problems will not erase those problems. Additionally, the weakening of your teeth may promote weakening of the veneer material. It’s best to address these problems directly, rather than attempting to hide them.
- Unusual chewing habits: Biting nails, pencils, caps, and pens can wear your veneers and damage the brackets, just as it would to uncovered, exposed, natural enamel. Whether seeking orthodontic or dental treatment, it’s best to reign in these bad habits for the best results.