Veneers vs Braces: Can Veneers Correct Crooked Teeth?

Written & Reviewed by –

Consider veneers for a straighter-looking smile! While they don’t physically move teeth, veneers can mask mild to moderate crookedness for a cosmetic fix. Learn how can veneers fix crooked teeth.

Your self-confidence may suffer if your teeth are not in the proper alignment. You might even refrain from grinning in public if you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth.

Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with this for the rest of your life. The majority of people will be aware of orthodontics and braces; however, some people might not want braces or for whom they are not the best option. How then can you straighten your crooked smile if it describes you? Can veneers correct crooked teeth?

Without needing to wear braces for months, veneers can help straighten and align your crooked teeth. Veneers are a great substitute for braces if your hectic schedule prevents you from receiving braces treatment and going to the orthodontist every two weeks for adjustments. 

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin shells custom-made from tooth-colored materials like porcelain or composite resin. They are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. Key features of veneers are:

  • Function: Primarily cosmetic, treating problems such as small gaps, discolorations, chips, cracks, and mildly misaligned teeth.
  • Material: Composite resin or porcelain are typical choices. Composite veneers are easier to apply and may be less expensive than porcelain veneers, but porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant and long-lasting.
  • Placement: In order to ensure a strong bond, a dentist will first remove a small amount of enamel from the front surface of the tooth before bonding veneers to it.
Laminate porcelain veneers
Laminate porcelain veneers for crooked teeth

Comparison between braces and veneers

FeatureVeneersOrthodontic Braces
Primary FunctionCosmeticOrthodontics (alignment and bite correction)
MaterialPorcelain or composite resinMetal, ceramic, or clear plastic
ProcedureBonding thin shells to teethApplying brackets and wires to gradually move teeth
Time to Complete2-3 appointments12–24 months (average)
DiscomfortMinimal (may use anesthesia)Moderate discomfort during adjustments
VisibilityCan be very natural-lookingCan be noticeable, especially metal braces
Suitability for Crooked TeethMild misalignment, chips, gapsModerate to severe misalignment, bite problems
Durability10–15 years with proper careUp to 10 years with proper care and retainers
ReversibilityIrreversible (enamel removal)Reversible (teeth return to original position without retainers)
Cost (per tooth)$1,000 – $2,500$3,000 – $7,000 (average)
MaintenanceRegular brushing, flossing, and dental visitsRegular brushing, flossing, and retainer wear (after treatment)
Comparison between veneers and braces

How do veneers work for crooked teeth?

Reasons to consider veneers for crooked teeth:

  • Faster Results: Veneers can straighten teeth in a matter of months or years, as opposed to braces or aligners, which require several appointments, usually two to three, to achieve the desired result.
  • Minimal discomfort: The veneer placement process is a minimally invasive one, and anaesthesia is frequently employed to guarantee comfort during the enamel removal phase.
  • Natural-Looking Smile: The colour, shape, and size of porcelain veneers can be greatly customised. Veneers that are expertly crafted by a dentist can produce a smile that is both stunning and natural-looking.
  • Increased Confidence: Veneers can dramatically enhance your smile’s appearance, which will increase your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Durability: With the right maintenance, porcelain veneers can endure for ten to fifteen years or longer.
  • Chip repair: Veneers can treat a chipped tooth and mild misalignment at the same time, repairing the tooth’s structure and enhancing its appearance.

Limitations of veneers for crooked teeth

  • Veneers Don’t Fix Underlying Issues: Veneers can address only the cosmetic aspect, not the root cause of crooked teeth. If you have bite problems or moderate-to-severe misalignment, veneers might not be suitable.
  • Irreversible Procedure:Placing veneers involves removing some enamel, which is irreversible. 
  • Cost: Veneers can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional braces.
  • Maintenance: While durable, veneers require good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups to maintain their longevity and prevent staining.

Ideal candidates for veneers

Ideal candidates for veneers with slightly crooked teeth possess a combination of factors that make the treatment a suitable and effective solution for their cosmetic goals. Here’s a breakdown of who might benefit most:

Cosmetic Concerns:

  • Mild Misalignment: If your teeth have minor rotations, angulations, or gaps that are primarily aesthetic concerns, veneers can effectively mask them and create a straighter-looking smile.
  • Discoloration or Chips: Veneers can address these issues alongside mild misalignment. They come in various shades to match your natural teeth or achieve a whiter smile, and their durability can cover small chips or cracks.
  • Uneven Tooth Size: Veneers can be customized in size and shape to improve the uniformity of your front teeth, minimizing the visual impact of slightly crooked or uneven teeth.

Dental Health and Habits:

  • Healthy Teeth and Gums: Veneers require a healthy foundation. You shouldn’t have active decay, gum disease, or significant tooth structure loss.
  • Good Enamel: Since a small amount of enamel is removed for veneer placement, having sufficient healthy enamel is crucial.
  • Good Oral Hygiene Habits: Maintaining a regular brushing and flossing routine is essential for the longevity of veneers and overall oral health.
  • Limited Teeth Grinding: Excessive teeth grinding (bruxism) can damage veneers. If you grind your teeth, a dentist might recommend a nightguard to protect them.

Realistic Expectations:

  • Understanding Limitations: Veneers can’t fix severely crooked teeth or bite problems. They primarily address the cosmetic appearance of the front surface.
  • Long-Term Commitment: While not permanent, veneers require good care and typically last 10–15 years.

Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Age: Veneers are generally not recommended for young children whose teeth are still developing.
  • Budget: Veneers can be expensive, and the cost varies depending on the number of teeth and material used.

Procedure to place veneers

Procedure of veneer placement

The procedure for placing veneers typically involves several appointments at the dentist’s office. Here are the general steps:

Consultation and Planning (Appointment 1):

  1. Initial Discussion: You’ll discuss your desired outcome with a dentist experienced in cosmetic dentistry. They will examine your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.
  2. X-rays and Impressions: X-rays will be taken to assess your jawbone health and root positioning. Impressions of your teeth will be created using a mold to design custom veneers.
  3. Digital Smile Design (Optional): Some dentists use specialized software to create a digital simulation of your smile with veneers. This allows you to preview the potential outcome and make adjustments before proceeding.

Tooth Preparation and Veneer Creation (Appointment 2):

  1. Local Anesthetic: Anesthesia might be used to numb the area around the teeth being treated for your comfort during the next step.
  2. Enamel Removal: A small amount of enamel is removed from the front surface of the teeth receiving veneers. The amount removed depends on the severity of the misalignment and the desired outcome.
  3. Shade Selection: The dentist will carefully choose the shade of the veneer to match your natural teeth or create a whiter smile, depending on your preference.
  4. Temporary Veneers (Optional): While permanent veneers are crafted in a dental lab based on impressions and shade selection, temporary veneers might be placed on your prepared teeth. These protect your teeth and allow you to get used to the look and feel of veneers.

Veneer Placement and Aftercare (Appointment 3):

  1. Checking the Veneers: Once the permanent veneers are ready, the dentist will check their fit, color, and overall aesthetics to ensure they match your expectations.
  2. Bonding the Veneers: The dentist will thoroughly clean and dry your teeth before carefully bonding the veneers to the prepared tooth surfaces using a strong dental adhesive and curing them with a special light.
  3. Adjustments: Minor adjustments to the veneer’s shape or bite might be made at this stage to ensure a comfortable fit and function.
  4. Aftercare Instructions: The dentist will provide detailed instructions on caring for your veneers, including proper brushing and flossing techniques, dietary recommendations to avoid damaging them, and the importance of regular dental checkups.

Recovery and Follow-Up:

  • Veneers are a minimally invasive procedure, and discomfort is usually minimal. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken if needed.
  • You can generally resume your normal activities following the veneer placement appointment.
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the longevity of your veneers. Brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and avoiding habits like biting on hard objects will help prevent chipping or damage.
  • Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential to ensuring the health of your teeth and gums with veneers. The dentist will also monitor the condition of the veneers and address any concerns you might have.

How long will it take to straighten your teeth?

While veneers won’t straighten your teeth, the entire process of getting them for a minimally crooked smile can be completed in a few weeks. If you have significantly crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment with braces or aligners will be necessary, and that can take 12–24 months on average.

Veneers Before and After Pictures


Who is the Writer?

Dr. Kirti Parashar is a licensed prosthodontist with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and a Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) in Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge from Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, India. She is a consultant prosthodontist and passionate about using the latest dental technologies and techniques to provide her patients with the best possible care.