Q: I am 32 years old and have crowded and crooked front teeth. Is there a way to fix them without having to wear braces?
A: Yes, there are a few ways to correct your smile without having to wear braces or retainers. Among your options are Porcelain Veneers and Enamel Shaping. In mild cases of crowding, the more conservative approach is Enamel Shaping, which involves modifying the shape of your teeth by removing or contouring enamel to create the illusion that your teeth are more balanced in their appearance. This process does not require anesthesia, and the results are noticeable immediately. Keep in mind that the removal of enamel is an irreversible process, and may also require additional bonding to enhance the appearance of your teeth.
Porcelain Laminate Veneers, in my opinion, are the restoration of choice to correct poorly shaped or slightly crooked teeth for those individuals who do not wish to experience orthodontics.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made of tooth-colored materials which are bonded to the prepared teeth to enhance the esthetics of one’s smile. This, too, is an irreversible process because a small amount of enamel is usually removed to accommodate the thickness of the porcelain shell.
Veneers are used, with tremendous success, for treating gaps and dark spaces between teeth, for teeth that are stained, and for teeth that are worn or eroded at the gum line due to hard tooth brushing.
Many of the actors and entertainment personalities who appear to have “picture perfect” teeth have used veneers as a more permanent way to whiten and straighten their teeth. The procedure usually requires 2 or 3 appointments, and the results will make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel about yourself.