Couldn’t I just get some crowns and veneers done?
Crowns and veneers (where teeth are covered by a layer of specially made porcelain) are ideally intended to solve problems with the structure, shape, size or appearance of individual teeth. They wouldn’t usually be the ideal treatment for teeth that are crowded or in the wrong position, or many of the other typical problems that an orthodontist would treat.
Although crowns or veneers might rapidly give the appearance of nicely aligned teeth, the teeth beneath them are still in the wrong place and treating them this way might mean:
- Loading the teeth with bite forces in a way that’s not healthy for them
- Removing more natural tooth material (enamel) than usual to prepare them for the crowns to fit
- Putting a much thicker layer of porcelain on the tooth in certain areas, which is much more difficult to clean thoroughly and more likely to trap germs
Plus crowns need very careful maintenance and review.
Essentially this is trying to disguise poor tooth position by changing the tooth shape. Dr Murray has have seen cases where this has been attempted and it isn’t pretty. He would prefer a patient to keep their own teeth in a healthy state and use orthodontics to put them into a better position.
If you do need crowns or veneers for more conventional reasons, using orthodontics to align the natural teeth to a more ideal position first may well help with the success of providing the crowns.