How to fix crooked teeth: cosmetic dentistry vs braces

Crooked teeth can be caused due to a number of reasons but can also be fixed in multiple ways too. With the modern dentistry techniques that are available, there are a number of treatments that patients can undergo in order to achieve straight teeth and a perfect smile as a result. It's possible that as a child, you inherited crooked teeth from your parents meaning that through no fault of your own you suffer from this. Alternatively, you may have had a habit when you were younger, such as using a dummy or sucking on your thumb, that has caused these issues with your teeth.

This can lead to you living most of your life with crooked teeth and potentially suffering damaged confidence as a result. In search of corrective treatment, you may have explored both cosmetic dentistry options and braces but aren't sure how they both work. Well, the processes can be changed depending on which treatment you opt for but in simple terms, braces will move your teeth over a steady period of time, therefore straightening previously misaligned teeth. Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, uses other methods such as veneers or composite bonding to alter the appearance of your teeth in order for them to appear straight.

By using composite bonding material we can fill in gaps between the teeth, altering the shape, making them appear as though they are naturally straight. This procedure can be carried out in a single day, whereas braces can take multiple years to achieve your desired results. There are benefits to both treatment options, making it impossible to choose an outright superior option.

Cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics: what is the right treatment for me?

Cosmetic Dental treatments such as veneers and composite bonding are the preferred choice for a lot of patients as they can deliver stunning results in a short space of time. By opting for these treatments, not only can we whiten your teeth, but we can also make them appear straighter. The same results can be achieved through the use of braces, although the length of treatment time is considerably different. Opting for braces, however, will move your teeth without adding any unnatural material to them, meaning that once you have your braces removed, you'll be left with completely natural and straight teeth.

Whether the treatment is right for you or not is entirely dependent on the individual but the only way to properly decide is to understand what each of the treatment types is and how they can benefit you. For those who want quick results and a minimal number of appointments, cosmetic treatments are a great choice. They also allow for more specific results as, in the case of composite bonding, we're able to alter the shape of the tooth. This allows us to sculpt the tooth, altering it to make it appear straighter, whereas, with braces, they can only be moved, not reshaped.

Orthodontic treatment, such as standard metal braces, are common amongst teenagers, as this is often the age that dental issues show through and have likely persisted for a few years. This leads to them getting braces to straighten their teeth before they leave school. As an adult, this can pose a different set of challenges, as it can be difficult navigating life with braces on top of your natural stresses. Adults who work in customer service or are particularly sociable often have a lot of anxiety towards having their teeth covered. With metal braces, they will hide your smile, although the results at the end will be worth the time spent wearing them. Cosmetic options, however, can achieve similar results, without hiding your smile. Cosmetic braces, such as Clear X Aligners, can achieve incredible results but appear invisible when worn. This is a great option for adults and allows them to achieve their perfect smile without having to hide their smile for the duration of the treatment.

What is a smile makeover?

Our same-day smile makeover is an extremely popular choice amongst our clients as it's able to provide stunning results in a single day. The treatment time is extremely quick and will be carried out following a series of planning appointments, at our luxury facility in Liverpool. You'll be able to watch a film or listen to music whilst the procedure is being carried out, making for a relaxed appointment. What exactly will happen during the one-day treatment appointment will be planned beforehand, Which is what allows us to complete the treatment in one day.

During the consultation stage, we'll outline the treatment we'll apply on the day. In the case of composite bonding, we can apply this quickly as it takes no prep time. If you were looking for porcelain veneers, for example, this would require a mould taking and time for your veneers to be sculpted in a lab. As the composite material is applied over the top of your tooth, the procedure is simple and non-invasive. Not only can we improve the shape of your smile, but we can also improve the colour of your teeth, leaving you with a stunning white smile.

The process to begin your journey is extremely easy too. You can complete an online consultation, prior to visiting our facility. The online consultation will consist of you taking a series of pictures of your mouth and sending them to us so we can assess your dental situation. We will require a picture from the front with your mouth both open and closed, and a picture from the front below along with a video of you speaking. You can do this all from the comfort of your own home and once we have it, we'll invite you for a full case assessment so that we can carry out a thorough examination.

My tooth is badly broken - what can I do?

If your tooth is severely broken, this can limit your options in terms of which treatments would be suitable. Orthodontic treatment, for example, wouldn't be a great choice as this won't be able to repair your tooth. Cosmetic dentists, such as ourselves, can offer a range of treatments, however, that could help repair your tooth. Once we've carried out a full case assessment we would be able to understand the scope of the damage and plan an effective treatment.

We can provide composite bonding treatments, which consist of a composite material being applied over the teeth to make them appear healthy. Although, if the damage to your tooth is severe, you may require a different treatment. Depending on where the damage to your tooth has occurred, it's possible you could have a porcelain veneer fitted. This is when a small part of the tooth is removed to have the porcelain veneer fitted over the top of your natural teeth. This means that the damaged part of the tooth could be removed and replaced with a durable and natural-looking veneer.

There's also the possibility that your tooth is badly broken as it has either led to decay or is unrepairable. If it's the former, there is potential that the decay has damaged your tooth even further and, if left, could lead to either poor oral health or a root canal issue. To avoid this and prevent further tooth decay, we could extract the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. This would allow you to benefit from a tooth that hasn't been damaged and one which would reduce the chance of any infections or other issues. The procedure consists of a titanium screw being fused with your jawbone, forming the root to which the artificial tooth is attached. Although it sounds invasive, you will receive proper painkillers and numbing agents that will make the procedure pain-free.

What does tooth whitening involve?

There are multiple ways teeth can be whitened, for example, if a porcelain veneer was fitted, this would be a glowing white colour, improving your smile. Similarly, if we applied composite veneers, this would whiten your teeth, making them appear a healthy natural colour. These methods are recommended, instead of DIY tooth whitening attempts at home as they provide great results for longer and are done in a safe environment. When DIY attempts are made, there is a high chance that you could permanently damage your teeth, leading to more serious issues later in life.

If you're looking for our composite tooth whitening treatment, we can apply this as part of our same-day treatment, making for a quick and easy solution. This works by covering your tooth in the natural white-coloured material, thus covering any discolouration. This treatment is also ideal if you have any chips in your teeth, as the material can be used to fill in the chips, restoring the natural shape of your teeth.

What is a veneer?

There are two types of veneer which we provide, each with its own benefits. Composite veneers, which are made using the same composite bonding material, are applied over the top of the tooth. This leaves the natural tooth intact, with the composite material simply being applied over the top to create a natural look. This type of veneer typically lasts between five and seven years before the treatment will need to be reapplied. The treatment can also be reversed as no permanent changes are being made to your teeth. This makes it a great choice for those who would like whiter, straighter teeth, without the long term commitment.

Porcelain veneers, however, are made and applied using a slightly different process. As the material which is being used is different, the veneers must first be sculpted using a mould of your natural teeth, in a lab. It's likely that whilst the veneers are being sculpted, you'll be fitted with temporary veneers until they are ready. Your teeth will have a thin layer of enamel removed from them in order to fit the porcelain veneers. The porcelain material is more durable than the composite material and is unable to be stained, unlike composite veneers which will need to be cared for as you would your natural teeth.

Porcelain veneers, which we offer for £800 per tooth, whereas the composite veneers we offer for £345 per tooth, making it a little more expensive but due to the length of time it lasts, it could be a more cost-effective investment for some. The only difference, however, is that porcelain veneers require permanent changes to your teeth, unlike porcelain veneers, which can be applied to your natural teeth.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a term used to describe any form of dental work or procedure that is undertaken with the sole aim of improving the overall appearance of your teeth and smile. Procedures within the remit of this form of dentistry include whitening, straightening, composite bonds, veneers, crowns, etc. Unlike orthodontic treatments, cosmetic dentistry is more of an aesthetic treatment and, therefore, does not improve the overall health of the mouth and teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry typically focuses on improving the appearance of teeth, rather than overall oral health and the prevention of diseases. Traditional dentistry is key to the long-term health of your teeth and ensuring that you don't develop any serious issues with your oral health and your dentist will often give you tips and recommendations as to how to keep your teeth clean and maintain your oral health. Cosmetic dentists, such as ourselves, will provide treatments that can improve how your teeth look, giving you complete smile makeovers and boosting your confidence. Both are important and can play crucial roles in both your physical and mental health.

The cosmetic treatments we offer and their costs are listed below:

Porcelain Veneers - £800 Per Tooth

Composite Veneers - £345 Per Tooth

Composite Edge Bonding - £205 Per Tooth

Crown - £800 Per Tooth

Bespoke Tooth Whitening - £345 Per kit

Gum Contouring - £115 - £230 Per Tooth

Crown Lengthening - £230+ Per Tooth

When you visit our facility to discuss the treatments, we'll talk you through the process and ensure you're comfortable with each step. We'll also be able to give you insight into the results you'll be able to achieve as a result.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics refers to an area of dentistry that revolves around correcting the improper placement of teeth. The most common orthodontic procedures, such as installing braces or retainers, aim to straighten or move your teeth to improve their positioning within your mouth and ensure the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw can be maintained in the long term.

Whilst benefits can include an improvement to the appearance of your smile, this is not the sole aim of these procedures, which is more likely to be the correction of your bite or to fix dental overcrowding.

How can I permanently fix my teeth?

Here at Dental Excellence, we have a vast array of treatments to fix your smile, each adapted to correct a different type of dental issue. Whether it's crooked, discoloured or missing teeth, our state-of-the-art technology and incredibly skilled team of professionals are there to help you choose a treatment that will fully restore your smile.

There is no one way to permanently ‘fix your teeth’ that will work for everyone. The best solution for you will depend on:

1 - Where your problem with your smile lies

2 - The underlying cause of this problem

3 - The severity of your case.

Our team of dedicated professionals will always strive to provide a solution that is unique to your case and that will have you leaving our clinic with a smile you won’t want to hide.

How can an orthodontist fix a crooked smile?

The most common way that an orthodontist will fix a crooked smile is through the use of braces or retainers. These apply pressure to your teeth, slowly correcting their position over a period of time so that, when the time comes to have them removed, your bottom and top set of teeth will be perfectly aligned. 

As mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to improving your smile. Our team will work with you to understand the best course of action to take based on your individual needs. We’ll use the expertise of some of the best dentists in the biz to put a bespoke plan in place to get you the results that you want.

Is cosmetic dentistry safe for your health?

The most common cosmetic dentistry procedures, if undertaken by a dental professional such as those provided by the team at Dental Excellence, will be perfectly safe for most people.

We pride ourselves on our unprecedented and truly personalised level of care - your safety is always our number one priority. However, it’s important to note that not all procedures are suitable for all patients. This is why we always have a consultation with you prior to beginning any course of treatment. This consultation puts us in a position to comprehensively understand your individual needs and circumstances and gives us the opportunity to address any questions you may have as regards the treatment you’ll be booked in for.

How can I safely whiten my teeth?

When it comes to whitening your teeth, health should remain your utmost priority. It’s important to go to a qualified dental professional for whitening, rather than attempting to use at-home kits or strips. 

This is because the ideal hydrogen peroxide concentration for getting whiter teeth is around 6%. In the UK, treatments with this level of hydrogen peroxide can only be carried out by a dental professional – this means either a dentist or a dental hygienist or therapist under the supervision of a dentist.

Due to the low levels of hydrogen peroxide legally permitted in at-home solutions, some kits may comprise other ingredients which claim to whiten your teeth such as sodium chlorite and PAP. While some of these ingredients could potentially lighten your teeth, a recent study published in the British Dental Journal found that they could also potentially cause damage to your tooth enamel.

At Dental Excellence, we will help to monitor your teeth throughout the course of treatment and ensure that the health of your teeth and gums isn’t unnecessarily put at risk. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, you can book a consultation to see what teeth whitening solution is most suited to your needs.

Can crowded teeth be fixed by a dentist?

In the vast majority of cases, yes! Braces or retainers are the most common way to realign the teeth to prevent, or correct, teeth overcrowding. Sometimes other procedures such as tooth extraction are necessary.  The earlier you treat the problem, the better the outcome.

Booking a consultation is easy, simply fill out our booking form and choose between a face to face or online appointment at a time convenient to you.

How can I fix gaps between my teeth?

Composite bonding is a procedure commonly used in order to help fix minor imperfections or gaps between teeth. This is where a composite resin is applied over the top of the tooth. In more severe cases, a dental implant may be required. 

Our team of dedicated professionals will work with you in order to find the most suitable solution for you.

What can you eat with Invisalign braces?

Invisalign braces are becoming increasingly popular as people in their adulthood are looking to correct their teeth, without the noticeability of traditional ‘train track’ metal braces.

As well as their more discreet appearance, another major advantage of Invisalign braces is that they are removable, which (good news!) means that you do not necessarily have to make any adjustment to your dietary habits.

There is, however, one important rule: you must remove your aligner (what the brace is called) before eating or drinking anything that isn’t water. This is to prevent damage to the trays and the potential build-up of bacteria, which could discolour the aligner, reducing its transparency.

How to relieve pain caused by teeth overcrowding?

Teeth overcrowding often occurs as a result of teeth being misaligned. Due to genetic issues related to the jaw or other external factors, the teeth compete for space as they grow and end up in ‘crooked’ positions. This can cause pain in your teeth, gum, and jaws, which can even radiate down to your neck and shoulders in more severe cases.

In terms of short-term relief, over-the-counter pain relief medications can help to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. Thinking long term, it may be worth looking into braces or retainers in order to permanently move your teeth into the correct position. In some cases, tooth extraction will also be required. 

Would you like to learn more about how we can help you to perfect your smile? Book a treatment today where we will have a specialist talk you through your options.

Not quite ready to book? We also offer mini virtual consultations as a first step to your smile makeover.

Need More Help?

Our team of experts are on hand to assist in making the smile of your dreams a reality. From our same-day smile makeovers to dental implants, veneers, and composite bonding, your new smile could be just a day away. Get in touch with the team today or book in for your consultation.