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Is It Better To Get Veneers Or Braces?

Popular treatments for a less-than-perfect smile include traditional braces and porcelain veneers.

Both options are available, but which is the better choice, veneers or braces? For most people, the thought of unsightly braces is enough to put them off visiting the orthodontist in the first place.

As a result, those already struggling with self-confidence might feel that porcelain veneers are the better option, and so the choice between braces or veneers wouldn’t even be entertained.

In some cases, porcelain veneers may be an excellent solution instead of following the regular course of orthodontics. However, this depends on several factors. This guide will look at braces and veneers and how each benefits your oral health.

Porcelain Veneers vs Braces?

Is it better to get veneers or braces fitted to the front of the teeth?

In terms of which is better, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each.

Traditional braces have been used for many years to straighten crooked teeth and fix other issues requiring orthodontic intervention – and it’s safe to say they get great results.

Veneers are fast becoming an alternative course of treatment option to braces as they can also be used as a treatment for crooked teeth.

Furthermore, they can improve the overall appearance of your teeth and cover stains, damage, and other issues such as cracks and chips.

While this might leave you feeling that the obvious choice for you is veneers, they may not be the best option. Sometimes, more complex cases require additional orthodontic treatment than dental veneers can provide.

Understanding how braces and veneers work and benefit oral health can help clarify which will most benefit your specific needs.


Orthodontic appliances are used to straighten the teeth gently and safely. There are three types of teeth straightening:

Lingual braces are brackets fitted to the back of teeth, and clear aligners are removable transparent retainers.

Advantages Of Braces

The aftereffects of corrective braces can boost your self-confidence exponentially. They are typically used to correct structural problems that take time to rectify.

Braces provide a permanent solution to orthodontic issues and require little in terms of maintenance besides good oral hygiene. Once the treatment is complete, patients simply wear a removable retainer at night to maintain the position of their teeth.

  • Correct structural issues: overbite, underbite, crossbite, gaps.
  • Minimal maintenance after treatment.
  • Discrete brace options include clear braces and lingual braces (braces on the surface closest to the tongue) and clear aligners.
  • More budget-friendly than dental veneers.

Disadvantages Of Braces

There are some disadvantages to braces, but most relate to the length of the treatment and the fact that some braces can seem unattractive.

  • Long-term treatment ranges from months to a year or more.
  • Need to wear a retainer at night.
  • Visible braces may seem unappealing.

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Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the tooth surface.

The process requires removing a small amount of enamel from your natural teeth so that the dental veneers fit correctly and look natural. During the treatment process, a thin layer of porcelain is placed on your front teeth; this covers a range of imperfections such as chips, stains, cracks, and minor gaps or crooked teeth.

The veneer process is permanent, and veneers cannot be removed. This means that should a veneer crack or become damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Advantages Of Veneers

Dental veneers are often called “instant orthodontics” because of their ability to provide an instant solution or quick fix for dental issues requiring cosmetic dentistry.

Misaligned teeth, chips, and small gaps can negatively impact self-confidence. However, popular treatments such as veneers provide patients with the speedy solution they require when chasing the dream of a beautiful smile.

The great thing about porcelain veneers is that they can be customised to suit your preferences regarding shape, size, and colour.

  • Instantly enhances smile and strengthens teeth.
  • Fast treatment in two or fewer appointments.
  • Whiter in appearance and look more appealing.
  • It disguises chips, cracks, small gaps, and crooked teeth.

Disadvantages Of Veneers

  • More maintenance is required.
  • Can get chips or cracks if improperly cared for.
  • Is an irreversible procedure.
  • Can become stained.
  • Can be expensive compared to braces.

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Braces vs Veneers To Straighten Teeth

When considering braces vs veneers, the main difference between each treatment is that braces move your teeth while veneers cover your teeth.

Veneers may hide imperfections such as gaps and misaligned teeth, but they don’t actually fix the problem. However, they are an excellent solution in terms of a quick fix, and this is something you should discuss during your initial consultation.

It must be said that not every individual is a good candidate for veneers.

Complex dental issues can mean that additional orthodontic work is required, and this can mean that porcelain veneers as a treatment option for you are off the cards.

Dental Veneers are not for you if

  • You have overlapping teeth.
  • You have a bad bite (overbite, underbite, crossbite).
  • You have poor oral health.
  • You have inadequate enamel on your natural teeth.

Dental Veneers are a good choice for you if

  • You have minor gaps between your teeth.
  • You don’t have overlapping teeth.
  • You want whiter teeth or to cover stains.
  • You have minor cosmetic issues such as chips, stains, or cracks.

Braces, however, are used to fix orthodontic issues and provide a permanent solution. The problem is that their solution can take a long time, and this can be rather frustrating for those who want a beautiful smile in a short time.

While orthodontic treatment is excellent for most ages (12–70 years), there are certain instances where you may not be a good candidate for braces.

Braces are not for you if

  • You have gum disease.
  • You have loose teeth.
  • You have gaps between your teeth and gums.

Braces are a good choice for you if

  • You have a bad bite.
  • You have too much space between your teeth.
  • You have overlapping and crooked teeth.
  • You have an overjet (teeth sticking out).

Consulting your orthodontist or general dentist can help you decide whether you are a good candidate for braces or veneers.

How To Decide Between Braces and Veneers

If you are still struggling to decide between veneers or braces, perhaps you don’t have to choose between either of them?

We may advocate the use of both braces and porcelain veneers to create the perfect smile. Treatment could initially involve correcting certain orthodontic issues using traditional metal braces or less invasive brace types such as transparent retainers.

After the braces are removed and treatment is completed, the veneer process can begin. This means that more complex cases don’t have to rule out veneers as an option to enhance the look of your teeth, and so the choice between veneers or braces may not be necessary.

So now the question isn’t ‘is it better to get veneers or braces?’ Instead, it’s better to have both.

Each case is different, and there are pros and cons to braces and veneers. Ultimately, the choice between braces or veneers comes down to your specific needs, oral health, and preference.

What Are The Costs Of Veneers vs Braces?

Today, a primary deciding factor between braces and veneers for straighter teeth is the cost, and whether your teeth are in good condition before starting or not.

Veneers can be costly and range between £500 and £2,500 per tooth, depending on the type of veneer you choose. If you have additional dental concerns to deal with, you may expect an additional cost, especially for cosmetic treatments.

Porcelain veneers are typically more expensive than composite veneers and even more expensive than braces. Although this may seem like an excessive sum to pay, they have a long lifespan. They also strengthen teeth, look great and provide an excellent confidence boost.

If you are wondering why veneers vs braces are so expensive, the reason is due to the labour that goes into creating them. Dental veneers are created in a ceramic lab by ceramic technicians.

The good news is that the entire process takes 2-3 days, but this, coupled with the need to schedule multiple appointments required for fitting and the lab fee, escalates the price of porcelain veneers.

Braces can also be costly and depend on the brace type and whether you have private or NHS-based care. However, braces for children up to the age of 18 years are free as long as they are medically necessary.

Unfortunately, you won’t get veneers on the NHS, but if you still want veneers and have concerns about the price, speak to us.

Monthly repayments can start from £16 a month for the simplest treatments. Here is an example of different treatments and 0% finance options.

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“We create attractive, healthy confident smiles for patients that last for years.”

Dr Sam Jethwa