DEAR DR. BOLES: I feel I’m too old to wear braces. Is there an affordable alternative to braces to fix crooked teeth? – Deb, Meredith, NH
DEAR DEB: I personally feel you’re never too old for braces. That said, depending on how crooked your teeth are and if you have any gaps, the procedure can take up to 24 months, requires multiple visits and can be uncomfortable.
One alternative is Lumineers®. This ultra-thin, highly durable veneer is ideal for fixing uneven spacing between teeth, an awkward shaped tooth, or a tooth that is shorter or smaller than it should be. Unlike traditional veneers, which are thick and require the original tooth to be drilled down, Lumineers are so thin that little to no tooth reduction is necessary. Lumineers are also highly translucent, allowing them to replicate the natural appearance of enamel. On average, Lumineers and traditional veneers can cost between $800 and $2,000 per tooth.
Another option is a new product called Snap-on-Smile®. You can literally have a movie star smile in just three weeks. Snap-on-Smile fits right over your own teeth to give you a beautiful, natural looking smile—even if you have stains, chips, gaps or missing teeth. It is very thin yet extremely strong, and very natural looking. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 per arch.
If you decide to invest in your smile, keep in mind that training and experience matter and should be considered when choosing a dentist for cosmetic procedures. Always discuss with your dentist the outcome you expect and explore all options available to you to ensure you make the choice that’s best for you.
Do you have a questions for the Tooth Doctor? Contact us.