I am a tad confused about something and hope you can help clear some things up. I want to get porcelain veneers but in order to do that, my dentist is insisting I also get teeth whitening and Invisalign first. I was under the impression that porcelain veneers can make your teeth look white and straight. My teeth aren’t really crooked enough to justify a full orthodontic case. I just have one front tooth that crosses over the adjacent tooth. Have I misunderstood this completely?

Theodora

Hi Theodora,

Porcelain veneer being added to a tooth

Let’s start with the teeth whitening. Whether or not this is useful to you depends on how many veneers you are getting. Very few people can afford to get a porcelain veneer placed on every tooth. That means the other teeth may need some whitening done in order to match your porcelain veneers. Most smiles are 8-10 teeth wide. If you’re only getting four or six veneers, you’ll want to whiten your teeth first to have everything blend naturally. The same goes for your bottom teeth. I doubt you want to spend money to veneer your bottom arch. In most cases, people get enough veneers on their top arch to have a beautiful smile and only whiten the bottom arch.

The Invisalign is a completely different story. Given the scenario you described to me, I don’t think you need orthodontics. Porcelain veneers done well can take care of that issue. The fact that your dentist is suggesting Invisalign tells me that he or she is not comfortable reshaping your teeth for the procedure. Don’t force his hand. Instead, find a cosmetic dentist who has done this lots of times and will be skilled getting it done.

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