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All the below content has been written by Dr. Sandip Sachar.

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Invisalign Vs. porcelain veneers

At Sachar Dental NYC we are experts in both general and cosmetic dentistry.  Many patients come to us that are self-conscious or embarrassed about their smile, and are looking for a way to improve their appearance, as well as their overall dental health.  Some patients come in with a preconceived idea that they would like to improve their smile with the use of Invisalign, and some come in asking for porcelain veneers.  Both of these cosmetic procedures can drastically improve one’s appearance as well as their overall dental health.

Thorough our extensive experience of practicing in New York City for over two decades, and our extensive training in cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry, we always have an answer for our patients question of which procedure is better.  Our philosophy does not change when it comes to cosmetic dentistry.  We always perform the best procedure for each individual patient as well as the least invasive and most conservative treatments in order to achieve our goals.

It will be impossible for us to write in this context which procedure that we would recommend for every patient that comes in.  Instead, we will give you a detailed explanation of our thought process when choosing between Invisalign versus porcelain veneers when it comes to helping each individual patient.  We will also give you some examples below of how our thought process works for real life patients that we saw.

With the use of porcelain veneers or Invisalign, we can help you overcome your self-consciousness and embarrassment about your smile and dental problems.  Which one of these procedures is right for you depends on many factors that we will go over with you at your consultation.  Invisalign and porcelain veneers work in different ways in order to solve similar problems.  Which one is the right choice is the important question that we will be able to answer at the end of your consultation.

Both porcelain veneers and Invisalign are excellent options in order to achieve a healthier and more cosmetically appealing smile.  Both will help you feel confident about the look of your teeth.  The main difference between porcelain veneers and Invisalign, is how they achieve similar goal of a beautiful smile.  Invisalign is used primarily for straightening the teeth to improve their appearance, whereas porcelain veneers help the teeth to the look better by covering abnormalities, especially for damaged teeth.  Porcelain veneers also corrects for discoloration and imperfections of the teeth whereas Invisalign just straightens them.

What is Invisalign?

As of this writing, over 8 million people have used Invisalign to straighten their teeth and improve their smiles.  Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces.  It utilizes discrete, clear aligner trays that one wears in order to move the teeth into place.  These clear aligners are virtually undetectable in appearance.  They are fabricated from a custom mold of each patient’s teeth.  They are changed every two weeks in order to gently and precisely move the teeth into a new position.  Treatment last between 6 and 18 months.  Invisalign has an advantage over traditional metal braces such that one can remove them when eating, drinking, flossing and brushing.  Therefore, they are much more convenient and easier than wearing traditional metal braces.  They also allow for eating without any food restrictions and allow for better oral hygiene.  They are used for both adults and teenagers on the upper teeth, lower teeth or both.

At the end of your Invisalign treatment, you will have straight teeth and the perfect smile that you have always wanted.  With that said, there are limitations, and not every patient is a candidate for Invisalign versus traditional metal braces.  And finally, Invisalign will straighten your teeth but that does not change the appearance, shape, size or color of the teeth.

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin sheets of porcelain that are bonded over the teeth, which mimic the appearance of natural tooth enamel.  They are similar to natural teeth in color, translucency and shininess.  The use of porcelain veneers to cover the teeth can create a perfect looking smile by changing the color, covering gaps and cracks, and making the teeth appear straighter. The application of porcelain veneers does not actually straighten the teeth, however, it does cover them to make them look straight.  This involves mildly filing the teeth in order to allow porcelain veneers to cover the teeth and appear straight.

At Sachar Dental NYC, it is our philosophy of using the most conservative treatment when deciding between porcelain veneers and Invisalign in order to improve one’s smile. We will always take a more conservative approach when it is possible to achieve the same goals as a more invasive procedure.  We always perform the least amount of filing of the natural teeth when performing either Invisalign or porcelain veneers.  Our decision to use porcelain veneers versus Invisalign in order to improve your smile always depends on the current status your teeth, your goals, and your chief complaint. We will attempt to use the most conservative treatment while retaining the goal of the perfect smile.  With that said, sometimes a more conservative approach is not indicated due to other variables.  For examples see our description of real-life patients below.

What problems can we correct using Invisalign?

Invisalign is able to correct for mild to severe problems of gaps between the teeth, crowded teeth, crooked teeth and misalignment of the bite.  It is a common misconception that Invisalign is only good for very mild problems, and more severe problems will require metal braces.  In reality, while Invisalign does not treat every problem, it can treat mild to severe problems of alignment of the teeth.

What problems can we correct using porcelain veneers?

Many cosmetic dental issues can be solved using porcelain veneers.  They are used to make teeth appear whiter for patients with discolored teeth.  They are used to cover gaps between the teeth, spaces between the teeth, cracked teeth, chipped teeth and mild misalignment of the teeth and bite.  Porcelain veneers do not straighten your teeth, but they can make them look more straight.

When do we use Invisalign Vs. when do we use porcelain veneers?

There are multiple variables that we take into consideration at Sachar Dental NYC when choosing when to recommend porcelain veneers versus Invisalign to improve one’s smile.  Our cosmetic dentists are experts in Invisalign as well as porcelain veneers.  All of our dentists have undergone extensive training at Spear Education for Advanced Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  With this advanced training and over two decades of experience of practicing in Midtown Manhattan, NYC you can rest assured that your cosmetic concerns are in the hands of experts.

We start with a thorough clinical examination before we make a determination of using Invisalign versus porcelain veneers.  There are many variables that we take into consideration when making our decision.  In the below narrative, we will discuss each of these variables and then give you some examples of real-life patient applications in making the decision between porcelain veneers and Invisalign.

We take in to consideration the following variables, in no particular order:  Obviously, cost is a consideration for most patients.  We always try to achieve the best cosmetic results with the least cost to our patients whenever possible.  With over two decades of experience and very happy patients, we are experts in deciding which method to use, Invisalign versus porcelain veneers.  We will discuss with you at your consultation the cost of Invisalign treatment and the cost of porcelain veneers that depends on how many individual teeth we will need to cover with porcelain veneers.  In some cases, porcelain veneers may cost more, or less than Invisalign.  At Sachar Dental NYC, our cosmetic dentists and our advanced dental laboratory are experts in matching the color of your porcelain veneers to your natural teeth that are adjacent.  This allows us the ability to recommend covering less teeth with porcelain veneers when some of your teeth can be exactly matched, versus many dental offices that will just cover all the teeth rather than matching the natural appearance of the non-covered teeth.  And finally, we also take into consideration our patients age and expectations of how long the porcelain veneers will last.  We advise patients that the porcelain veneers will usually last for 15-20 years or more.

For a detailed explanation of the costs for Invisalign go to our “All About Invisalign” page or click here.  For a detailed explanation of the costs for porcelain veneers go to our “Porcelain Veneers” page or click here.

We will also consider how long your treatment will take to be completed and what are your expectations of time frame.  Invisalign will typically take between 6 and 18 months in order to achieve your perfect smile.  Some patients may desire to have their cosmetic results faster, and do not want to wait.  For these patients, porcelain veneers may be a better option than Invisalign, as porcelain veneers can be completed in just a few weeks.  The process of getting porcelain veneers usually takes two visits.  On the first visit, we will take a mold of your teeth and send it to our cosmetic dental laboratory.  We will have you return in 1-2 weeks in order to apply your new porcelain veneers and permanently bond them to your teeth. 

Another variable that we will take into consideration is your current dental health.  Both Invisalign and porcelain veneers require that you be in good dental health for both your teeth and your gums.  Prior to your procedure, we will evaluate your teeth and gums and address any dental concerns that we find.  Porcelain veneers maybe a better option for patients that have chipped teeth, cracked teeth, or discolored teeth.  Invisalign does not address these issues, but only moves your teeth into better alignment.  For these reasons, porcelain veneers are a better option for these cosmetic issues including color, shape, texture and size of the teeth.  Invisalign is a better option when focusing on the alignment of the teeth.

With all this said, and all of these variables that we take into consideration, it is not always obvious which patients are best suited for Invisalign versus porcelain veneers.  In the following paragraphs we will give you examples of real-world situations for patients that actually came into our office asking us to decide between porcelain veneers and Invisalign.

Real patient examples of Invisalign Vs. porcelain veneers

Our first example is a patient that came in to Sachar Dental NYC asking us for porcelain veneers in order to close the gaps between his teeth.  At his clinical examination we determined that the shape, color and appearance of the teeth were excellent.  Additionally, his bite was well aligned and his airway was not compromised.  We determined that a more conservative approach of using Invisalign was better than using porcelain veneers.  We explained to him that using porcelain veneers would require us to file his natural teeth that were in good health.  We recommended using Invisalign to move his teeth into position to close the gaps rather than covering them with porcelain veneers.  At the end of his treatment, he had a perfect looking smile and did not need to undergo filing of his teeth.  He is extremely happy is to this day.

For this patient in our first example, he came to us for a second opinion for his porcelain veneers.  When he came in, he was expecting to get porcelain veneers.  In order to solve his problem, he would have had 8 porcelain veneers.  We recommended skipping the porcelain veneers and using Invisalign.  The cost of his Invisalign was significantly less than the cost would have been for 8 porcelain veneers.  Our cosmetic dentists at Sachar Dental NYC always treat our patients like we would want to be treated ourselves, or how we would treat our own family.  In this case obviously, we sacrificed monetary gain for what was right for our patient.

In our next example, like our first example above, a patient came in to Sachar Dental NYC asking us for porcelain veneers in order to close the gaps between his teeth.  In this patient, we observed in his clinical examination that he had abnormally narrow teeth that had gaps between them.  For this patient, we agreed that porcelain veneers were a better option because if we were to use Invisalign, we would move his already narrow teeth closer together, and it would not look natural or aesthetic.  We opted for porcelain veneers even though it was not a more conservative treatment, and required some filing of his natural teeth.  As you can see, many variables go into making this decision in which procedure to use, Invisalign versus porcelain veneers.

In our next example a patient came in to Sachar Dental NYC asking for us to close the gaps between his teeth.  For this patient, another variable that we took into consideration was his airway.  We decided that although Invisalign could solve this problem, we may create a new problem with his airway.  He had reported that he snores at night which is indicative of a compromised airway.  We also observed that he had a large tongue and a narrow palate that both may also constrict the airway.  For this patient we decided to use porcelain veneers rather than Invisalign, even though it is a slightly more invasive procedure.

The next example patient came in to Sachar Dental NYC with a complaint of crowding of her teeth.  There were multiple teeth that were out of alignment.  She asked us to do porcelain veneers to improve the look of her smile and her crowded teeth.  On clinical examination we noted that the shape, color and size of her teeth were good.  We explained to her that in order to get her teeth to look straight using porcelain veneers, it would require us to do a lot of filing in order to produce a straight looking appearance and make room for the porcelain veneers.  We explained to her that a better option would be to do Invisalign to move her teeth into position, rather than filing so much of the natural teeth for porcelain veneers.  In this example, we were able to use a much more conservative approach to making her smile perfect.  At the end of her treatment, she was extremely happy with the appearance of her smile and we were also extremely happy that we preserved more of her natural teeth.  This is another example of a patient where we opted to do less expensive treatment that was also the right treatment choice, in order to save her money, and achieve her goal.

As you can see from the above four examples there is no right or wrong, nor exact treatment that is based on a patients’ complaints or goals.  We take many variables into consideration as well as our clinical examination, and do what is right for the patient.  Our highly skilled cosmetic dentists are experts in cosmetic dentistry and Invisalign that is based on their experience for over two decades of practicing in New York City.  We have very many patients that are satisfied and extremely happy with their cosmetic dentistry and Invisalign procedures that solved their problems.

In summary, our expert cosmetic dentists at Sachar Dental NYC are the best dentists in NYC for your Invisalign or porcelain veneers.  With our philosophy of treating patients like family, doing the least invasive and most conservative approaches, and sacrificing monetary gain over doing what is right for our patients, we have had over two decades of extremely satisfied patients.  If you are considering porcelain veneers or Invisalign to improve your smile, we recommend making an appointment for a consultation to discuss your goals and the best course of action.

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