307 Grafton St #203, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

This or That: Tooth Contouring vs. Clear Braces

Not everyone can agree on what makes a person beautiful, but no one can deny the magnetic appeal of a gleaming, perfect smile. Pearly white is a great starting point, but the color of your tooth enamel isn’t the only factor affecting your appearance. Also important are the straightness, spacing, size, and shape of each tooth. Shrewsbury, MA cosmetic dentist Dr. Todd Pizzi compares options for straightening crooked teeth.

Invisible Braces (ClearCorrect, Invisalign)

Gone are the days when straightening your teeth with braces meant having a mouthful of metal. Modern dentists and patients find that invisible braces, such as ClearCorrect and Invisalign, offer comparable results without the disadvantages of traditional orthodontics. Compared to an average two-year treatment time for metal braces, invisible braces generally produce results within 12 months. When considering clear braces, ask yourself:

  • Will I be able to visit my dentist every 10-14 days to receive a new aligner?
  • Am I willing to wear my aligners as directed (usually 22 hours/day) and for the entire treatment period?
  • Are most of teeth crooked?

If you answer YES to these questions, you may be a candidate for either ClearCorrect or Invisalign.

Tooth Contouring

Rather than physically shifting errant teeth into place, tooth contouring actually alters the shape of the tooth by removing or buffing a small amount of tooth enamel. This works best for teeth that are only somewhat crooked, or that overlap slightly. Answering YES to these questions warrants consideration for contouring:

  • Some of my teeth are crooked, but not all of them.
  • I have enough tooth enamel that it wouldn’t be noticeable if some of it was removed.
  • I can’t/don’t want to schedule multiple appointments to have straighter teeth.

One of the greatest advantages of contouring is that the procedure can be completed in only a single dental appointment, with no need to return.

Alternatives to Contouring and Clear Braces

If neither option appeals to you, or if you have further cosmetic concerns, we have several available treatments designed to improve your teeth. Bonding and porcelain veneers hide chips, discoloration, and cracks, and they can be shaded to perfectly blend in with the surrounding teeth. Veneers are also stain-resistant, making it easier to maintain that luminous just-whitened look. Bonding, although not as resistant to staining, have the benefit of needing only one visit to complete the procedure.

Want straighter teeth in Shrewsbury, MA? To learn more about teeth straightening, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Hopkinton, Boylston, and the surrounding areas.