I am getting married a year from now, and searching for “The Dress” was an eye-opening experience, and not in a good way. After a while, all I could see in the mirror was my crooked, crowded teeth! I really want to look and feel my best for my wedding day. I had a consultation with an orthodontist, and she told me that straightening my teeth with braces will take at least two years. I don’t have that kind of time! Is there a faster way to have a really beautiful smile for my wedding day?
–Kimberly in Bangor, ME
If you have crowded, crooked teeth, there are a couple of different ways you CAN have a beautiful smile in just a few months, but only if you consult the right professional. You need to talk to an expert cosmetic dentist, not an orthodontist. An expert cosmetic dentist (especially one accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) will be able to offer you options that a traditionally trained orthodontist is not qualified to provide.
Invisalign braces can straighten your teeth in six to nine months, depending on the degree of crowding. Extremely crowded teeth might take a little longer, but treatment with Invisalign braces rarely takes more than a year. An added bonus to using Invisalign is that even if your treatment is not completely finished by the day of your wedding, the aligner can simply be removed for the big day and pictures. If your teeth are otherwise intact and attractive, Invisalign might be the way to go.
An even faster option is to go with porcelain veneers, but here especially you must be very careful about choosing the right dentist. Many dentists have the technical skill to place the veneers, but they lack the artistic sense to make your smile truly beautiful and natural. If your teeth are discolored or misshapen, porcelain veneers can give you a really gorgeous wedding day smile quite quickly.
The bottom line is that you really should have the advice of an expert cosmetic dentist that has experience with both treatment types before you make any decisions. Choose your dentist very carefully, and then you know you can count on their advice to be sound.
Good luck, and congratulations on your wedding.