Orthodontic Information

Which one is better, orthodontics or dental laminates?

comparing orthodontics and dental laminate

Orthodontics and dental laminate are among the most important methods for treating dental anomalies. Deciding to choose orthodontics or dental laminate mainly causes confusion among patients because they are not familiar with their application and effectiveness. When patients become fully familiar with these two treatment methods, the possibility of choosing the wrong method and paying unnecessary costs decrease.

The best way to find answers to these questions is to consult an experienced orthodontist. However, having basic information about orthodontics and dental laminate and their applications could help patients make a better decision. In the following, attempts are made to respond to these questions and resolve all ambiguities by relying on the studies conducted by orthodontists.

different colors of dental laminate

Comparing applications of orthodontics and dental laminate

Orthodontics and dental laminate are methods for correcting dental anomalies. However, these terms may be used interchangeably in some cases due to lack of knowledge. Orthodontists believe that each method is used for specific problems.

Considering that these methods are specialized, it is better to get acquainted with their general procedure in order to compare them more accurately and choose the appropriate method. In orthodontics, the teeth are placed in their proper position over time using brackets by applying gentle pressure to the teeth. The orthodontic treatment duration varies among different patients and usually takes about 1.5-2 years. After completing this period, patients’ teeth will be aligned without any additional materials. It is sometimes necessary to use a retainer or plaque after orthodontic treatment for a while to prevent recurrence.

Due to the progress of science and technology, there are different orthodontic methods as well as suitable materials and tools for each method, so that patients could have a convenient treatment period. Modern methods such as invisible, fixed and Damon orthodontics could provide the possibility of treating all kinds of dental irregularity and malocclusion. For patients with misaligned teeth or malocclusion, orthodontics is the main and permanent treatment method.

According to recent studies conducted by aesthetic dentists, laminate is considered a cosmetic procedure that is recommended for various problems by aesthetic dentists. This method is usually used for patients who have teeth in different size, shape or color than other teeth. In this method, the tooth enamel surface should be shaved by the specialist, so that the new surface that is a very thin veneer produced in specialized dental clinics could be attached to the teeth. These veneers make the patient’s tooth appearance more attractive. The laminate treatment duration is 1-2 weeks. After this period, patients could easily continue their eating habits as before.

Treatment capabilities of orthodontics and dental laminate

Children mostly undergo orthodontic treatment. However, adults could also use orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment among children could easily help proper growth of the jaws. As a result, permanent teeth are aligned next to each other. Proper growth of permanent teeth has a great effect on preventing many dental problems. Orthodontics could coordinate the person’s facial parts and resolve any asymmetry in the jaw and its soft tissues. Orthodontics could change improper position of the jaws and place them in their original and proper position over time. Following this correction, any lack of coordination between the chin, lips and even nose could be eliminated. As a result, the balance and beauty of facial parts is maintained. Dental laminate has more aesthetic than therapeutic aspect. Sometimes, orthodontics is not performed for minor misalignment or other reasons, and adding a new layer to the teeth, i.e., laminate, makes the smile beautiful and attractive.

Dental laminate advantages

Laminate could be considered a suitable option for those who intend to improve the appearance of their teeth in the shortest possible time. Moreover, laminate is a very convenient option for restoration, which is classified into two categories: fixed laminate and movable laminate. This method has some advantages as follows:

  • Requiring a short period for correcting tooth appearance
  • Discoloring the teeth that are severely yellow or decayed
  • Reshaping the teeth without any particular problem

Dental laminate disadvantages

In dental laminating, the tooth enamel is shaved, which may further expose the teeth to decay. Laminating is a temporary treatment method, and people who get dental laminate may experience various problems after a while such as chips or discoloration. The laminated teeth will not look like natural teeth in the long run even if they are extensively polished. Due to the accumulation of microorganisms under the dental laminate, the gums may become inflamed and bleed and the alveolar bone may be destroyed. In this case, the patient should visit the dentist to solve these problems. It should be noted that tooth enamel is formed only once and shaving tooth enamel leads to their permanent loss.

All approaches for correcting misaligned teeth have certain disadvantages. The most important disadvantages of using laminate are as follows:

  • The necessity of removing the healthy part of the teeth in some cases for placing the laminate properly
  • Increasing tooth thickness due for placing the laminate on the outer layer
  • Increasing the need to replace the laminate in case of gingival recession
  • Although the laminate resistance is relatively high, it is possible to be broken due to high pressure.

a woman showing her teeth after orthodontic treatment

Orthodontics and laminate costs

Cost is among the important factors in choosing a treatment method. However, the cost should be considered along with quality factors for making a correct decision, e.g., orthodontics is a permanent treatment method that is performed once in a lifetime, but in other treatment methods like laminate, it is possible that the teeth return to its previous state after a while. Therefore, the cheapest method is not necessarily the most cost-effective one. In any case, the dentist finally determines the treatment method.

The orthodontics cost could be accurately determined after conducting the initial consultation and preparing the dental orthodontic treatment plan. The orthodontics cost is influenced by various factors, including patient’s age, extent of anomalies, duration of treatment, type of orthodontics, type of brackets used and required peripheral equipment.

The laminate cost depends on several factors, so that it could be accurately determined after conducting the initial consultation and preparing the treatment plan. The type of laminate, extent of tooth damage, duration of treatment, extent and delicacy of required tooth grinding, type of molding material, degree of transparency and color combination in the laminate are among the factors affecting the laminate cost.

Final comparison of orthodontics and dental laminate

In comparing these two methods, it should be noted that orthodontics is a therapeutic method. When you use this method, you make your teeth look natural and aligned. Since this method is based on the nature of the teeth, it usually has more reliable and long-lasting results. Also, it could help proper growth of the jaws and teeth. Proper growth of permanent teeth has a great effect on preventing many dental problems and this is the most important difference between laminate and orthodontics.

Dental laminate is considered an aesthetic procedure and does not have therapeutic and long-term results of orthodontics. For this reason, the initial result may be satisfactory, but the problem may reappear in the not-too-distant future. Orthodontics could fundamentally treat tooth irregularity in the long term. However, only appearance-related problems will be solved by dental laminate and attractive appearance will be achieved for a short period. It should be noted that before deciding to use these methods, you should consult an orthodontist.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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