What's Best for Straightening Your Smile: Veneers or Invisalign?

Dr. Kyle Hornby

We get a lot of questions at our Kitchener Dental Office from patients wanting to improve the appearance of their teeth. The fact is, people want straighter, whiter teeth and year-after-year increases in cosmetic dentistry spending show this. There are lots of options for aligning your teeth to give you a straighter smile. These options all vary in cost, treatment complexity and timeline. Today, I'd like to compare two of the most popular options for straightening your smile. If you're wondering what is a best for your, veneers or Invisalign, this is the post for you!

Veneers or Invisalign: Costs

When discussing treatment options with your Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist, ask about costs. When you pursue Invisalign treatment with your Kitchener Dentist or Orthodontist, you are generally looking at $5,000 - $8,000 to straighten your smile. This includes aligning all your teeth. In contrast, veneer treatment costs depend on the number or veneers you need to give your teeth a straighter appearance.

Please take note of this major difference between veneers and Invisalign: that is, Invisalign actually moves and straightens your teeth while veneers change the shape of your teeth to give the appearance of having straight teeth. Also, for some patients 6 veneers on upper front teeth will deliver a much straighter smile. In other cases, your Kitchener Dentist may need to place veneers on a greater number of teeth. It all depends how many teeth you show when you smile. Generally, custom-made Porcelain Dental Veneers on your 6 upper front teeth (the bulk of what shows when you smile) can cost between $3,000 to $5,000.

Veneers or Invisalign: Timeline

The greatest difference between Invisalign and Dental Veneer treatments is timeline for completion. Generally, veneers can be provided in 4-6 weeks to allow for a few try-in appointments and refinements to shape, position and colour. This is super quick!

In contrast, a Kitchener Orthodontist may take up to 2-3 years to straighten your teeth using Invisalign. The timeline on Orthodontic treatment varies depending on the initial position of the teeth and amount of movement required for straightening.

Veneers or Invisalign: Treatment Complexity and Potential Complications

There are some advantages to both approaches for straightening teeth. Below, I provide a brief comparison of the two treatment options:

  • Tooth Modification. Often, veneer placement requires adjustment or shaving of some of your tooth enamel prior to bonding. Invisalign cases may also require some shaving of tooth enamel on surfaces/walls in between your teeth. Make sure to ask your Kitchener Dentist about the procedure and whether or not your veneers can be applied directly to your teeth without having to modify them.
  • Gum Recession. Post-treatment recession can occur after orthodontic treatment both with traditional braces and Invisalign. Veneers do not involve moving teeth so there is no risk of gum recession.
  • Tooth Shade/Aesthetics. When you opt for veneers, you can choose to have them made in any shade you like. Want whiter teeth? Veneers allow for it. Invisalign treatment, in contrast, does not inherently whiten teeth.
  • Occlusion/Bite. "Occlusion" is just a fancy word for how your teeth come together when you bite and chew. Straightening your teeth with Invisalign can give you a stable and balanced bite because Orthodontic treatment focuses on how all teeth function in unison. When you place veneers on some or all of your teeth, you have changed only the outer facing or facade. Your bite does not change and the bite you have may not protect the veneers on your front teeth.


So, Veneers or Invisalign for straightening your smile? There is no easy answer. I find the main "swing" factor for most patients is timeline. Many adults are not sure about being "all in" on 1-2 years of Invisalign treatment. Most want straighter teeth now. For them, veneers give them a chance to revamp their smile in a matter of weeks. That quick turnaround can be very enticing.

To get a full understanding of your tooth straightening options, make sure to bring lots of questions to a consult with your Dentist in Kitchener. Take time to make your decision and, remember, there's no rush! Your best decisions will be had when you take your time. Dental treatment decisions are complex and based on numerous factors. If you have any questions, please reach out by email at info@enamelrepublic.com or reach out for a no charge consult.

Thank you for reading today - hope it's been helpful to you!

By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist

If you would like to arrange a No-Charge Meet & Greet consult with me, give us a call at (519) 576-8160 or request a consult here.

Our Kitchener Dental Clinic is conveniently located in Downtown Kitchener and we are a short drive away for families in Waterloo, Breslau & St. Jacobs. Our central location means we truly offer family dentistry near you!

This article is meant to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Kitchener Dentist or other healthcare provider regarding a dental condition or treatment.

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