The best way to fix my crooked teeth

Hi, I am 17 years old and I have some dental problems since my teenage years. I have the fangs that stick out on the upper part of my teeth. Then, the bottom, I have a tooth sticking out on the bottom left which made th! e bottom of my teeth a little bit crocked and crowded. I wanted to ask you if cosmetic dental surgery is a good and fast way to fix the problem?. I was thinking of Braces as well, but I don’t want to go to that process of having it for years and having teeth pulled out. I guess I want the process to be painless and fast. I just don’t know which one I should do. And which would cost more?
- Erica from Seattle

Erica,
There are about three ways you could fix your crooked teeth.

I wouldn’t be able to tell without seeing you, but it sounds, from your description of your teeth sticking out here and there, that your problem is crowding – there isn’t enough space for the teeth you have. So here are your three options for that.

1. Traditional wire-and-bracket braces. As you realize, this would mean needing extractions and wearing braces for about two years, plus or minus. The disadvantage is that you would be 19 when you’re done. The advantage is that you have your own healthy teeth and there will be no maintenance procedures required down the road. And this would probably be the least expensive option.

2. Another related option would be Invisalign invisible braces. You wear a series of clear plastic aligners on your teeth. They take about half the time of conventional braces, they are much more comfortable, and you can take them out to eat and clean your teeth. Extractions may or may not be required, depending on how much crowding their is. This usually costs a little more than conventional braces because of the high laboratory costs.

3. The quickest way is with porcelain veneers. Veneers can be bonded onto your teeth to make them appear to be straight, even while they are still crooked. They can be completed in two appointments – in maybe two weeks. The advantage is that you can have the shape and color of teeth that you want. The disadvantage is that you have something bonded onto your teeth that will have to be maintained. This is also the most expensive option, and may cost double of what braces would be.

Costs here are just guesses, as fees may vary quite a bit from dentist to dentist.

I hope this is helpful.