What Are Instant Orthodontics & Do They Work?

Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
Last Modified:

Table of Contents

  1. Instant Orthodontics & Porcelain Veneers
  2. Who Qualifies?
  3. Things to Consider
  4. Benefits
  5. Risks & Effects
  6. Living With Instant Orthodontics

Instant orthodontics are not “instant,” but they do their work in a matter of weeks to make a patient’s teeth look brighter and straighter.

They are a form of dental treatment that uses porcelain veneers to make crooked teeth look straight or to close spaces between teeth. They don’t actually move teeth.

Instant Orthodontics & Porcelain Veneers

With instant orthodontics, porcelain veneers are used to improve the shape, size, and color of teeth. They are not technically “orthodontics” since they don’t actually move your teeth.

Veneers only create the illusion that your teeth (and smile) are straight. Since they do not actually move your teeth, they cannot replace the work of braces or teeth aligners.

A veneer is a custom-made shell that is bonded to the front surface of a tooth. It is made out of porcelain to mimic the enamel of the tooth, so it looks as natural and as seamless as possible.

Veneers are usually employed when a tooth becomes discolored or chipped, but they can also be for alignment issues if the issues are minimal, like having a small gap between teeth. They work much quicker than braces or aligners since they don’t move teeth.

The end result is typically achieved in just three weeks, as opposed to braces or aligners, which take months to years. As a result, they are known as “instant orthodontics.” Again, they give patients the appearance of having straight teeth, but they do not move or readjust their teeth.

Who Qualifies for Instant Orthodontics?

Instant orthodontics are used for their aesthetics and speed rather than as a long-term treatment for malocclusion. If your dentist feels that your dental issues cannot be addressed with instant orthodontics, you may not be a candidate.

Even if you have gaps in your teeth, crooked lips, or a slight turning of one or more teeth, you might still qualify for instant orthodontics as long as your bite is acceptable.

Adults of all ages, who brush and floss regularly and do not have notable gum issues, can qualify for porcelain veneers. Your dentist can conduct a comprehensive exam to determine whether your dental issues are minor enough that you don’t need braces or aligners, and veneers can correct the aesthetic issue.

Considerations With Instant Orthodontics

If you have or are at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, or gingivitis, your dentist will likely recommend that those issues be treated before any discussion of cosmetic interventions like instant orthodontics.1

Many people are prone to clenching or grinding their teeth, sometimes as a result of stress or as an unconscious habit even while they sleep. Your orthodontist can create a custom-fit night guard that will shield the veneers from being worn down by excessive clenching.

Similarly, having instant orthodontics means that you have to be careful to not bite down on hard objects. Veneers cannot be removed once they are inserted, and they have to be replaced by your dentist if they become displaced or damaged.

Benefits of Instant Orthodontics

There are a number of benefits to instant orthodontics:2

  • Faster treatment time: Even though it can take three weeks to walk out with your veneers in place, you won’t have to wait months or years to see the results, as you would have if you were getting braces.

  • Less pain: Veneers may be less painful and aesthetically disruptive than braces.

  • Improved teeth shape: While braces can actually straighten teeth, they do not make your teeth look well-rounded the way veneers can. Veneers can also cover any chips or cracks in your teeth.

  • Brighter teeth: For patients who want to whiten their teeth but have not had luck with brushing or bleaching, porcelain veneers can give teeth an extra shine. They are often chosen by those who want a whiter, brighter smile.

Risks & Effects of Instant Orthodontics

Are there any risks to using instant orthodontics? They do require regular maintenance because it is difficult to replace them if they become damaged.

Even if your teeth would benefit from veneers, your dentist may have concerns about prescribing them for you if they feel you do not have good dental habits. You will have to brush daily (and carefully), floss daily, and pointedly avoid biting down on hard objects. People who bite their nails, for example, would have to address this before they can get veneers.

As you adjust to having porcelain veneers in your mouth, you may notice that your teeth are more sensitive to hot or cold substances than normal. This is to be expected, and it is temporary while your teeth adjust to the presence of the veneers.

Living With Instant Orthodontics

Once the veneers have bonded to your teeth, overall sensitivity should dissipate, but you should still be careful about what you eat to ensure that the veneers do not get chipped or dislodged.

When your dentist evaluates you for instant orthodontics, they can custom design the veneers so they fit the degree of correction that is best for your teeth. This is based on how uneven or crooked your teeth are. The veneers can be contoured perfectly, so your teeth appear (and function) like perfectly straight and rounded teeth.

Instant orthodontics come in many forms. Porcelain veneers can be combined with veneers made from other substances, depending on the work that needs to be done. They can address a simple gap closure as well as more involved realignment work.

A dentist will have to assess your misalignment issues to give you a clear idea of what veneers can do for you. Ultimately, veneers should look indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.