How do you know if you need veneers vs dental implants? After all, they both restore teeth, albeit in two very different ways. The key, however, lies in understanding the dental problem that you are trying to fix.
Simply put, dental implants replace missing teeth while dental veneers are a cosmetic smile enhancer. So if, for example, you have teeth that are healthy but have cosmetic dental issues such as
- Ingrained tooth staining or blemishes
- Uneven sizing or gaps or
- Teeth that appear crooked or twisted
Dental veneers give you the ideal option to transform your smile in a relatively short space of time.
Alternatively, if you have a larger dental problem like tooth loss or diseased teeth or gums, then a dental implant topped with a custom crown can stabilise the mouth and any existing teeth as well as restore your smile beautifully.
The Dental procedures explained
We’ve already said that dental implants replace teeth on a like for like basis while dental veneers cosmetically enhance an existing tooth or teeth. But it’s worth talking about each procedure, in turn, to see what you can expect. This way, it gives you a better insight into your dental options.
Firstly, dental veneers…
Dental (porcelain) veneers are the ideal option if you are looking to correct a dental issue with an otherwise healthy tooth. Veneers are thin shell-like laminates that are bonded to the front surface of the tooth.
As such, they are designed to cover up or hide a multitude of dental sins.
- After an initial consultation to access eligibility for dental veneers, the dentist will take a series of 3D scans from which your veneers are made.
- The next step is to prepare the tooth or teeth. Typically a small amount of tooth enamel is removed so that the custom veneers sit flush in your smile line.
- Once this is done impressions are taken and temporary dental veneers are fitted.
- Finally, on the second visit, any temporary veneers are removed and replaced with your permanent veneers.
The result is a complete smile transformation in just two dental visits.
What about dental implants?
When it comes to dental implants vs veneers, it’s worth pointing out that dental implants can also provide a total smile transformation but this time, one that can change lives.
When a tooth is missing, it kickstarts a whole string of events that can result in further tooth loss. For instance, teeth will start to move or drift towards the gap, meaning no more straight smile. This in turn can result in teeth becoming difficult to clean and floss due to accessibility issues. Moreover, when a tooth goes missing so too does the tooth root. This means that the bone tissue that once supported the root is no longer needed. As a result, it gets reabsorbed into the body. Bone reabsorption (known as atrophy) can have a dramatic effect on the jawbone causing sunken facial structures and an aged appearance.
Because dental implants are anchored down into the jaw at the missing tooth site during a short surgical process they stabilise the jaw and halt the bone loss process.
Once secured in place, any remaining bone tissue fuses with the implant over a period of 3-5 months. This creates a strong foundation.
Once this has been achieved (a process known as osseointegration) the implant is ready to receive a dental crown to complete the restoration process.
Ultimately, the major difference between veneers vs dental implants aside from the procedure is the fact that dental veneers can be completed in just two visits whereas implants take anywhere between 4-9 months to complete – depending upon the healing abilities of the patient. While you might feel that this is a long time to wait for a replacement tooth or teeth, the result is a truly permanent solution that restores full chewing ability allowing you to live life without restriction.
But let’s just backtrack a minute and talk about the longevity factor…
A Direct Dental Comparison
Both dental veneers and implants represent the ultimate smile solutions and are categorically better in so many ways than their counterparts. So while porcelain veneers are a cut above composite resin veneers, dental implants are a cut above more conventional forms of missing teeth replacement like bridges and dentures.
So how does this compare in terms of longevity?
Typically a porcelain dental veneer lasts on average 10 -15 years compared to composite veneers which last around 5-7 years.
On the contrary, dental implants can last several decades or more, whereas traditional dental bridges and dentures have a shelf life of around 7-10 years.
So in effect, while both are expensive initially, they represent good value for money in the long-term, especially when you consider the confidence-boosting changes they can bring to a person’s smile and quality of life.
Dental implants vs dental veneers – The key points at a glance
- Dental implants are designed to replace a missing tooth or teeth while dental veneers are designed to cosmetically enhance otherwise healthy teeth
- Dental veneers involve a short two-stage process spanning just a few weeks whereas having a dental implant involves a multi-stage process spanning 5-9 months
- Both dental veneers and dental implants aren’t cheap initially but they can last for many years – veneers last for 10-15 years on average while dental implants typically last several decades or more.
- Implants and veneers represent the pinnacle of aesthetic dentistry and are far beyond their respective counterparts in terms of what they can achieve.
So there you have it. After reading this you should know when you need a dental veneer or when an implant is best. If, however, you still aren’t sure, then we invite you to book a smile consultation with Dr Yang and the team at Beyond Infinity Dental.
We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity and will help you to choose the best solution for your individual needs.
Call us on (02) 8806 3799 and start your smile transformation journey today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.