The question of dental implants or veneers comes up a lot but it’s important to know that veneers can’t replace missing teeth because they are cosmetic. Dental implants perform a function in the mouth by replacing a missing tooth at the roots. Let’s take a look at both veneers and dental implants, and when they are an effective course of treatment.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are cosmetic shells or covers, which are adhered to the surface of your teeth. Veneers are usually made out of porcelain or composite material and they are used most often to improve the appearance of teeth that are cracked, damaged short or discoloured. Veneers can also be used to make the spaces between your teeth more even or to change the shape of your teeth. If you would like a smile make-over, veneers could be for you.
Do you need veneers?
Veneers are also usually placed on the front six teeth on the upper and lower jaws, or the teeth that can be seen when you smile. A small amount of your tooth enamel will need to be ground away in order to prepare the surface for the veneers to stick to.
Are veneers suitable for you?
You do need to have a healthy mouth and your gums and soft tissue should be in condition before you can consider veneers. If you grind or clench your teeth, this treatment might not be a good option for you because veneers can chip or fracture under pressure.
You would be advised to stay away from hard or very sticky foods (especially sugary foods) to protect the surface of your veneers.
Veneers cover the front surface of the tooth, while implants replace the root of a missing tooth.
If you need to replace missing teeth you would need to consider a bridge, dentures or dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial screws made out of titanium that are surgically placed into the space in your gum left by your missing tooth. Once they have been placed you can’t actually see the dental implant. The visible component, or the part above the gum line, is actually a crown and not the dental implant.
Compared to dentures and bridges, dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement because once they have been placed, you cannot take them out.
So which is better dental implants or veneers?
Veneers and tooth implants achieve different things. If you have a missing tooth then a dental implant would probably be your best course of treatment. If your tooth structure is intact and you simply want your teeth to look more attractive, then veneers will improve the surface appearance.
Which is cheaper dental implants or veneers?
It is difficult to compare two dissimilar treatments. The costs of veneers and tooth implants are dependant on a number of variables, including the number of teeth that need to be treated.
Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers but they tend to last longer. Porcelain veneers have a lifespan of up to 15 years while composite veneers may only last up to seven years.
The dental implant procedure is more complex than veneers and would take a number of months to complete. Because of the number of follow up visits and the complexity of the surgery, tooth implants will cost more.
If you would like to change the surface appearance of your teeth, and your teeth and gums are healthy, veneers could be a treatment option for you. If you have a tooth missing and need to replace it, a dental implant is a more appropriate solution. Have questions about veneers, dental implants or any other dental treatments? Contact our practice today: 02 9158 6753