Looking to enhance the way your teeth look? A gorgeous, healthy smile is an accessory you get to wear every day! When you feel confident about your smile, you’ll enjoy being able to show it off in photos, social situations, and whenever you want to make a great first impression.
Our practice offers a variety of smile enhancement procedures. Two of the most popular are dental implants and cosmetic veneers. Each boasts significant benefits. However, the treatments are quite unique in the way that they work. Understanding the benefits of dental implants vs. veneers can help you select the one that’s best for you.
The Differences Between Implants and Veneers
Dental implants are a type of restorative procedure. They’re essential for replacing missing teeth in a minimally-invasive manner. Implants are designed to mimic the natural anatomy of teeth, allowing them to restore your smile’s function and appearance.
Veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry treatment. Cosmetic veneers serve the sole purpose of masking sound, stable teeth to give them a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
One treatment is designed to replace a tooth (implants) while the other enhances a healthy one (veneers.) However, both implants and veneers can complement the way your smile looks by addressing cosmetic issues within your “smile zone.”
How Long do the Procedures Take?
Due to the nature of implants, the treatment process can require several appointments over the course of a few months. Time is needed for the implant to fully integrate with your bone, permanently fusing it into place. After full osseointegration occurs, implants are even stronger than natural teeth. You can typically plan on about 3 – 4 appointments over the course of about six months.
On the other hand, dental veneer treatments do not require any type of surgical procedure. Firstly, the teeth are filed down slightly to allow room for the veneer to fit over them. From there, an impression is taken and the permanent veneers are made and then ready for placement within about two weeks. 2-3 visits are required and this treatment can be completed in under a month.
Average Costs of Implants and Veneers
We understand that the cost of dental care plays a significant role in your smile restoration choices. However, we never want the price of dental treatment to stand in the way of the quality care you deserve. That’s why our practice will create a customized care plan based on your preferences, budget, existing health coverage, and the treatment best suited to your unique situation. Flexible financing plans are also available.
The price of dental veneers is significantly impacted by the number of veneers you need and the type of veneer you select. Depending on the width of your smile and how many teeth are visible, you may only need six veneers while another individual would be better served with 8 – 10. We’ll discuss this factor during your initial consultation to give you a firm price on your recommended treatment.
Dental implant costs also vary and will depend on how many teeth are missing. For example, if you’re replacing four teeth in a row with dental implants, it will be more cost effective to use a pair of implants with a porcelain bridge, as opposed to an individual implant and crown at each location.
Are Implants or Veneers Better for Smile Restoration?
It’s difficult to say whether veneers or dental implants are better for a smile restoration, as each one plays a unique role.
If you have teeth that are structurally sound — but are affected by cosmetic concerns — then removing them to place an implant is unnecessary. The better option would be to enhance the outward appearance by bonding a veneer to the front of the respective tooth. Veneers are most useful for managing surface issues like:
- Small gaps between teeth
- Deep stain or discoloration
- Mild overlapping or crowding
- Uneven, chipped enamel
So long as there isn’t aggressive structural damage or periodontal disease, veneers provide some of the best cosmetic results for people with these kinds of surface issues.
On the other hand, veneers are incapable of replacing missing teeth. When there is no tooth structure to bond them to, you’re left with only a few options. Dental implants are perhaps one of the best smile restoration choices for missing teeth. They are the only tooth replacement that is permanent yet non-invasive to its neighbours. Their streamlined design and strength make them capable of single or multiple-tooth restoration. Eating, speaking, and smiling with an implant is the same as with natural teeth.
Other Factors to Consider
For Worn, Decayed, or Broken Teeth: Typically whenever a tooth is physically damaged, we turn to a restorative filling or crown to repair it. But in instances where the flaw is still fairly superficial (like mild chipping or wear) and your tooth doesn’t hit end-to-end against its partner, a set of veneers may provide the most aesthetically-pleasing results. We can even adjust the width, length, shape, and contour of the veneers for a look that accentuates your unique characteristics. However, you do not want to get veneers if there is active tooth decay in the immediate area or on the teeth next to it.
Teeth Straightening for Gaps or Crooked Teeth: As long as gaps or crowding is mild, dental veneers may very well be able to reverse their appearance. Significant tooth misalignment, however, is best addressed through orthodontic therapy. But if you don’t want to wear braces or prefer to see results within just a couple of weeks, then dental veneers are an optimal cosmetic dentistry treatment. Some people even refer to dental veneers as “instant braces” because of their ability to immediately create a straighter looking smile.
For Missing Teeth: Dental implants are the gold standard in modern tooth replacement. As veneers are not capable of replacing missing teeth, implants are usually preferred over conventional bridges or removable partial dentures. Leaving an open space in your bite can sometimes result in teeth shifting, irregular wear, and a higher risk of both tooth decay and gum disease. Dental implants restore both function as well as aesthetics.
For Whiter Teeth: Have you already gone through a rigorous teeth whitening regimen? Professional whitening treatments can effectively lift natural discoloration and deep stains. But if you have enamel defects or internal staining that doesn’t respond to whitening products, veneers can give you immediately whiter teeth. In fact, you can work alongside your dental team to select the exact shade and hue of white. Although you’ll want a colour that compliments your facial features, you can graciously enhance the brightness of your smile without any extra work or whitening. Veneers cover everything behind them.
Is There a Risk of Cavities?
Dental implants do not involve any natural tooth structure. As such, they’re invincible against tooth decay. However, they can still accumulate plaque, tartar, and stain build-up. These bacterial colonies need to be cleaned away regularly to ensure the health of the surrounding gum and bone tissues. If there’s a lack of regular dental hygiene, periodontal disease could develop, resulting in failure of your new dental implant.
The porcelain or composite material in a dental veneer is also resistant to decay, but the tooth behind it is not. If for any reason you develop a cavity in the underlying tooth, it can spread under the veneer and result in failure of the restoration.
For best results and to ensure the longest outcome for your new implant or veneer, you will need to treat it like a natural tooth. Daily brushing and flossing are essential. Plan to schedule regular check and cleans to have your restorations evaluated so that we can intercept potential issues while they’re smaller and easier to correct.
How Long do They Last?
Porcelain dental veneers typically last about a decade or longer. If you are prone to clenching and grinding, it’s best to sleep in a nightguard to prevent any chipped porcelain. Over time, most veneers need to be updated with a newer set. The better you care for them, the longer they last. Quicker veneers such as those made out of composite are typically not as durable as porcelain, but they’re easier to replace as needed.
Modern dental implants have the capability of lasting for multiple decades, as long as they’re maintained properly. A fully integrated implant essentially becomes a permanent part of your oral anatomy. That being said, the restoration on top of your implant (usually a porcelain crown or bridge) may need to be replaced after several years if it experiences wear.
Which One am I a Candidate For?
The ideal candidate for dental veneers will be someone who has fairly healthy teeth and gums but wants to enhance their smile’s appearance. For implants, it’s someone with a missing tooth (or teeth) that still has enough bone in that area for support.
In either instance, a thorough exam is needed to rule out any complications. As part of your consultation, we’ll discuss the best treatment options for what your dental goals are. Not everyone is a candidate for veneers or dental implants, so it’s crucial to work with an experienced dental provider whom you trust.
Discover the Possibilities.
Stained, missing, or broken teeth? A new smile is just a click away. Navigating the decision between dental veneers vs. implants is simple with a trusted dentist at your side. Reserve your consultation with us today. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!